NBA superstar Kevin Durant didn’t wait long to declare his new destination, announcing he would sign with the Brooklyn Nets a few minutes after the free agency period opened on Sunday night.
The announcement came via the Instagram account linked to Durant’s ESPN-owned site, The Boardroom. The message said: “Kevin Durant has confirmed he will sign a max deal with the Brooklyn Nets when the free agent moratorium period ends on July 6.”
The max would be a four-year deal worth $164 million, although ESPN reports Durant will actually take less than the max to accommodate the Nets’ other moves. Per the report, Durant and expected signee Kyrie Irving will each take less to allow Brooklyn to sign center DeAndre Jordan for four years and $40m.
Reports had indicated Durant was considering the Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and his current team, the Golden State Warriors. Golden State could offer Durant an extra year and $57m – and were prepared to do so, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein – but Durant was ready to move on after three seasons with the Warriors.
Durant’s decision was the first of three potential big moves for the Nets, who finished 42-40 last season, earning a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
They are expected to sign point guard Kyrie Irving for four years, $141m, as well as center DeAndre Jordan, according to multiple reports.
Durant, who turns 31 in September, is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season because of the ruptured Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
The 10-time All-Star averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in 78 games for the Warriors last season. He has career averages of 27 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 849 games.
Irving, a six-time All-Star, averaged 23.8 points, 6.9 assists, and five rebounds in 67 games with the Boston Celtics last season. Irving, 27, has averages of 22.2 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds in his eight-year career.
Jordan, who turns 31 in July, averaged 11.0 points and 13.1 rebounds in 69 games last season, when he played for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks. He has career averages of 9.6 points and 10.9 rebounds in 11 seasons in the NBA.