NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Contract Keeps Warriors' NBA Championship Window Open

For Kevin Durant—at least for the time being—NBA championships are more important than extra zeros on his bank balance.

Durant, the Golden State Warriors' starting small forward and MVP of the 2017 NBA Finals, will sign a new two-year contract with the Oakland-based franchise earning him $53 million over two years, according to The Mercury News.

That is almost $10 million less than the $34.65 million Durant could have earned this season under a new maximum contract that he declined. It's also significantly lower than another option he could have taken, a raise that would have earned him $31.6 million this year.

Durant's decision to join the Warriors, who won 73 regular-season games without him in 2015-16, was based on a desire to win championships. The team's runs to the NBA Finals in recent years have featured hefty contributions from roleplayers like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

By taking less money than he was entitled to, the 28-year-old allowed the Warriors to resign Iguodala and Livingston in a summer that will see Stephen Curry sign the richest contract in NBA history at a reported $201 million over five years.

Durant will get paid, as soon as next summer. The second year of the deal is a player option, according to ESPN, so Durant will likely opt out and sign a maximum contract in the summer of 2018.

That's when the Warriors may have to think again about how to keep the core intact, with Klay Thompson scheduled for unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019.

For now, the Warriors look like they are gearing up for another run at a championship. While the Houston Rockets have made a splash by teaming Chris Paul with James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder have given themselves a one-year window for a title by renting Paul George, Durant's new deal may be the most significant of all in the Western Conference.