Fresh off their second championship in three years, the Golden State Warriors sound like they’re ready to run it back … again.
The Warriors have 10 free agents this summer, including Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, but neither superstar sounds as if he’s going anywhere. Durant, the Finals MVP, has a player option after joining the Warriors last summer. He’s expected to decline his player option and re-sign again with the Warriors, which makes sense financially. ESPN reported Durant would be willing to take a pay cut, which would allow the Warriors flexibility in trying to sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
“It’s a special team, a special group,” Durant told reporters at the team’s exit meeting on Wednesday. “It’s a business of basketball, obviously, so nothing is for sure, but here, I feel like we can work that out and everybody will have a chance to do this again next year. It’s easier said than done obviously, but that’s the goal. We want to keep this thing together.”
Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists en route to Finals MVP.
“I feel as though I’m going to be back here – no question,” Durant said. “We’ll all figure something out, work something out. I want to be here. We just won a championship, man. Let’s see if we can do it again.”
As for Steph Curry, whose production far outweighed his four-year, $44 million deal signed after his rookie contract, the two-time MVP is eligible for the designated veteran player's maximum, which allows teams to pay players who met specific criteria 35% of the salary cap before that player reaches 10 years of service. Curry met the criteria and can receive a five-year deal worth about $205 million.
“What we’ve built here is truly special, unique, something you don’t want to see end at all,” Curry said. “As we go into talks and this whole process – which is obviously new for me – I will approach it as getting the most I can as an individual, as a player, something I’ve been working for a very long time. In the context of keeping the team together, if there are decisions that need to be made, we’ll talk about it for sure.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Michael Singer on Twitter @msinger.