When Kevin Durant took less money to sign a new deal with the Golden State Warriors, there were two modes of thought. The first was that Durant was willing to take less money for the same reason that he took less money to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in the first place. It was a way for Durant to ensure an easier path to NBA Championships with less effort on his part. He was already making millions and taking less money to play on a super team made it easier to win titles. However, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sees it differently.

Durant compared to Tim Duncan

Steve Kerr played in his career for the Chicago Bulls and was part of arguably the best organically created championship team of all time alongside Michael Jordan. While Jordan worked hard to turn the Bulls into champions, Durant chose to just join a team that was already competing for championships. Now that Kevin Durant is there, he wants to keep the Warriors as champions and took less money so that the Warriors could re-sign a number of their star players.

Kerr compared Kevin Durant taking less money to Tim Duncan doing the same to keep the San Antonio Spurs as a championship contender. According to Kerr, Duncan made the maximum contracts over his career but there were also times that he took less money to help the Spurs keep certain players from leaving for more money.

According to Kerr, it was a “remarkable gesture” by Kevin Durant.

Tim Duncan might have taken less money at times but he still made $238 million over his career with the San Antonio Spurs. Most sources indicate that Kevin Durant will opt out of his contract again next season and then get the max contract that many feel he deserves.

Durant’s contract’s effect on Warriors

Because Kevin Durant took almost $9 million less than he was allowed to make on his contract this season, the Golden State Warriors were able to keep their lineup intact. Steve Kerr said the NBA max contracts allows star players to take less money if it means keeping their teams strong.

Since Durant took less money, Steph Curry got his max deal for over $200 million and they were able to re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

The Golden State Warriors have been to the NBA Finals in the last three seasons and won two of them, one with Kevin Durant and one without him. Now, thanks to Durant and his lower contract, they look to be in the driver’s seat for a fourth straight appearance and a possible third title.