When Kevin Durant opted out of his contract with the Golden State Warriors, everyone knew he would be returning. Durant signed with a team that had made it to two consecutive NBA Finals and knew that he could win an NBA title by joining a team that was already there than by working hard to lead a team there. Kevin must have enjoyed the easier road to the NBA Finals because he has chosen to take less money than he could have made to keep the job of winning championships easy for him.

Kevin Durant takes a pay cut

If Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had remained teammates in Oklahoma City, there is a good chance that they could have continued to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the West.

Durant also could have been one of the highest paid players in the NBA. However, Kevin decided that money was not what was important and making things easier on himself was the better way to go.

He has proven that once again. Kevin Durant opted out of his contract so that the Golden State Warriors could afford to re-sign their other players - specifically Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. To help them do this, Kevin agreed to a two-year contract worth $53 million, which is actually $9 million pay cut to help keep the Warriors stronger than most teams in the NBA.

2017-18 Golden State Warriors

While Kevin Durant took a $9 million pay cut after proving to be the best player on the Golden State Warriors super team last season, his teammate Stephen Curry chose to take the biggest contract in NBA history with a $201 million deal.

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That is the kind of deal that Durant could have received in Oklahoma City but Curry chose to remain faithful to the team that drafted him.

This means that the Golden State Warriors will once again be clear favorites to win the NBA Western Conference for the fourth straight season and the NBA Championship for the third time in four seasons. On top of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, the Warriors also bring back superstars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. The super team will remain intact for at least two more seasons.

Now, there still might be challengers to the Golden State Warriors title. Kevin Durant didn't give the Oklahoma City Thunder any time to replace him last year since he pretended he was considering staying before bolting the first minute he could. This year, the Thunder traded to add Paul George and he will team with NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. The Houston Rockets added Chris Paul and the San Antonio Spurs are always dangerous.