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Kevin Durant to sign four-year $198 million extension Friday

2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

In the biggest move of the off-season— certainly for the Nets and arguably for the entire NBA — Kevin Durant will sign a four-year, $198 million extension that will keep the man many see as the game’s greatest player in Brooklyn through 2026.

Shlomo Sprung, writing for Boardroom, Durant’s media platform, said KD will decline his 2022-23 player option, permitting the deal to begin in 2022. He quoted Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent, manager and business partner.

Sprung writes...

Two years after joining the Brooklyn Nets, 11-time NBA All-Star forward Kevin Durant has agreed to sign a four-year contract extension with the team worth $198 million on Friday, Durant’s longtime manager Rich Kleiman confirms.

Following the 2020-21 season, Durant had received $306,172,746 in total career earnings from his NBA contracts, which ranks No. 5 on the all-time list. The 32-year-old’s new deal in Brooklyn will take him above half a billion dollars earned on the court.

Here’s the year-by-year breakdown, including this season...

  • 2021-22 - $42.0 million
  • 2022-23 - $44.1 million
  • 2023-24 - $47.6 million
  • 2024-25 - $51.2 million
  • 2025-26 - $54.7 million

So the grand total of what’s remaining on Durant’s first contract and the extension is $240 million over five years. The $198 million extension is the third biggest of the off-season. Steph Curry’s $215 million over four and Trae Young’s $207 million over five top the list. Luka Doncic is expected to sign a $200+ million deal, also over five, next week.

Durant, of course, is in Tokyo where he will play in the Olympic men’s basketball gold medal game Friday night (Saturday morning Tokyo time). The game vs. France will be televised starting at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC. A win would give Durant three gold medals, tying him with Carmelo Anthony for the most in Olympic basketball’s 85-year history. Durant also has a gold from the 2010 FIBA World Cup championship.

The two-time Finals MVP becomes the first of the Nets “Big Three” to sign an extension. Both James Harden and Kyrie Irving are also eligible for similarly sized deals. James Harden can ink an extension for up to three years, $161.1 million. Irving can do four years, $181.6 million If Irving decides not to ink an extension this offseason, he is eligible for a five-year, $235 million max contract deal as a restricted free agent next summer.

Ten days ago, following a Team USA practice, KD was asked about the possibility of extensions for the “Big Three.”

“[You] like being in that environment, first of all. You enjoy playing the game, that’s the most important thing. I think we all three enjoy playing with each other,” Durant said when asked by Brian Lewis. “But that’s a personal thing, and guys are different. I’m sure when the time is right I’m sure we’ll all make the right decision for ourselves.”

Durant’s re-signing continues a Nets offseason that includes retaining Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown, signing guard Patty Mills and forward James Johnson, trading for the Suns Jevon Carter and drafting five college players, including first rounders Cameron Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe. (Earlier Friday, the Nets added another player, DeAndre’ Bembry, a swingman who played for the Raptors last season.)

In a segment on “The Jump” before the news of either the Durant extension or Bembry signing broke, Zach Lowe of ESPN and Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated spoke about how well the off-season was going for Brooklyn.

Durant, a two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP as a member of the Warriors, signed a four-year, $164 million contract with the team on June 30, 2019 as part of a sign-and-trade to Brooklyn just 20 days after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of that summer’s NBA Finals. The 6’10” four-time scoring champion didn’t play another NBA game for more than 18 months, missing the entire 2019-20 season.

In 2020-21, Durant averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game in the regular season, setting career highs in field goal percentage (53.7 percent) and three-point percentage (45 percent).

During the playoffs, his numbers skyrocketed to 34.3 points and 9.3 boards per game on 54.2 percent shooting, including a 49-point, 17-rebound effort in Brooklyn’s second-round Game 5 win over the Bucks. He added 48 points in the Game 7 loss to the Bucks. Durant was only the third player to score 40+ points and play every minute in a Game 7, joining Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.

Earlier Friday, on “First Take,” Stephen A. Smith suggested that perhaps Durant could hold off on extending his contract ... then sign with the Knicks! Yes, he did and here’s the proof...

Cold takes exposed much?

There’s no indication yet when Harden and Irving will sign. After the season, Nets ownership and management offer the three players the opportunity to take some time off before negotiating an extension. Because of the size of the extensions, Joe Tsai will likely to have to pay a record in luxury taxes before the deals expire.

Meanwhile, the Nets two trades became official. Jevon Carter, the Suns point guard, and Day’Ron Sharpe, taken with the Suns pick, are now Nets. Also, the five-team sign-and-trade that will send Spencer Dinwiddie to the Wizards is now complete. The Nets received a second round in 2024 and a swap of seconds and the rights to European big man Nikola Milutinov as well as an $11.45 million trade exception

In announcing the trade, Sean Marks paid tribute to Dinwiddie who had been with the Nets almost as long as Marks has been the Nets GM.

“From the moment Spencer arrived in Brooklyn in 2016 he exhibited a relentless will and determination that energized our team and fanbase,” said Marks.

“He has been a critical part of the organization’s growth over the past five years, for which everyone at the Nets, along with the fans of Brooklyn, will be forever grateful. We thank Spencer for everything and wish him and his family the very best.”

The Nets also announced the signing of free agent James Johnson and Sharpe.