Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant was rewarded for his phenomenal comeback from an Achilles injury on Friday with a four-year contract extension worth $198 million, per Boardroom’s Shlomo Sprung.
Durant is therefore waiving his player option for next offseason, and instead, the extended contract will start from there.
The 32-year-old had signed a four-year deal initially to join Brooklyn after a fruitful stint with the Golden State Warriors that resulted in two NBA Finals MVP awards. Unfortunately, during his last season with the Warriors, Durant suffered a torn Achilles in the playoffs and missed all of the 2019-20 campaign as a result.
Many were skeptical that Durant would come back and be anywhere close to the best version of himself as a player. However, all the doubters were proven wrong this past season, as Durant put up shooting splits of 53.7/45/88.2 and averaged 26.9 points per contest.
Although he did miss significant time due to a hamstring injury, the Nets benefited from having two other superstars in Kyrie Irving and James Harden carry the load at various times while Durant recovered.
As it turned out, Brooklyn needed every bit of Durant during the postseason, as Irving was sidelined and Harden was hobbled throughout the team’s run. Durant upped his game, averaging 34.3 points per contest in the playoffs and coming within a foot on the line of eliminating the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semis.
Provided that Irving or Harden are fit enough to compete when the playoffs roll around next season, the Nets’ Big Three are probably going to be too dominant for the rest of the NBA to overcome. That is, as long as Durant continues to play to the all-time great level he’s shown of late.
The extension is a great move for all parties involved, and all but ensures Durant will end his career in Brooklyn. There’s no real ambiguity about his future anymore, so the Nets should continue to lure a top-flight supporting cast to complement their star-studded trio.