The Golden State Warriors will need to make a tough decision in the NBA Free Agency 2017. According to the latest report, the Warriors will be forced to let Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston go if Kevin Durant demands $36 million for the 2017-18 NBA season.
The Warriors emerged as the top favorite to win the 2017 NBA championship title after acquiring Kevin Durant last summer. Durant signed a two-year, $54.3 million deal with the Warriors which has a player option in the second year. Though he’s expected to opt out in the upcoming offseason, the 28-year-old small forward expressed his intention to re-sign with the Warriors.
NBA Free Agency 2017: Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston
Aside from Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will also become free agents this summer. Iguodala and Livingston have been an essential part of the Warriors’ second unit. Bringing them back would be a no-brainer but Golden State may face a problem with their salary cap.
If Durant opts out of his contract, he’s expected to demand an estimate of $36 million for the 2017-18 MNA season. The Warriors will prioritize re-signing Durant first before either Iguodala or Livingston. According to Tim Kawakami of Mercury News, the Warriors will need to renounce Iguodala and Livingston to re-sign KD.
“The key mathematical part of this for the Warriors is Durant, who could seek the max of about $36 million for 2017-18. But the Warriors don’t have his Bird Rights, so they would have to shed a lot of money to create the cap space to fit such a salary, and that would include the renouncing of Iguodala and Shaun Livingston,” Kawakami wrote.
NBA Free Agency 2017: Kevin Durant taking pay cut
However, Kawakami also opens up the possibility for Golden State to bring all the three incoming free agents back. With Durant already making $25M-plus, he may consider taking a pay cut to help the Warriors retain their core. KD joined the Warriors not for money but with the goal of winning multiple NBA championship titles.
“But if Durant is willing to take strictly a 20 percent raise from this season’s salary of $26.5 million up to $31.8 million, the Warriors would not have to fit him into cap space and then could use Bird Rights to re-sign Iguodala and Livingston above and beyond the cap,” Kawakami added.
The NBA Free Agency 2017 will test the Warriors’ ability to keep their core intact. However, as of now, they should focus on the playoffs. Game 2 between the Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers will be on Wednesday night at the Oracle Arena.
Video courtesy: Youtube/NBA