Kevin Durant on future with Warriors: “I’m just in it for the long haul”

Oct 28, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA;  Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant signed just a one year contract when he joined the Golden State Warriors, but he admits his future is in the Bay Area.

When Kevin Durant announced his decision to join the Golden State Warriors on the 4th of July, the Bay Area celebrated. Fans who were heartbroken just weeks earlier after watching their team fall in Game 7 of the NBA Finals were rejuvenated. It was a party.

But even the most excited  fans had to look forward to the future. While the summer of 2017 could be a fun one with the team’s second championship parade in three years, it was impossible to notice the inevitable. Durant signed for one year.

With all of the backlash he received, it didn’t seem likely that he would go through it again. The process was long and arduous for the 2014 MVP. Leaving the only franchise he’d ever known for a one year stint with Golden State seemed unreasonable.

Still, it’s nice to have confirmation. At the groundbreaking for the new Chase Center, owner Joe Lacob put Durant on the spot about his impending free agency. He laughed it off, but it’s clearly not something he wanted to address at that time in that place.

When asked later about the prospect of playing there, he admitted that “it’ll be fun playing in there.” If you’ve been a Warriors fan for the long haul, then that didn’t do much for you. This whole ride has felt too good to be true so even that statement felt like it wasn’t committal enough.

But the fact that Durant was there, at the groundbreaking of an arena that won’t be ready for a few more years, was comforting.  After the Warriors’ big win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the superstar gave a little more insight into his plans. In a story by USA Today‘s Sam Amick, Durant expressed his desire to be in a Golden State uniform:

“I’m liking it here,” Durant said. “I’m liking everything that’s going on. I know what my contract says, but I didn’t plan on coming here for just a year. I’m in it right now, and I’m also just focusing on day by day.

“I know it’s cliché, and you hear that all the time, but I’m seriously just not thinking about it because I’m like – I’m just in it for the long haul.”

That’s pretty clear right there. He’s all but signed the paperwork. Durant is going to be a Warrior for a long time, it’s just a matter of making the numbers work.

Stephen Curry will also be a free agent this upcoming offseason. It’s unclear if he’ll look for a huge long term deal or have several short term deals, like LeBron James does. Golden State will have to figure out how to make it all work.

But make no mistake, both Curry and Durant have made it clear that they want to stay with the Warriors.

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