Actually, the right question is, could Kevin Durant consider restructuring his contract?
In this week’s mailbag, I answered a question about Durant and the possibility that he would renegotiate his deal to potentially free up a little more room to sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Under the old collective bargaining agreement, contract restructuring wasn’t allowed. But in the new one, players can.
It was among the so-called “b-list” issues and basically a player can renegotiate their deal to be paid a smaller amount, but the player’s salary can’t decrease by more than 40 percent.
However, there’s a catch and that’s where KD’s deal comes in. Someone with direct knowledge of the CBA tells me a player on a maximum level contract can’t do it. Because the restructuring has to include an extension and a designated five-year player can’t be extended. For example, a player on a three-year deal could restructure, but would have to get a new four-year deal. And since KD already has a five-year contract, he can’t add any more years to that.
So the conclusion: Even if KD wanted to do it, he couldn’t do it. But would he if he could?
I asked KD about it before the game against the Hornets before I had it all sorted out and for fun, here’s what he said.
“If they came to me, of course I’d look at it. I want to keep everybody together,” he said. “But it seems that everything is going to fall in place perfectly as far as keeping the group together as far as contracts are concerned. But I really haven’t look into it.”
No surprise, but KD would be willing if it was something that was necessary. Or I guess, possible.
But like he said, it might not be. We’ve all broken down the future contract scenarios a number of times and it’s going to be close, but it’s possible the Thunder are fine. And if they’re no, so be it. You move on and try and win with who you’ve got. The fact OKC has Durant and Westbrook locked up and will almost certainly keep Harden is enough to make them a contender for a while.
That’s all to worry about later though. Because this current team is set and ready to compete for a championship as is. Whether in five years the core of the roster looks different or not, the championship window is wide open. Of course the future is something to keep an eye on because sustaining the success is the plan, but the focus is on the now. Worry about the rest when that bridge needs to be crossed.