Dwyane Wade and Matt Barnes Share Strong Opinions on Kevin Durant Opting Out of Deal With Warriors

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The decision by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant to opt out of the final year of his contract on Wednesday didn’t come as a total surprise.

Still, the fact that he’ll presumably miss all of the 2019-20 season because of an Achilles injury and still opted out of his $31.5 million contract for the year caught the attention of both retired Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and another NBA retiree, Matt Barnes.

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Following each of Durant’s three years with the Warriors, his contract had allowed him to decline his option for the next season. In those two previous instances he decided to opt back, and he ended the year healthy.

Durant’s 2018-19 season was marked by constant talk that he would be leaving after the season to sign with another team. Then, during the postseason, he suffered a calf injury that kept him off the court until his return in Game 5 of the finals. It was during that contest that Durant suffered the Achilles injury.

Durant’s skills in the NBA have been evident since he was the second overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. In his 12th season this past year, he averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists, while hitting 52.1 percent of his shots from the field.

Those talents serve as the reason why other teams besides the Warriors are ready and willing to offer him a multi-year deal that will average more per year than that $31.5 million amount he would have made in 2019-20.

Heat team president Pat Riley has long sought to sign Durant and reportedly isn’t deterred by Durant’s current situation. Though the issue of getting rid of enough current salaries on Miami’s roster to accommodate Durant’s expected deal remains the key stumbling block.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.