Kevin Durant on max contracts: 'A lot of these guys are worth more'
Durant, the reigning Most Valuable Player, also agreed with LeBron James' assertion that the league's owners won't be able to claim they are losing money following the announcement of a nine-year, $24 billion television contract. Durant will be a free agent in 2016 when the new contract kicks in, and he may be eligible for a five-year, $158.6 million contract depending on the salary cap, according to SI.com's Ben Golliver.
While contract values are expected to increase, Durant said the best players will still be worth more to their teams, via Slater.
"Yeah, look at it like this, Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area. That's a conversation you can always have, but until it's changed you never know what will happen to it."
It was reported on Monday that James may push for the elimination of maximum contracts when the next collective bargaining agreement is negotiated.
Durant will make just under $19 million this season in the last year of a four-year, $89 million contract. After receiving a lucrative offer from Under Armour, Durant re-signed with Nike for a reported $285 million over the summer.
Durant, 26, averaged 32.0 points last season en route to winning the fourth scoring title of his career. The Thunder open preseason play on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets. They start the regular season Oct. 29 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Paul Palladino