Multiple league executives believe Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant's next contract could be worth around $200 million, according to SI.com's Chris Mannix.
Durant, who can become a free agent in 2016, is in his eighth season in the league since being drafted No. 2 in 2007. The Thunder would be able to offer Durant more money on a potential max contract than any other team.
In addition, Durant's contract value could balloon thanks to the NBA's new television deal. The deal, which is reportedly worth $24 billion over nine years, will kick in for the 2016-17 season.
The influx of cash will boost the league's salary cap, which will cause an increase in contract values, including maximum deals for stars like Durant. The new cap could rise north of $90 million, though the value is yet to be determined.
Mannix reports on what league executives believe Durant's contract could be worth in the new "TV revenue-infused market." From his latest Open Floor column:
Thunder officials understand there are no guarantees with Durant. They know they can offer the most money -- several executives believe a max deal for Durant in the new TV revenue-infused market in 2016 could be worth in the neighborhood of $200 million over five years -- and they believe Durant likes playing in Oklahoma City. “I think he likes his teammates,” said coach Scott Brooks. “That’s always important.”
There is speculation that other teams could sign Durant when his current contract is up. A recent report suggested the Knicks were "in play" for the 2013-14 MVP and Washington has been frequently cited as a possible landing spot.
Durant, 26, has missed time this season with foot and ankle injuries. Over 21 games, the MVP has averaged 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from three-point range.
Oklahoma City currently sits 3.5 games back of the Phoenix Suns for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.