Despite murmurs that Kevin Durant was angling to leave the Golden State Warriors as a free agent this summer, the team reportedly intended to offer the two-time Finals MVP a long-term extension while allowing him to leave the team at any point during the contract, a source told The Athletic's Frank Isola.
Whether that is still the Warriors' plan in the wake of Durant's injury in Game 5 remains to be seen. Team personnel apparently believe the 30-year-old suffered a torn right Achilles tendon, a severe and potentially career-shortening injury that would effectively wipe out Durant's 2019-20 season.
The Warriors' reported offer to Durant would have included "the understanding that if he wanted to leave at any point during his contract the team would grant him that wish," as Isola phrases it, but it's not clear how that would work.
The current collective bargaining agreement dictates that NBA contracts can only contain one player-option year, according to Larry Coon's NBA Salary Cap FAQ. Beyond that specific contract structure, Durant could become a free agent by agreeing to have the remainder of his deal bought out by the Warriors for nothing, but there is no CBA framework to enforce a handshake agreement regarding an indefinite, rolling early-termination option.
Durant currently has a player option for the 2019-20 season valued at $31.5 million. If he declines that option, he is eligible to re-sign with the Warriors for up to $219 million over five years, which would secure his services through the 2023-24 campaign - his age-35 season.