Leading NBA free agent Kevin Durant has announced he will be signing for the Golden State Warriors.
Durant, whose contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder had expired, was reported to have met with six teams, including the franchise he had played with for his entire career, as he decided about his future
The 27-year-old entered the league as a member of the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, after being selected with the second pick of the draft, and followed them to Oklahoma City when they relocated in 2008.
Durant, who has averaged 27.4 points per game in his career, will team up with NBA most valuable player Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson next season should the Warriors retain their stars from last season.
The Warriors won the NBA title in 2015 but were beaten by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in last season’s finals despite posting the best regular-season record in NBA history (73-9). Details of Durant’s contract with the Warriors are yet to be made public.
“This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life,” Durant wrote on The Players Tribune.
“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player – as that has always steered me in the right direction.
“I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
“I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organisation – the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community.”