Kevin Durant
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Kevin Durant has officially declined his player option while the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets patiently await free agency.

Despite suffering a debilitating Achilles’ injury in the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant is going to be one of the most highly-coveted free agents for the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets this summer. Furthermore, he is officially set to become an unrestricted free agent after declining his $31.5 million player option according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Durant averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. More importantly, Durant was a two-time Finals MVP with the Dubs and part of one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

Prior to his injury, there was almost no doubt that Durant would decline his player option. However, after the injury, there was some speculation that Durant could opt-in and wait to hit free agency in 2020.

But since there will still be plenty of suitors for Durant in 2019, he might as well look to sign the long-term deal now. The Knicks and Nets will be among the first teams to line up for Durant. Both teams have spent the better part of the last two years preparing for 2019 free agency.

Moreover, both teams are expected to pursue Durant in addition to the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. The Durant-Irving pairing has always been a dream scenario for Knicks fans and more recently, the Nets have emerged as a serious contender to sign the duo.

Free agency officially opens on June 30 and both teams in New York will be eager participants in the race to sign Kevin Durant.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.