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Kevin Durant will agree to take $9M less than max contract to keep Warriors' core intact

Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant will agree to a two-year, approximately $53 million deal, league sources told ESPN.

Durant, who is an unrestricted free agent, will possess a player option on the second year, sources say.

Durant would likely opt out again in the summer of 2018, according to sources.

The 2017 NBA Finals MVPwill be taking somewhere in the vicinity of a $9 million pay cut, given that he could have secured a max of $34 million per year. He will make $25.9 million this season, less than he made in 2016-17 ($26.5 million).

This gives the Warriors every resource possible to recruit and retain talent. Durant declined his 2017-18 player option to become a free agent for the sole purpose of allowing the Warriors to retain the Bird rights to Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

Golden State locked both players up for three more seasons, and it was Durant's gesture that helped the organization produce the finances necessary to get those deals done.

Sources say that had Iguodala left via free agency, Durant was willing to take even less to help restock the roster.

The Warriors still have work to do in bringing back their championship roster.

Golden State is still interested in retaining JaVale McGee, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. McGee, who had a resurgent year for the Warriors on a veterans minimum deal, is also drawing interest from theClippers, Suns and Heat.

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