Under the current rules, Durant would be eligible for a larger maximum salary in 2017. Using the estimated $108 million salary cap figure, Durant could be eligible to earn approximately $35.6 million in the first year of a new deal that summer. The rules could be radically different or mostly the same by then, so any numbers for this timeframe should be considered very theoretical. But if the numbers and rules stay mostly intact, he could sign for up to five seasons with Oklahoma City and net over $200 million.
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The connection that Donovan made with Presti wasn’t rooted simply in Xs and Os and analytics, although they were prominent. There also was a personal connection, and a belief that Donovan has demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt as a coach. At Florida, Donovan won back-to-back NCAA titles with a roster that included three lottery picks (Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer). In 2014, he led the Gators to the Final Four without a single NBA player on the roster. He’s maintained as a strong a connection with Mike Miller (who he last coached 15 years ago) as he has with Bradley Beal (2012). “His players swear by him,” a coaching source said.
The Clippers have had three cracks at it with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan all in their primes, and they’re not afraid to admit the fourth could be their last — that another flameout will force them to ask whether the core has grown stale. “We’re right on the borderline,” Doc Rivers tells Grantland during a long sit-down at his office. “I have no problem saying that. I’m a believer that teams can get stale. After a while, you don’t win. It just doesn’t work. We’re right at the edge. Oklahoma City is on the edge. Memphis, too. We just have to accept it.”