Kevin Durant has confirmed he is leaving Oklahoma City Thunder to join NBA Finalists Golden State Warriors.
ESPN reports the 27-year-old will sign a two-year, $54.3 million contract as part of a deal which would include a player option after the first year.
Durant released a statement confirming the move on Monday, saying the decision came after “by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life.
“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,” Durant wrote.
“But 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.”
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 4, 2016
The addition of Durant is sure to make the Warriors an even more formidable prospect in the coming NBA season, as he joins fellow NBA superstars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in a powerhouse line-up.
His arrival also signals the end of center Andrew Bogut’s time with Golden State.
Moments before Durant confirmed the news, Bogut removed references to the Warriors from his Twitter page.
Durant met with as many as six teams over the past few days, including San Antonio, Boston, Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers, but it was Golden State’s Jerry West, a member of the Warriors’ executive board, who made the most convincing pitch.
Durant and West spoke over the telephone on Saturday, following a meeting between the Warriors and Durant on Friday.
The move brings to an end Durant’s nine-year association with the Thunder.
During his time in Oklahoma, he appeared in four Western Conference finals and one NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games in 2012.
“I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me,” Durant wrote. “It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.
“It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.”