Golden State Warriors

This Date in NBA History (July 7): Free agent Kevin Durant signs with the Golden State Warriors in 2016

On July 7 2016, Kevin Durant officially signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent, just days after he had stated his intentions to do so in a Players' Tribune article titled 'My Next Chapter'.

Durant's announcement came just over a month after the Warriors had come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that KD spent the first nine years of his career with.

In fact, the introductory press conference announcing the former MVP (2014) as the newest Warriors came just a fortnight after the Warriors were on the wrong side of the only 3-1 comeback in NBA Finals history, at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Take a look at the entire introductory press conference here. Here are few other images from the landmark free-agent signing.

According to Marc Stein, then with ESPN, KD signed a 2-year deal worth $54.3 million with an opt-out option for year 2. Although Durant did opt-out, he would re-sign and ultimately remain with the team for a total of three years (2016-19), a period in which the franchise would dominate the league.

Over those three seasons, the Warriors would go 182-63 (74.3%) in the regular season and 46-14 (76.7%) in the playoffs - easily the best records in the league. They would advance to the NBA Finals in each of the three seasons, winning titles over the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018 (4-1 in 2017 and 4-0 in 2018), while losing to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

Durant was named Finals MVP in each of the franchise's two titles during that span.

Over the course of 208 regular-season games as a Warrior, Durant earned All-Star and All-NBA selections each year, averaging 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks on 52.4% shooting from the field. Over 48 playoff games, he put averages of 29.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 51.4% shooting from the field.

This deal, which tipped the scales in favour of the Warriors, could easily be considered among the top five most impactful free-agent signings in NBA history.

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