Two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant to make brief visit to Manila

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors is coming to Manila for the second time.

The two-time NBA champion will arrive in the Philippines on Sunday as part of a tour by Nike, the brand he endorses.

Durant averaged 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the 2017-18 season. He helped the Warriors sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers in the championship series, where he won the Finals MVP award for the second straight year.

Durant first visited the Philippines in 2011.

The $5 million savings this year offsets the $5.3 million midlevel tax if Golden State elects to use it. Durant would save the Warriors $20 million in projected luxury-tax costs.

The return of Durant, the winner of the past two Finals MVP awards, ensures that the Hamptons Five — which includes Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala — will be in Warriors uniforms for at least one more season.

Golden State has won three championships in four years and is well-equipped to secure more.

To enter free agency, the 7-foot small forward declined his 2018-19 player option worth $26.2 million. It was the last year of a two-year pact in which he took approximately $10 million less than his maximum salary in 2017 in order for the team to re-sign Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

There was no true team incentive for Durant to take such a pay cut this offseason, and considering the fact that he will turn 30 in September, there was little belief that he would be willing to accept one.

After Durant led the team to an impressive sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals, Golden State general manager Bob Myers said he was prepared to give Durant whatever he wanted in free agency.

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