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Jenni Carlson: Kevin Durant worth every penny of the $84.85 million he'll get

There may be some sticker shock with Kevin Durant's new contract, but columnist Jenni Carlson says the Thunder shouldn't have any second thoughts about paying up.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm •  Published: June 29, 2010

The number is stunning.

Just look at it — 84,850,000.

I don't care if you're talking about apples or airplanes, pencils or pachyderms. Eighty-four million of anything is significant.

So it is with Kevin Durant's contract.

The young superstar is expected to agree to a contract extension with the Thunder soon and the team is likely to give Durant the maximum in both years and dollars. The exact value of his deal won't be known until next summer when the salary cap is set, but the current projections indicate Durant won't be hurting for spare change.

His five-year deal is expected to be around $84.85 million.

Talk about sticker shock.

But you know what the Thunder should do? They should pay up and do it with a smile on their faces.

Durant is worth the price. He's proven to be a perfect franchise player.

He has delivered on the court. Last season, he not only led the league in scoring but also guided the Thunder to the playoffs. He is continuing to improve, bettering his defense and diversifying his game.

Even though he is already a superstar, Durant is still working to get better. That's no small thing.

Neither is the maturity Durant has shown off the court.

He is a great locker room guy. His hard-working attitude and team-first mentality have endeared him to his teammates. They love playing with him and enjoy singing his praises because they respect him so much.

Durant has helped foster a level of team chemistry that is rare in professional sports.

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by Jenni Carlson
Reporter and Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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