DENVER — If Oklahoma City makes Kevin Durant a maximum contract offer this summer, he'll sign it.
In an interview Wednesday with FanHouse, Durant said he wants to sign an extension with the Thunder. Negotiations can start July 1.
"Yeah, that's what I want to do," he said."I want to be here. I want to be part of this organization."
The Thunder has the option of waiting until the summer of 2011 to re-sign Durant as an unrestricted free agent. By then the NBA could have a new collective bargaining agreement in place, and the owners' offer last month made it clear their intent is to drastically cut maximum salaries.
The owners also proposed cutting the maximum number of years in a contract from five to four. As FanHouse's Chris Tomasson pointed out in his article, no member of the Thunder organization has expressed an interest in waiting until 2011 to sign Durant.
Given the current collective bargaining agreement and the Thunder's salary cap position, Oklahoma City could offer Durant a five-year deal in the $80 million range.
"If they did offer (a max contract), that would be something that nobody could turn down," Durant told FanHouse. "I would be blessed and privileged and honored. ... But, at the same time, I've got to keep working. ... It would be good (to sign this summer). To know that I can be with a team for a couple (more) years will be cool."
Asked if he would be offended if the Thunder didn't offer a max deal this summer, Durant said, "Not really."
"Of course, I know I'll be back the year after that, and you never know what will happen that next summer," Durant said.
Speculation that Durant would flee Oklahoma City at the first opportunity has flowed since the franchise relocated from Seattle two years ago. Much of that speculation has been anchored in the belief that he would prefer to play in a larger market where he could gain greater exposure.
Durant made his first NBA All-Star Game last month. His 29.6 points per game trail only LeBron James, and with the Thunder in playoff position in the Western Conference, Durant has been part of the league MVP conversation.
"I didn't get in the game for just the money," Durant said in the interview. "I want to be somewhere where I'm comfortable, where I have a chance to win a championship, and I think that will be here."
His comments in the FanHouse interview are the latest in a series of statements he's made about his desire to remain with the Thunder.
"I love this team, man," Durant said told SLAM Magazine last summer. "This is where I want to be. (General manager) Sam (Presti) is incredible. He's like another father to me, outside of my real father. Anything I need. He's always asking if I need anything or how my family is doing. I just like good people like that. He's not a GM. He's more of an everyday guy that is always around. He asks my input on everything, whether it's about the newest music out or what type of shoes I like. Small stuff like that. I love him. I love the organization and hopefully I can stay as long as possible."
Read the full FanHouse story at: http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/03/03/durant-wants-to-sign-extension-this-summer-with-thunder/