On Tuesday, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that should Kevin Durant decide to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency this summer, the Golden State Warriors are the "significant" front-runners to land him.
That's far from a guarantee — Wojnarowski reports that sources say Durant has not made up his mind and is not leaning in any direction as far as his future is concerned.
But if he does leave the Thunder, playing on a championship-level team, among several versatile, selfless stars in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, reportedly would appeal to him.
For this to happen, the Warriors would have to do some financial gymnastics. Yahoo's Bobby Marks, a former executive with the Nets, broke down what the Warriors could do to sign Durant. However, more than any move the Warriors would need to make to clear room to sign Durant, Stephen Curry's remarkably cheap contract is what makes it all possible.
Marks notes, "Golden State can keep All-Stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. All 3 players have a combined guarantee salary of $44 million." Of that $44 million, Thompson and Green combine to make nearly $32 million, leaving Curry to make just over $12 million.
$12 million is no small amount, but in comparison to some of Curry's peers, it looks minuscule.
According to Basketball-Reference, this season Curry is just the 65th highest-paid player in the NBA! The reigning MVP, arguably the best player on earth right now — who's likely cruising toward another MVP this season — isn't even in the top 50 highest-paid players in the NBA.
Furthermore, by our count, there are 14 traditional point guards who make more than Curry. While it's understandable that players like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose (who signed his deal in 2011), and Russell Westbrook would make more, those 14 players also includes the likes of Kemba Walker, Reggie Jackson, Ricky Rubio, and Brandon Knight — talented players, yes, but all clearly several tiers below Curry. If Curry was making, say, $23 million next season to be the highest-paid point guard in the NBA, the Warriors could still make room for Durant, but it would become even more complicated.
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: NBA player Kevin Durant attends the game between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on September 24, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - MARCH 29 : Kevin Durant #3 of the West moves the ball against the East during the 2006 McDonald's All American High School Basketball game at Cox Arena on March 29, 2006 in San Diego, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Texas forward Kevin Durant (35) is shown during first half action in their college basketball game Friday, Nov. 10, 2006, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
Texas forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with fans following the team's win over Texas A&M in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JUNE 23-24 -- FILE -- ** Basketball players Kevin Durant, right, from the University of Texas, and Greg Oden, from Ohio State University, pose with a USA Basketball senior national team jersey as they officially join the team during a news conference in Las Vegas, in this May 23, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Texas' Kevin Durant takes questions in the interview room after being selected by the Seattle Supersonics as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant smiles as he holds a basketball at the team's first practice, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007, in Seattle. Durant, the second overall draft pick in June, begins his NBA life as the Sonics begin preseason practice. Seattle isn't shying away from loading last season's national player of the year as a freshman at Texas with high expectations. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant ,left, drives past New Orleans Hornets' Morris Peterson in a NBA basketball game during the first half Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Seattle Supersonics' Kevin Durant line up against each other during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, March 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant holds his trophy after he was named NBA basketball's Rookie of the Year, Thursday, May 1, 2008 in Bellevue, Wash. Durant averaged 20.3 points per game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Golden State Warriors guard Anthony Morrow, left, goes up for a shot in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant reacts as Oklahoma City defeats the Charlotte Bobcats 84-81 in an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 10, 2009. Durant had 20 points in the victory. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) tries to get past Cleveland Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson (1) in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant reacts from the bench late in the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010. Durant led the Thunder with 33 points to beat the Blazers 89-77.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots against the San Antonio Spurs in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, March 22, 2010. Durant had 45 points, but San Antonio won 99-96. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, low-fives teammate forward Nick Collison, left, during player introductions prior to an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, March 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, looks on from the bench along with guard Russell Westbrook during the closing seconds in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 111-87. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
United States Kevin Durant reacts during the semifinal between USA and Lithuania at the World Basketball Championship, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant dunks against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. Durant had 28 points as Oklahoma City won 114-109. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, right, stand together and watch a foul shot in the second quarter of Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives around New York Knicks guard Bill Walker, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. The Thunder won 104-92. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant speaks during an NBA All Star basketball player news conference, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. The NBA All Star game will be played in Orlando on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 6 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won 107-99. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Kevin Durant of the U.S. men's senior national team reacts during a pre-Olympic friendly basketball match against Argentina at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, center, reaches for a loose ball with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, and forward Pau Gasol, of Spain, during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 105-96. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) is pictured during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) puts pressure on Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth period of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The Thunder won 112-95. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots in front of Miami Heat forward LeBron James during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Miami won 103-81. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after hitting a foul shot in overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Oklahoma City won 137-134. Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic is at left. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
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This is arguably the Warriors' greatest advantage. The Warriors signed Curry to a four-year, $44 million extension back in 2012, when he was a talented, but injury-prone point guard below the level of the NBA's elite. Curry has since overcome those injury issues to help the Warriors into the most formidable team in the NBA.
What happens to the Warriors when Curry is a free agent will be interesting. It seems like a foregone conclusion that he'll re-sign with them, but at that point, he'll be eligible for a max. contract worth 30% of a nearly $110 million salary cap. His next contract could pay him over $30 million per year, unless he wants to take a discount to help make the Warriors flexible.
The Warriors have gotten very lucky at securing three elite NBA players on great deals, and if things go their way this summer, these great deals may pave the way to signing Durant, the NBA's biggest free agent.