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The deadline for Kevin Durant to opt into his contract with the Warriors for next season passed Friday night without him doing so http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/blake-martinez-jersey , making the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP a free agent - yet his intention has always been to stay put and re-sign with Golden State.

Much like a year ago, Durant declined to opt in for the second year of his deal, allowing him to work on a more lucrative contract once the signing period begins Saturday night.

Durant only had to inform the Warriors if he planned to opt in, and the team had long been prepared for this move - merely a procedural decision - knowing his plans for months.

The 29-year-old Durant could sign for as many as four years and about $160 million. He has made clear all along his commitment to the Warriors, especially after winning a pair of championships in his first two seasons with Golden State.

A year ago, Durant declined to opt in for the second year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. That also was expected as he wanted to do whatever he could to give the franchise financial flexibility to keep the core of the team intact to chase more titles.

Then, the Warriors won another one earlier this month - and Durant hoisted the MVP trophy a second time.

After the season, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Golden State would reward Durant with "whatever he wants."

"Sometimes you don't negotiate. I'd love to have him for 10 years. Kevin Durant, look what he did for us last year, he did us a great service," Myers said. "He's earned the right to sign whatever deal he wants. I just want him to sign a deal. But want him to be happy and want him to know that we want him as long as he wants to be here. He's earned that, to kind of lay out the terms. He can do whatever he wants. That shouldn't be a long negotiation. Our goal, to be honest Adidas Mike Green Jersey , is to try to keep the whole thing together, so that's the pieces of the puzzle we've got to try to figure out."

Durant, recipient of the NBA Cares Community Assist award for this past season honoring all his charity efforts, led the Warriors to a finals sweep of LeBron James and the Cavaliers by averaging 28.8 points - he shot 52.6 percent and 40.9 from 3-point range - 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.00 blocks.

That's after last postseason when he averaged 28.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 55.6 percent and scoring more than 30 points in nine of his 15 games on the way to a first career championship in his 10th NBA season.

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The Minnesota Vikings, after watching their late-third-quarter 17-point lead vanish at the hands of the indefatigable Drew Brees, went back in front of the New Orleans Saints on a field goal with 1:29 left.

Trailing by two with that much time? That was no trouble for Brees, who moved the Saints in position for the responding field goal with 25 seconds remaining.

The problem was they left just enough space for Case Keenum and the Vikings to answer with one of the NFL's all-time last-play stunners.

Keenum completed his last-ditch heave near the sideline Sunday on the game's final play to Stefon Diggs, who slithered away from the Saints for a 61-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 29-24 victory and a spot in the NFC championship game at Philadelphia.

"I don't know what the percentage was," Keenum said, "but just try to give the guy a chance."

The play the Vikings ran, believe it or not Youth Russell Bodine Jersey , is called "Seven Heaven." Kyle Rudolph, Jarius Wright and Diggs all ran sideline routes from the right of the formation, with Diggs the deepest with his break coming at about 25 yards.

This wasn't quite as improbable of a play as Franco Harris on the Immaculate Reception for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1972 playoffs , which was also in the divisional round, but these Vikings are on some kind of special path.

The Vikings were out of timeouts and nearly out of options when Keenum took the snap with 10 seconds left and dropped back from his 39-yard line. He lofted a throw to Diggs, who jumped in front of Marcus Williams before the Saints rookie whiffed on his awkward attempt to cut underneath Diggs for a tackle.

Nobody was behind him in the secondary, as Diggs knew before he pivoted to keep his balance, keep his feet in bounds and keep running across the goal line.

"I had a pretty good view of it," Rudolph said. "I couldn't believe it. Things just don't work out that way."

Particularly for the Vikings, whose previous victory in the playoffs had been after the 2009 season at home against Dallas in the divisional round. They lost in overtime the following week in the NFC championship game that year at New Orleans, one of the many late collapses in team lore that have conditioned Minnesotans to brace for the worst. So while only defensive end Brian Robison is still around from that painful loss to the Saints, this thriller at least served as a leveler of sorts for a fan base accustomed to being on the other side.

"It's a turning point for everybody," Diggs said. "The majority of people doubt us. They don't think it's going to happen Authentic Kenny Young Jersey , especially because of history. People have a way of saying history repeats itself. I guess this is not one of those cases."

Now the Vikings can become the first team to play in a Super Bowl on their home turf, if they beat the Eagles. Instead of the usual win-or-go-home stakes, they're in a win-and-go-home situation.

"It would've been nice to be home, but I feel like if we take care of business the way we're supposed to we'll have another chance to see our fans," Diggs said.

Here are some other key developments during the game:

NOT-SO-HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Brees will turn 39 on Monday, a celebration that's sure to be muted so soon after this crushing loss. After finishing 7-9 in four of the previous five seasons, the Saints were one of the NFL's biggest breakout stories in 2017 with an energized and revamped defense and the potent running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. But how long will Brees, whose contract is expiring, want to stick around with a Super Bowl ring already in hand?

"I'm more toward the end of my career than I am at the beginning, I know that," Brees said. "That's all I'll divulge."

PICKED OFF

Brees finished 25 for 40 for 294 yards and three touchdowns, all in the final 16:16 of the game, but his performance was tainted a bit by two costly interceptions before halftime. One came on a leaping grab by safety Andrew Sendejo that set up a touchdown drive for the Vikings in the second quarter. The other came off a tip by Ever

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