Report: Warriors ‘Interested’ in KD Trading with Nets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
When Kevin Durant requested an exchange of the Brooklyn nets Last week, the common belief was that 28 other NBA teams should be interested in acquiring one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. Some franchises may not have a chance, but they should all be interested.
The only team that could be automatically excluded was the warriorsgiven their history with Durant and the fact that they just… won the NBA title without himTurn right?
Not so fast.
Andscape’s Marc J. Spears reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Warriors are, in fact, “interested” in Durant, in addition to “half the competition”.
Spears went on to explain on ESPN Radio why it makes sense.
“The only team I have to keep an eye on you guys is the Golden State Warriors,” Spears said. “Golden State could have the best package for both sides. Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, All-Star Andrew Wiggins, former No. 2 pick James Wiseman. What the Nets want is a young All-Star and maybe they want a future All-Star -Star.” star. They’re all under 30. They also want picks, maybe the ability to trade picks. But if you can get those four players, if I’m the Nets, I’ll be very happy.
“For Kevin Durant, the Warriors – they’re very familiar with… [Durant] and vice versa. He knows where to live in San Francisco. He knows how the offense works. He knows he can win a championship there. Yeah, Steve Kerr should probably figure some things out. But with each passing day that this continues, I’ve heard that the Warriors are interested in a young draw, in terms of people being happy on both sides. For me, the Golden State option is the best option.”
Now that seems like a huge pack of players for the Warriors to give up for Durant. And it is. But it’s in line with Brooklyn’s reported asking price.
Jon Krawczynski of the Athletic reported Friday, citing sources, that what the nets ask for: an “established All-Star and a mountain of choices.”
As unlikely as it would be for the Warriors to bring Durant back, the ironic thing is that after everything they’ve been through since he left in 2019, they’re now maybe the best package of young players available to acquire it. And unlike other teams competing for Durant, they wouldn’t exhaust their roster to make it happen.
Other teams that trade one or two “established All-Stars” for Durant may have no championship roster left. But the Warriors would still have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney.
As for the draft pick part of the equation, the Warriors only have one future first-round pick that’s stuck in another trade. Again, ironically, when Durant left in 2019, it forced Golden State to trade Andre Iguodala for the Memphis Grizzlies and they confirmed their first-round pick for 2024 with top-4 protection.
Barring a catastrophic collapse in the standings, the Warriors will pass that pick to the Grizzlies in 2024. That leaves the Warriors with their picks for 2023, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029 to deal with.
The Utah Jazz got four future first round picks from the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead of Rudy Gobert. But the players they got back weren’t as strong as the Brooklyn Warriors could offer. Can the better player pack reduce the number of draft picks in the deal? That remains to be seen.
Whether the Warriors are a legitimate contender to land Durant will be revealed in the coming days or weeks. They are certainly one of the teams best equipped to meet the Brooklyn asking price.
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But would he even want to come back to a place he left because he never felt like he belonged? Would the Warriors even want to recreate the media frenzy that had descended on them from 2016 to 2019? Would Curry welcome Durant for a second time? Does it even make sense to trade all those young assets, which fit well into the Warriors system and are the future of the franchise, for a man turning 34 in September?
A reunion that seemed a “non-starter” has some legs now. Time will tell if it was all a smokescreen or if the Super Villains are getting back together.