Why Warriors, KD Reunion Would Be Irrational, Delusional originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Every time Kevin Durant is commercially available, it’s rational for every front office in the NBA to take inventory. Examine the list. Study the finances. Visualize the present and the future. And finally decide whether to participate.
For many teams, it would make perfect sense to go after Durant. The Warriors are not one of those teams.
Durant reportedly made clear his favorite destinations a few days ago when he met with Nets CEO Joe Tsai. He wanted to get out of Brooklyn. Topping his list, according to multiple reports, were the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat. There might be a third and fourth and fifth and sixth team, but there’s nothing to indicate that KD is dreaming of a reunion with the Warriors†
Except for a new report Sunday morning suggests the Warriors are “interested” in exchange for Durant.
If he wants to return to the Bay, the Warriors have one question to ask and answer: Are we ready to pawn the future to which we are so committed?
While they would clearly not break their established core – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson – there is no doubt that the Warriors have plenty of valuable possessions to close the deal. The Nets would likely seize the opportunity to acquire Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins, along with James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga.
Wiggins is 27, Poole 23, Wiseman 21 and Kuminga 19. Those four players will now form the core of the 2026-27 Warriors when Steph turns 39 and Draymond and Klay turn 37. KD turns 38.
As alluring as Durant is – he is a top 25 talent of all time – it would take the Warriors utter delusion to make such a deal.
Nearly every move the Warriors have made since November 2020, when they drafted Wiseman at age 19, has been for perpetuation. They know the core of aging is, and they want to be prepared as they get older.
So they ignored last summer’s pleas to maximize Steph’s window or risk wasting his gifts—to use lottery ticket picks as bait to pursue a major veteran of the trade.
Instead, the Warriors took a more sustainable approach. They kept their pick and put their millions into player development. They aimed high, enticing Jama Mahlalela of the Toronto Raptors and Dejan Milojević of Serbia, who are both highly regarded in coaching circles. Jama was put in charge of the PD program and ‘Deckie’ was put in charge of the great men Kevon Looney and, most acutely, Wiseman.
The results, which came from two non-playoff seasons, spoke loudly.
With a mongrel roster of established veteran winners, new vets seeking success, unproven talents, and sloppy bums looking to prove they belonged, the Warriors defied logic and won an NBA championship. Their fourth title in eight seasons.
“It culminated in three years,” team president and general manager Bob Myers said recently. “It wasn’t just one year; it was like a three-year attempt to win it again. So it wasn’t like we started the year, and last year and the year before we were good. It was like a three-year journey from the ashes to reach the top, which has many stories in it.’
The biggest of those stories is that ‘the others’ were essential to get to the top. Wiggins played at All-Star level and peaked in the postseason. Poole flashed star power. Looney had his healthiest and most productive season. Gary Payton II evolved from edge player to impact player. Otto Porter Jr. had a good year, and rookies Moses Moody and Kuminga also contributed.
The Warriors won it all as Wiseman watched from the sidelines all season and Andre Iguodala coached more than played.
The youth movement, rightly pushing the Warriors out of the role of preseason favorites or even fellow favorites, didn’t stop the prosperity.
Giving up on a second act with KD now would be an indication of erratic leadership. It would undo the progress they’ve made for a journey to Venus under the heaviest spotlight.
With their current vision, the Warriors cannot fathom such a thing. And that’s before they bother to look at the horrendous list of free agents they’d have to pick from to complete the roster.