Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the franchise. The All-NBA forward has decided to call it quits in Brooklyn after a tumultuous three seasons where they haven’t been able to make it out of the second round of the playoffs.
With one of the brightest stars in the NBA now on the trading block, teams are scrambling to put together packages in hopes of landing the 12-time All-Star. Among his suitors is his former team, the Golden State Warriors, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
“It’s no surprise to me that Warriors have interest in Kevin Durant, according to sources,” Spears tweeted on July 3.“So does more than half the league. It’s KEVIN DURANT. You better make the call if you’re an NBA GM. It’s KEVIN DURANT.”
However, Warriors star Stephen Curry says that the rumors of a potential Kevin Durant reunion are exactly that. Just rumors. And quite frankly, he is satisfied with the makeup of their current roster.
“The rumor mill and all that stuff is part of the nature of the NBA and league. You take it for what it is,” Curry said of the Durant rumors to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area on July 8. “You know how quickly things can change, but I like where we’re at.”
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NBA Exec: Warriors Can Put Together ‘Easiest’ Durant Package
Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks have decided to honor Durant’s trade request. But they have been firm in their stance of not moving him unless they get a substantial trade package in return. The irony of Durant’s trade request is that his ex-team can offer the best trade package for him. With a coop of young players with a high ceiling and an established All-Star in Andrew Wiggins, Golden State can put together a package that could pique the Nets’ interest.
One NBA executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that the Warriors acquiring Durant is the ‘easiest’ deal to make.
“If you can put aside all the bitterness from the two sides, it’s the easiest deal to make of anything Brooklyn is looking at right now. You have three young players you can put into a deal — Moses Moody, (James) Wiseman, (Jonathan) Kuminga — and all of them have value around the NBA. Like, big value because they’re associated with the Warriors, they won a championship,” the executive said to Deveney.
“You don’t have to give up all three. You’ve got two rookies that teams like coming in [with] Patrick Baldwin and (Ryan) Rollins. They can’t make deals with those guys until later if they sign. They only owe one pick (in 2024) going forward, they can load up on picks. And you have a guy who can match salaries, Andrew Wiggins.”
Durant Can Make Any Team a Contender
Per Stat Muse, Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game. His 29.9 points per game average would have ranked fourth place among all NBA scorers, but he did not play the required league minimum of 58 games due to injury.
Even though Durant is creeping up on the wrong side of his 30s, whatever team he joins is almost guaranteed to become a title contender. And adding him to a Warriors team that is barely a month removed from an NBA title could spell trouble for the rest of the league. Whatever team gets Durant, will have him until he is 37 years old, the same age LeBron James is now. The Warriors will have to sell high to get him. It will be interesting to see if they take the risk.