At the beginning of the NBA free agency period on June 30th, All-Star forward Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after just three seasons. Durant, one of the most talented players in the NBA, had every team salivating at the prospect of adding him to their roster in hopes of delivering a title. But Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai have played hardball with the looming trade of their star. They have made it well-known that landing Durant in a potential trade will come at a hefty price.
Ironically Durant’s former team, the Golden State Warriors, can offer the best trade package for him. Young players with high ceilings such as Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and Andrew Wiggins, can help the Warriors put together a substantial haul for Durant. But even with the Warriors having the pieces to trade, ESPN’s Zach Lowe says that the Nets are not high on any of Golden State’s young stars.
“[The Warriors] are actually set up to … they have more flexibility. trade-wise, not financially. Financially, they are breaking all the barriers, but have more flexibility trade-wise than most teams. That’s where you would negotiate. You would end up keeping a Kuminga or a Moody,” Lowe said to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews on the July 22nd episode of “The Lowe Post”.
“The issues are Wiggins and Simmons. You run into the designated rookie fiasco. The intel I have is that the Nets are not super high on Wiggins or Poole as a sort of centerpiece player. Then you get to the other guys who are relatively unproven in the NBA. So, I don’t know if there ever really was a deal there that the Nets would have done. Obviously, you have to explore it if you’re the Warriors.”
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Warriors GM Wants to Give Team Chance to Defend Title
The Warriors are just over a month removed from winning their fourth title since 2015. As defending NBA champions, they don’t need Durant. In addition, having so many young players who have shown promise could make them contenders even after the Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green era ends. Warriors general manager Bob Myers wants to allow the current team to defend their title.
“I like our team and where it’s at. I want to give the guys a chance to do it again,” Myers said to NBA.com’s Mark Medina.
“It’s a good group. We’re lucky. It’ll be fun to see. We were really hunting last year. Now I guess we’re back to being the hunted, which I didn’t think we’d be. We’ll see. I think we can handle it.”
Durant’s trade request from the Nets received heavy criticism after failing to get out of the second round the past two seasons. But the star forward has an unlikely ally in his former teammate Draymond Green, who believes the criticism he has received for wanting out of Brooklyn is unwarranted.
Draymond Green Comes to Durant’s Defense
“If Kevin Durant says, I actually don’t wanna be here anymore, I wanna go somewhere else, why does it matter? Why does that make you weak? Why does that make him – mean he’s running from something? I don’t understand that,” Green said on his self-named podcast.
“That’s the next step in his career. Again, I always go back to saying if someone leaves Google to go to Apple after three or four years, and then they leave Apple after two years to go to Tesla, No one is going to say that person ran.”
Trade talks for Durant have hit a standstill, and the opening of NBA training camp is closer than it appears. It will be interesting to see what roster Durant will be on opening night.