NBA All-Star Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The All-NBA forward will be entering the first year of a 4-year/ $198 million max contract extension at the start of next season. The lucky winner of the sweepstakes for the Nets star will be getting him for the remainder of his prime.
Durant has been on the trade market for less than a week, and rival teams are already knocking down the Nets’ door in hopes of landing him. Whatever team can acquire Durant will be among the top title contenders next season. But it’s not just teams who are on the cusp of being contenders looking for Durant’s services. The top teams are also poking around to see what it would take to land the Nets star in a potential deal. Adding him to a roster that is already good enough to contend could be the key to jumpstarting the NBA’s next great dynasty.
NBA insider Marcus Thompson of “The Athletic” says that the Warriors superstars (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson) have been in contact with Durant about a potential reunion this offseason. Even though they are less than a month removed from acquiring their fourth title since 2015, adding a player of his caliber would only increase their chances of defending their crown.
“The Warriors superstars have been in conversations with Durant. In addition to catching up, the Hall of Fame-bound peers did entertain the idea of a reunion,” Thompson writes.
“It was mostly about the stunning nature of it even being possible. The idea of them playing together again had to seem impossible when Durant left in free agency in 2019. It isn’t lost on them how life has contrived an opportunity for them to come full circle. They see it, like everyone else, and talked about it, like everyone else.”
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Thompson: Durant, Warriors Reunion Has ‘Seductive’ Potential
Durant won back-to-back titles with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. And many would argue if not for a catastrophic storm of injuries in the 2019 playoffs the Warriors could have secured the NBA’s first three-peat since the Kobe and Shaq Lakers did it from 2000-2002. Now with the championship core that enticed Durant to join the Warriors in 2016 back together, healthy, and primed for a repeat, the thought of adding him back to that formula could help them settle some unfinished business.
“The championship potential is what’s so seductive about a Durant return. As was the case back in 2016, the allure of racking up titles at mythical levels is intoxicating and the Warriors’ championship core prides itself on putting its ego aside for the sake of winning,” Thompson continues.
“It would make sense for Durant to look favorably upon their past dominance and rapport as a quartet after the chaos and futility of his three seasons in Brooklyn.”
Durant, Warriors Have Nothing Left to Prove
As much as a potential Durant, Warriors reunion, may seem like Deja Vu, it would be much different from when he joined the franchise in 2016 free agency. For one, this time around, the Warriors are the defending champs. And Durant, a two-time Finals MVP, has already shown he has the ability to lead a team to the promised land. In Layman’s terms, neither Durant nor the Warriors have a thing to prove to anybody.
In addition, Durant is approaching the wrong side of his 30’s. And after suffering a near career-ending Achilles rupture, and two long-term injuries in both 2021 and 2022, there is no telling how long he can compete at this high of a level. With all that he has sacrificed throughout his career, Durant deserves to compete for championships. And the Nets’ reluctance to fulfill his request of signing Kyrie to a max extension, has demonstrated that winning titles is not a priority for Brooklyn.