The Warriors’ interest in a reunion with Durant was reported July 3 by Marc J. Spears of ESPN and speculation started to run rampant about the former MVP returning to play alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
“It’s no surprise to me that Warriors have interest in Kevin Durant, according to sources. So does more more than half the league,” Spears tweeted, reinforcing his reporting. “It’s KEVIN DURANT. You better make the call if you’re an NBA GM. It’s KEVIN DURANT.”
While the Warriors have the resources needed to make a blockbuster deal for Durant, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported that a trade was unlikely to go down.
“According to multiple sources in the Warriors organization, a reunion is highly unlikely. Nothing about the last three years suggests the Warriors would be willing to pay the price for a KD return,” Thompson wrote on July 3. “That price is likely (and reportedly) an All-Star-caliber player, young talent and a heap of draft picks.”
A package could conciveably be built around Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, draft picks and a combination of the other young talent the Warriors have available. However, Thompson pointed out, Wiggins’ being a part of the deal is a roadblock due to Ben Simmons’ being on the Nets’ roster. The league’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits two players who received the “designated rookie max” from being on the same team.
Warriors Stars in Touch With Kevin Durant
Though a trade might be farfetched, some of the Warriors’ stars have been in touch with Durant, per Thompson. The idea of joining forces was at least entertained by both sides.
“The Warriors superstars have been in conversations with Durant,” Thompson wrote. “In addition to catching up, the Hall of Fame-bound peers did entertain the idea of a reunion. It was mostly about the stunning nature of it even being possible.”
For Durant, it’d be a blow to his legacy after the disaster that was his Nets tenure. The star forward opened up his “The ETCs” podcast about his time with Golden State, which included a pair of titles and Finals MVPs.
“I felt like I contributed in a positive way every single second I was inside that arena,” Durant said on June 24. “From practice, shootarounds, games. So you’re not taking away this s*** from me. I’ma always hold it in high regard no matter how you try to put my old teammates against me, try to lie on my name and say I’m jealous and envious of these dudes. … I was about the group always.”
Miami, Phoenix Were on Durant’s Initial Wish List
When Durant initially requested a trade, the two teams on his wish list were the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. However, it appears the trade market has been slow out of the gate with both Durant and his co-star Kyrie Irving, who picked up his player option on June 28 but reportedly still wants out of Brooklyn.
“So far right now, there’s no traction really on deals with either Irving or Durant,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 3.
Current odds point to the Suns being the favorite to land Durant, coming in at -120, per DraftKings. The Raptors have been the surprise squad rising in the odds, rocketing up to +250, behind only Phoenix.