That the Golden State Warriors have arguably the most suitable and least complicated trade package to offer for Kevin Durant is not in dispute. How Dubs’ superstar Steph Curry feels about teaming up with him again very much is.
Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on June 30. Since that time, Curry had not spoken publicly on the idea of his former teammate returning to the Bay Area. That is, until he spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole on Friday, July 8.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP chose his words carefully and did not directly endorse or dismiss the idea of Durant putting on a Golden State uniform again in 2022-23. Curry did, however, indicate his faith in the team as currently constructed, which can be interpreted as a way of saying the Warriors don’t need Durant to win.
That sentiment is more than an opinion. It is something the franchise proved beyond a doubt by winning titles in 2015 before Durant arrived from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in 2022 after he left for the Nets.
“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 in reference to Durant. “You know how quickly things can change, but I like where we’re at.”
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Draymond Green Comes to Durant’s Defense After Trade Ask
After Marc J. Spears of ESPN broke the news on Sunday, July 3, that Golden State had inquired with the Nets about trading for Durant, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic followed up with a report that Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson had reached out to Durant individually to discuss the idea.
Thompson did not indicate how heavily the three superstars recruited Durant to the Bay Area, saying only that they discussed how surreal it was that there was even an opportunity to reunite just three years after Durant departed for the Nets. Thompson added that it was “highly unlikely” the Warriors would deal for Durant because of the extensive cost expected to acquire him, namely a draft haul and young talent including players like James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga, plus Andrew Wiggins‘ contract to make the money work.
Green added to the notion that the Warriors were seriously interested in bringing Durant back when he took to the mic on his self-titled podcast Thursday and defended his former teammate’s decision to ask out of Brooklyn.
“To start calling somebody weak and [say] they run from challenges, that’s baffling to me,” Green said. “Because [Durant] has worked his entire life to be in that position to where he controls where he goes next. And by the way, everyone in the NBA can’t control where they go next. So to be in that position, to have that opportunity to control what you do next, that’s the American dream.”
Analysts Speculate Curry, Durant Not Interested in Reunion
Curry has now officially spoken to a potential Durant return, though he said nothing definitive and only hinted that such a move is not at the top of his wish list. Durant, for his part, has indicated that the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are his preferred destinations and has not mentioned the Warriors in any context.
That silence has left members of the media to pursue their own takes, which have not been in short supply. Nick Wright of Fox Sports contended on July 4 that Curry does not want Durant back with the Warriors.
“I do not want to see Kevin Durant back on the Warriors. No one wants this,” Wright said. “I don’t want this. Steph [Curry] doesn’t want this. I’d be shocked if Kevin Durant wants this. And I know Golden State fans don’t want this.”
Colin Cowherd, also of Fox Sports, doubled down on the second half of Wright’s take, also speculating that Durant would not want to return to the Warriors, despite it being the best situation available to him.
“I don’t think he’ll go because he’s prickly, sensitive and he’d get pushback,” Cowherd said. “Kevin Durant needs Golden State far more than Golden State needs Kevin Durant. He knows it, and I don’t think he likes that.”
“I don’t think Kevin Durant has the stomach for the pushback.”