Blockbuster Trade Rumor Links Kevin Durant to Warriors for Poole, Wiggins

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant congratulates Steph Curry during a Golden State Warriors game.

The Golden State Warriors have jumped into the race for an unlikely reunion with Kevin Durant, an insider is reporting.

Close to a dozen teams have been linked to the Brooklyn Nets star since he asked for a trade, and ESPN’s Marc Spears reports that Golden State is now among that group. Spears reported on July 3 that the Warriors have shown interest, but noted that there is quite a bit of competition.

“It’s no surprise to me that Warriors have interest in Kevin Durant, according to sources,” Spears tweeted. “So does more more than half the league. It’s KEVIN DURANT. You better make the call if you’re an NBA GM. It’s KEVIN DURANT.”

It’s not clear how serious the Warriors might be in bringing back Durant, especially after his messy exit from Golden State, but Speares speculated that it would come at a franchise-altering cost.

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Warriors Would Pay Enormous Cost

Whatever team lands Durant is expected to pay a high price. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the Nets are asking for a combination of proven stars and draft picks that would help them rebuild the franchise after his exit.

“There are a number of teams that have made interesting offers,” Windhorst said. “From what I’ve been told, the Nets are telling teams that they want a young star player and they’re looking for at least three first-round draft picks.”

“That seems to be a baseline where you would start: a star player and a bevy of picks,” he added.

Dieter Kurtenbach of the Mercury News pointed out last week that the Warriors would be one of the few teams that could actually afford Durant, and Spears speculated a trade that could work for both teams. He noted that the Warriors would have to send virtually all of their promising young players — Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.

Trade Could Be Tough to Swallow for Golden State

Aside from the difficult feelings that came with Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors in 2019, the hypothetical trade could be tough for Golden State for other reasons. Under Spears’ proposal, the Warriors would be breaking up their carefully constructed future in favor of a more definite title window for the next few years.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob has repeatedly said the team doesn’t want to take that path. Before last season, there were rumors that they could trade both 2021 lottery picks to land an established star. The Warriors ended up holding onto both, taking Kuminga and Moses Moody.

Lacob explained that the Warriors were establishing two simultaneous paths — an immediate title window around the veteran players and the chance for long-term title contention built around the younger stars.

“First of all, this is the only path,” Lacob said. “There is no other path. I don’t really understand what people are talking about. We have the highest payroll in the history of the NBA by a longshot. So we are all-in. But I believe, we believe — our coaching staff and our basketball operations staff — the great teams have a combination of types of talent. You want to be able to play different ways. You want to have young players that are developing and you want to have the great ones that are already there.”

Given that the first part of the plan already worked, with the Warriors winning the title last season, it could be difficult for them to blow up the future path for the chance at landing Durant.

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