The February 9 trade deadline should be the Golden State Warriors’ top priority right now. They’ve struggled all season long, and now, Kyrie Irving is in their conference, too. However, that also means there is a chance that Kevin Durant will become available.
And while the Warriors may not be able to pull off a deal this year, sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports urged them to hold onto their young pieces and push for a Durant trade this summer.
“I think Golden State is a good example of that,” the GM told Deveney. “They’ve got these young guys and some people in that organization want to hang onto them, some want to move off them and win now. Lie, trade them on Thursday. But that is probably not going to happen, and the middle road is, hang on to them for this year and if they don’t pull things together, use them to go and make an offer for KD. They’d love to bring KD back to finish out his career with Steph and Klay [Thompson].”
Obviously, Durant had a ton of success during his last stint with the Warriors, winning two championships in three years. Plus, his relationship with Steph Curry would only make things easier. He would immediately thrust them back into the realm of title contention.
If the Brooklyn Nets fail to effectively compete in the Eastern Conference this year, Durant could end up wanting out (again) this offseason. In that case, the Warriors would be able to push their chips on the table and attempt to make a move.
Before his MCL injury, Durant was playing at an MVP level this year. He has appeared in 39 of the team’s 52 games this season and is playing 36.0 minutes per contest. Durant is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game on 55.9% shooting from the field and 37.6% shooting from behind the three-point line.
‘Makes Sense’ to Trade Andrew Wiggins
As for how the Warriors would make a deal work, a trade for Durant would, unfortunately, have to include one of their core players, as they would need to match Durant’s salary. According to NBC Sports, however, it would “make sense” to move Andrew Wiggins in a potential Durant trade.
“Such a deal would put the Warriors in a tough situation as they’d have to send a big contract back, and Green and Andrew Wiggins probably make the most sense over Jordan Poole,” wrote NBC Sports. “Departing with a cohort of youngsters like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, to name a few, might be a necessity, too.”
Warriors Have ‘Painful Decisions to Make
With the fate of their season on the line, this trade deadline will be very important for the Warriors. According to Daniel Thorpe of True Hoop, there are some “painful decisions” in their future.
“There’s an argument, of course, for the Warriors to exercise patience through the postseason,” Thorpe wrote. “Don’t forget that their starting five from last June—[Stephen] Curry, [Klay] Thompson, Wiggins, Green, Looney—has the second-best net rating among all starting lineups this season. Maybe the young guys can figure it out. If not, take a first-round loss on the chin, and then put everyone but Curry up for grabs this summer. They could renovate quickly by cashing in on big names, even if it cost them next-stage darlings like Poole, Wiggins, or Kevon Looney. Not sure how Dubs Nation would feel about that, but no matter what happens, painful decisions are coming.”