Even though Kevin Durant’s departure from the Golden State Warriors was far from a clean break, Steph Curry said he would do it all over again.
Curry opened up this week about reports that the Warriors had internal discussions about trading for Durant when it appeared he was on his way out of Brooklyn. Despite reports of animosity among some in the Warriors’ organization when Durant decided to bolt for the Nets, Curry said he would have embraced a reunion.
Curry Opens Up on Durant Return to Warriors
Durant had initially asked the Nets for a trade earlier this summer, but after weeks of back-and-forth that included Durant personally visiting with Brooklyn owner Joe Tsai, he changed his mind and decided to stay.
In the period where Durant was on the trade block, there were reports that several teams had shown interest. Golden State was among that group, and one rival Western Conference general manager said a trade to bring Durant back to the Bay Area made sense.
“If you can put aside all the bitterness from the two sides, it’s the easiest deal to make of anything Brooklyn is looking at right now,” the rival executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “You have three young players you can put into a deal—Moses Moody, (James) Wiseman, (Jonathan) Kuminga—and all of them have value around the NBA. Like, big value because they’re associated with the Warriors, they won a championship.”
Though the trade talks never came to pass, Curry said this week that he would have welcomed Durant back to the Warriors. Speaking to Matt Sullivan of Rolling Stone, Curry said “Hell yeah!” when asked if the trade was under consideration. And Curry added that he would have given his stamp of approval.
“There was a conversation internally amongst us about ‘If he was available, would you?’ Every team has those conversations, and obviously in our situation, they’re gonna call me and ask me, ‘How do you feel about it?’ I was never hesitant,” Curry said. “The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD’s a really good dude.”
Durant’s Legacy With Warriors Played Role in Return to Nets
Some insiders believe that Durant’s tenure with the Warriors may have played a role in his decision to ultimately return to the Nets. He was often criticized for deciding to join an already stacked Warriors team in 2016, one that had just won a title. Though they won two more with Durant on board, the criticisms remained.
When the Warriors won another title this year, the second without Durant in the last eight years, many believed it was another ding to Durant’s legacy and proved that the team didn’t need him to win.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring believes that the criticism may have played a role in Durant’s decision to return to Brooklyn.
“In a way, joining the Nets could have been seen as the best of both worlds,” he wrote. “In building a contender with Brooklyn, Durant wouldn’t be seen as a mere bandwagon-jumper the way he was by many with Golden State. Even alongside Irving, no one would struggle to ascertain who was most responsible for Brooklyn’s success.”