A return to the Golden State Warriors for Kevin Durant seemed to be in the realm of possibility after the Brooklyn Nets star made his trade request, but those whispers just received a healthy douse of cold water.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers downplayed the possibility of a trade for Durant in a pre-ESPYs interview with NBA.com’s Mark Medina on Wednesday:
“I like our team and where it’s at,” Myers told NBA.com. “I want to give the guys a chance to do it again … It’s a good group. We’re lucky. It’ll be fun to see.”
Those do not sound like the words of a man planning to blow up his roster to acquire a superstar in exchange for a litany of young players and draft picks.
The Warriors’ stars had previously been reported to be in contact with Durant and “open” to the possibility of a trade if the stars aligned, but also content to hold onto their young core and go for another title.
What would Kevin Durant cost for the Warriors?
Despite winning an NBA title last season, the Warriors also seemed to be one of the teams positioned to assemble a competitive offer for the former MVP.
You can start with Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, two younger players who played major roles in the team’s championship run and are due to new contracts after next season. Wiggins is set to be an unrestricted free agent, while Poole will be a restricted free agent.
Behind that pair, the Warriors also have three former top 10 picks over the last two years in James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. All three have shown NBA starter potential, though Wiseman missed all of the last season due to a meniscus tear.
The Warriors still own all of the future first-round draft picks except for 2024, which the Grizzlies have thanks to the trade that sent Andre Iguodala to Memphis back in 2019.
Those are a lot of potential pieces with a healthy range of immediate and future value, but the Warriors also might not be jumping at the chance to again mortgage their future to build a superteam for a few years, especially when Stephen Curry is 34 years old , Durant is 33 and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are both 32.
Bringing in Durant would also push the team even deeper into the luxury tax, something team owner Joe Lacob is already complaining about.