Why the Warriors are a dark horse for Kevin Durant

The Golden State Warriors And Kevin Durant had a very successful three-year relationship together. The Warriors and KD won two championships, and KD took home Finals MVP twice. Although the relationship did end in tragedy as KD tore his Achilles, he is back to his old self now.

With KD requesting a trade, I’m sure every single team is lined up to offer anything they can to pry KD from the Brooklyn Nets.

But according to Adrian Wojnarowski, of ESPN, “The Nets think this should look like one of the biggest trade returns in league history.”

The Nets have apparently asked the Minnesota Timberwolves for Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and four first-round picks. They asked the Phoenix Suns to have Devin Booker included a deal as well. Both of these trades are pretty unrealistic of course.

This is where the Warriors could possibly come in.

“If you listened to what I said before I said ‘just keep an eye on the Warriors.’ I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but they got the best assets,” said Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “They don’t have the best draft assets, but in terms of young talent, in terms of having an All-Star, future All-Star, potential players, that’s what the Nets are looking for. So if you’re getting a group of really talented young players, what do you need draft picks for. They’re better than draft picks.”

The Warriors offer young talent that is more valuable than a draft pick. A draft pick contains a certain level of risk, young talent like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, James Wiseman, and Jordan Poole is hard to find.

Although many Warrior fans don’t want to see the young talent dealt away, this may be an avenue for the Warriors’ front office ventures down because it would be difficult to pay Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole a max contract.

As of right now, the Warrior’s payroll sits at a staggering $346.2 million. A max contract to Wiggins and Poole surely gets that number to the $400-500 million range.

“I’m going to tell you your numbers are kind of messed up. We’ll just say that,” said Joe Lacob, the majority owner of the Warriors on Tim Kawakami’s podcast. “You were throwing numbers out like $400, $500 [million]. Those numbers are not even remotely possible. It’s just not. I’m already in trouble with the rest of the league.”

Lacob’s hesitancy about paying the Warriors’ core is no surprise. Obviously, after winning the championship, the first thing fans want the front office to do, is lock up the core to make another run. But that is a very difficult task for Bob Meyers, the Warriors GM, to do. It’s not impossible, but it’s very unlikely the Warriors are able to secure both Poole and Wiggins to a long-term max deal.

So trading a combination of Wiggins, Kuminga, Poole, Wiseman, and or Moody for KD is on the table.

Graphic made by: Spencer Fielding

There are numerous complications to a KD deal though. Wiggins can only be dealt if Ben Simmons is not on the Nets roster due to a rookie contract rule, where each team is allowed to trade for a player on a rookie extension. Wiggins and Simmons are both on their rookie extensions at the moment. So for Wiggins to be included, he would need to be dealt to the Warriors, another team, or a separate deal altogether.

A potential trade could look like: Kuminga, Poole, Wiseman, Wiggins, and 2-3 first-round picks for Kevin Durant. Ben Simmons would need to be traded in this deal or another entirely.

The Nets seem very adamant about getting the best and biggest deal in league history for their NBA superstar, as they should. But teams will likely not entertain such staggering prices because the Nets are essentially asking teams to gut their current rosters for a 33-year-old forward (34 in September), who has had his fair share of injuries over the past few years.

The Warriors may strike a deal when the Nets get desperate to move KD since they are already in the process of trying to deal with Kyrie Irving. The Nets definitely have their work cut out for them this offseason.

Many NBA fans will look back on this Nets team as one of the biggest failures in NBA history. From gutting their youth for James Harden to losing their big three in a year. This Nets team shows why chemistry needs to be had with the entire team, not just the core.

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