Warriors’ reunion with Kevin Durant ‘highly unlikely’

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Report: Warriors-Kevin Durant reunion ‘highly unlikely’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

It doesn’t appear likely that Kevin Durant will be returning to the Warriors this offseason.

After Durant officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on June 30, many teams were floated as potential suitors, including Golden State. Shortly after news broke of Durant’s trade request, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said Thursday on “NBA Today” that the Warriors “ironically” have the ideal package in a trade for Durant, which could include a handful of young, exciting players, All-Star Andrew Wiggins and plenty of picks.

Andscape’s Marc J. Spears then reported on Sunday, citing sources, that the Warriors — and many other teams — have interest in a reunion with Durant.

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Even as feasible as it might be for Golden State to reunite with the two-time NBA Finals MVP, The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II, citing sources, reported Sunday night that a trade for Durant was “highly unlikely.”

“With that said, according to multiple sources in the Warriors organization, a reunion is highly unlikely,” Thompson writes. “Nothing about the last three years suggests the Warriors would be willing to pay the price for a KD return. That price is likely (and reportedly) an All-Star-caliber player, young talent and a heap of draft picks.”

As mentioned, the price for Durant reportedly could include an All-Star-caliber player (Wiggins), young talent (either James Wiseman, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga or Jordan Poole) and picks. Where things get complicated, though, is with Wiggins. Thompson mentions in his report that Wiggins cannot be traded to Brooklyn while Ben Simmons remains on the roster, due to the NBA’s rule in the CBA that prohibits a team from having two players that received “Designated Rookie Max” deals on the same team.

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Even if a trade is possible, would the Warriors — who just won another title without Durant — welcome him back? That doesn’t appear to be an issue whatsoever.

“The other major question: If a trade is possible, would the leaders of the locker room welcome Durant? According to multiple sources, they would, for the same reason they embraced him in 2016,” Thompson added.

“I mean,” one source said, “it’s freaking Kevin Durant.”

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With all that said, what probably is the most important factor is Durant’s desire to return to the Warriors. It was his decision to leave Golden State in 2019 and his decision to leave the Nets this summer. The Warriors could have all the interest in the world and offer a competitive package, but at the end of the day, Durant himself essentially controls where he wants to go.

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If it ends up being the Warriors — again — we can expect that the rest of the league won’t be too happy … again.

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