Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant will be staying in Brooklyn for the time being; however, just a few weeks ago it seemed as if that was an impossibility. Things have since smoothed over between the superstar forward and the Nets organization, but questions still remain. One of the biggest: How close were the Golden State Warriors to bringing KD back to The Bay?
“I was never hesitant,” Steph Curry told Rolling Stone when asked about the possibility of Durant returning to Golden State. “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… And if you said, ‘Oh, KD’s coming back, and we’re gonna play with him,’ I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ Then you have to think: What does that actually mean? What does it look like?”
I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!’Steph Curry on reuniting with Kevin Durant
There lies the reality of it all. One that Steph understands well. Could the Warriors have traded for Kevin Durant? Probably. Would it have made them an even greater Western Conference powerhouse? Undoubtedly. Considering this, was their decision to pass on a deal the right one? It likely was.
Why did the Warriors pass on KD?
One of the most talented players in NBA history, and still one of the five most dominant players in the game today, Kevin Durant is a player any team would want on their side. Having him on their side for three seasons, the Warriors know this to be true. Winning back-to-back rings with Durant in 2017 and 2018, and narrowly missing another in 2019 despite being decimated injuries, the Warriors would have been foolish to not entertain the possibility of a reunion.
“And if anybody’s saying that you wouldn’t entertain that conversation — no disrespect to anybody on our team — but you don’t know how things work,” Steph said. “But you also understand, like, if we run this thing back, I’ve got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.”
That last sentence from Steph is ultimately what seemed to guide Golden State’s thought process. Had they suffered an early exit from last year’s playoffs, perhaps they push the “all-in” button once more, and swing a deal for KD. Outside of the narrative-based analysts, few would have criticized the Warriors for making such move. That said, not only did they just win another championship without Kevin Durant, but they did it without much resistance at all.
I’ve got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.Curry on his NBA championship hopes for 2023
Burning through the Western Conference with relative ease, and taking down a Boston Celtics team in the Finals that was touted as a bad matchup, the Warriors proved to the world that they can win without Kevin Durant. Without framing it in that way, Steph Curry said it himself. He is confident they can win it all again by running it back with last year’s core.
Rather than compromising their future to reunite with Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors agreed with Steph Curry. Refusing to entertain the idea would have been foolish, but following through with it could have been equally as shortsighted. Steph and the Warriors believe they have what it takes to defend their title while also preserving their future. Acquiring Kevin Durant would improve the likelihood of a repeat, while tearing down much of the promising future Golden State has simultaneously built.
Having already proven they can win without him, why not do it again?