Three years to the day that Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets, he is ready to be done in Brooklyn.
And, after the Warriors won a championship without him this year, might he want to come back out West and take the Warriors down himself?
Multiple media reports just before noon Pacific on Thursday, said Durant requested a trade from the Nets earlier Thursday and has listed the Phoenix Suns as “a preferred trade destination,” according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Durant, who will be 34 by the start of the 2022-23 season, has four guaranteed years remaining on the extension he signed with Brooklyn, with no options or opt-out clauses involved. The guaranteed years will make him one of the most in-demand trade targets in NBA history, even with his age.
Among the various teams interested in making a move for Durant include the Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and likely several more. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Phoenix and Miami are seen as “among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list,” and Oakland native Damian Lillard has recently posted photoshopped images of himself and Durant in Blazers uniforms.
Could the Warriors be one of those teams? Golden State could bring back the mercurial superstar with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green three years after he left them. The Warriors could package All-Star Andrew Wiggins and a few of their recent top draft picks (James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Patrick Baldwin Jr.) to entice Brooklyn into making the trade. But the move is seen as extremely unlikely.
Durant left the Warriors after tearing his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, signing with Brooklyn with the knowledge that he would not play in the 2019-20 season. He returned in 2020-21 and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals, losing in Game 7 to the eventual champion Bucks. In 2021-22, Durant and the Nets were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics, who would lose in the NBA Finals to … the Warriors.
Only time will tell if that will happen. But with NBA free agency kicking off at 3 p.m. Pacific on Thursday, Durant has stolen the headlines from everyone else around the association — just like he did on June 30, 2019, when he announced he was leaving the Warriors for Brooklyn.
Anyone else feeling déjà vu, too?
Contributed by local news sources