Kevin Durant-Warriors reunion unlikely as Nets remain patient


LAS VEGAS — Having the entire NBA together in close proximity didn’t seem to reignite Nets trade talks for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The chatter surrounding a Durant return to Golden State is fading, with a Warriors reunion seeming more melancholic than reality.


While first ESPN and then The Athletic posited a mutual interest in Golden State’s trade for Durant, now ESPN and The Ringer have backed off somewhat, drowning out all expectations.

And Steph Curry, who won Finals MVP three weeks ago by leading the Warriors to their fourth championship in eight seasons, addressed the Durant speculation without addressing the Nets star by name.

“The rumor mill and all that is the nature of the NBA and the league. You take it for what it is,” Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area. change, but I like where we are.”

Curry was speaking at the American Championship Golf Tournament of the Century in South Lake Tahoe and seemed perfectly comfortable with his champions standing tall and not gutting their depth or mortgaging their futures for Durant.

Kevin Durant
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Any deal for Durant would likely include not only a slew of first-round picks and trades, but — for pay consideration purposes — Jonathan Kuminga, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins.

Poole averaged more than 25 points in the final weeks of last season to carry Golden State when Curry was absent, while Moses Moody had 34 points in Friday night’s Summer League game against the Knicks.

“There’s a lot of confidence in that,” Curry said of the young Golden State talent. “There’s a lot of optimism, a lot of energy, about where we’re going.”

It’s well known that the Nets can’t trade for Wiggins – on a rookie extension – while Ben Simmons is on their roster, as the latter is on the same type of deal. This would require either moving Simmons or building a three-team trade and sending Wiggins there for whatever assets they can get.

That’s the kind of talk Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai will have with a host of other teams in Las Vegas, including Warriors general manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob.

But right now, any deal for Durant — whether Golden State or elsewhere — is just in the talking stage, and probably of the not-too-serious kind.

Kevin Durant, right, and Steph Curry with the Warriors.
Kevin Durant, right, and Steph Curry with the Warriors.

“You know what that answer will be,” Lacob told Athletic, “that is, we will always look at all opportunities to improve. The question you have to ask yourself is: better in the short term, better in the medium term or better in the long term?

“There are some options to build the team, if we were to pivot in some way, in a partial way, that could give us an even higher advantage in the short term, but could diminish in the long term. These are so the things that [general manager] Bob [Myers] and the group must all examine and determine which is the right path.

“There’s always – if it’s not the player you’re referring to – there will be an ‘X’ player. That’s the only thing about the NBA… It’s just amazing how these things seem to happen. produce every year. And we will always look to improve our team to try and win a championship. And if we thought that was something better for the team to do, we would do it. You know, we have to weigh the court term, long term and all that. We have to weigh the financial obligations in both scenarios. But we will do all of that and make the decision that we think is best.

The Nets are still expected to look to move Durant before Irving, partly because the Lakers appear to be the only market for the point guard and also because of the possibility of having to take over Russell Westbrook’s huge contract. . The Lakers have so far been unwilling to part with a single first-round pick, according to Substack.

LeBron James becomes eligible for his extension on August 4, and that delay could start to put pressure on LA