The Golden State Warriors are reportedly interested in bringing back Kevin Durant. ESPN's Brian Windhorst says such a move is possible and is indeed being discussed by the Warriors. But should the reigning NBA champs actually reacquire the 33-year-old 12-time All-Star? The price is going to be incredible high and Golden State might not be willing to meet it.
The Brooklyn Nets would demand a massive haul in exchange for Durant. The Warriors would almost certainly have to surrender Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman to start. They would also likely have to include draft picks in the deal. Andrew Wiggins might also have to go to Brooklyn to make the salaries work, unless a third team was involved.
Would the Warriors really be willing to give up Poole, Kuminga and Wiseman? Those are three young, cheap players who could be the future of the franchise as Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson age. Curry is 34, while Thompson and Green are both 32. The Warriors' title window is still wide open, but they would certainly put a hard cap on it by dumping their young players.
Durant would make the Warriors favorites to win the NBA title for each of the next few seasons. But the bench would be thin, and Curry, Thompson and Durant have all battled injuries as they've gotten older. Poole averaged 18.5 points and 4.0 assists per game during the 2021-22 campaign. Given the Warriors' cap situation, they won't find a comparable replacement. Kuminga is all upside at 19 years old and the 21-year-old Wiseman oozes potential despite limited action during his career.
Durant absolutely makes the Warriors better in the short term. But it's really hard for me to see them parting with all that young talent to roll the dice on the next two seasons. They won a title without Durant this season, there's no reason they couldn't win again without him next year.