Could Kevin Durant actually return to the Warriors?
It appears quite unlikely.
While Durant considers his future with the Brooklyn Nets amid reports that teammate Kyrie Irving could find a new home this summer, media members and fans alike wondered whether KD could return to the Bay.
Durant has four years left on his contract, but rumors have swirled that the superstar could demand a trade if Irving leaves town.
But while all 29 teams surely would check in on what it would take to land Durant if he were to become available, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported Monday that it would be extremely unlikely if he returned to Golden State.
“Don’t hold your breath for a Warriors reunion, as all signs point to that being a total non-starter. But almost everywhere else, it’s safe to assume the Durant market would be robust,” Amick wrote in a column with Joe Vardon and Adam Schiffer in discussing the future of Irving and Durant.
With the Warriors fresh off their fourth title in eight seasons and first since Durant left the organization after the 2018-19 season, it was always the longest of longshots for Durant to return to the Bay Area. While KD seems to have left the franchise on amicable-enough terms, there still likely is some lingering tension from his inability to commit fully to the organization long term, leading to his much-publicized shouting match with Draymond Green in November of 2018.
While the history makes such a reunion unlikely, the ironic thing is that the Warriors - despite relying on the veteran core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Green - could put together one of the better hypothetical trade packages for Durant.
Some combination of Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, Moses Moody and/or first-round picks would likely be one of the better deals the Nets might receive in exchange for the future Hall of Famer.
But ultimately, it seems likely that Durant will either stay in Brooklyn or find a new home elsewhere. Both sides probably are OK with that, with Durant continuing to build his resume out of the shadow of Curry and the Warriors looking to repeat as champions with the squad they have.