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Golden State Warriors ‘reluctant’ to meet asking price in Kevin Durant trade

Vincent Frank

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors have been among the teams most linked to Kevin Durant in trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets.

In one sense, it makes sense. Golden State has the young assets and draft picks to offer up for their former star forward. In fact, those pieces are pretty much better than 80% of the league can entice Brooklyn with.

On the other hand, these Warriors are coming off their fourth title in eight years and have built a tremendously talented young core behind the big three. Why would the team want to give up its future for a soon-to-be 34-year-old with recent injury issues?

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Golden State is reluctant to give up the assets it would take to acquire KD from Brooklyn.

“The Warriors have several young assets on paper, including Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Moses Moody, but Golden State would be reluctant to give up all these assets in a Durant trade proposal, HoopsHype has learned.”

Report on GOlden State Warriors interest in Kevin Durant

Outside of those four names mentioned above, All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins would have to be involved to make the finances work. However, a third team would also have to get in the mix. NBA rules prohibit a team from having two players under rookie-level max contracts. Short of the Nets trading Ben Simmons, they would not be able to bring in Wiggins.

Related: Kevin Durant and updated NBA trade rumors

Kevin Durant never really made sense for the Golden State Warriors

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly after Durant’s trade request was made public record, reports surfaced that he had spoken to the Warriors’ big three (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) about a potential reunion in San Francisco.

To an extent, it makes sense. Prior to leaving Golden State ahead of the 2019-20 season, Durant enjoyed a ton of success in three years with the Warriors. That included three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two championships.

The issue here is roster construction. After boasting a record $346 million payroll a season ago, the Warriors’ brass is trying to find a happy medium between short-term contention and long-term success. It worked out extremely well in 2021-22, and there’s no reason to believe this won’t continue.

Related: Golden State Warriors standing in our most-recent NBA power rankings

In particular, Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga seem to be keepers. Poole, 23, is coming off a breakout third season in the NBA and could be signed to a lucrative long-term extension this summer. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old Kuminga displayed flashes of brilliance as a rookie last season.

The presence of Wiggins in any potential trade would also be troublesome in that the former No. 1 pick is coming off his first All-Star appearance and was the Golden State Warriors’ second-best player in the 2022 NBA Finals behind Stephen Curry.

The internal question for Golden State is rather obvious. Does it make sense to guarantee championship contention over the next two or three years at the cost of the team’s long-term relevance? At least right now, the brass is pushing back against presenting that “godfather” offer to pry KD from the Big Apple.