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Kevin Durant Fond Of Warriors; Clippers Loom

The Warriors would be “significant” front-runners for Kevin Durant should he leave the Thunder this summer, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports, who places emphasis on the word “significant.” Still, the former MVP isn’t leaning one way or another toward staying or leaving Oklahoma City, Wojnarowski adds. The Wizards, Rockets and Heat still loom as likely suitors, but the Clippers are determined to make a push for him and wouldn’t hesitate to trade Blake Griffin to facilitate the acquisition of Durant, as Wojnarowski details.

Durant wants to win titles and create a legacy, Wojnarowski writes, and the Warriors, the defending champions who sit at 44-4 this season, would give him a strong chance to do so. Draymond Green is on board with the move and is expected to recruit Durant this summer, though Stephen Curry, given his talent and personality, would be the most persuasive voice, Wojnarowski adds, nonetheless leaving it unclear whether Curry is expected to go as hard after Durant as Green is.

Golden State has long eyed Durant’s upcoming free agency, Wojnarowski notes, and so has much of the rest of the NBA, of course. The Warriors nonetheless have a reputation for aiming high, and Harrison Barnes, set for restricted free agency at season’s end, looms as a sign-and-trade chip, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group has pointed out.

The Warriors have close to $75MM committed for next season against a salary cap that’s projected to come in at $89MM, and with Durant’s maximum salary projected at $24.9MM, that creates a financial road block. However, Wojnarowski’s Vertical colleague Bobby Marks lays out a hypothetical scenario in which the Warriors trade Andre Iguodala, waive and stretch Andrew Bogut, waive and stretch Jason Thompson, renounce their rights to and elect against a qualifying offer for Barnes and renounce other cap holds to create enough cap room to sign Durant outright.

The Clippers, with close to $78MM in guaranteed salary for next season, would need to perform similar cap gymnastics to open the space necessary to sign Durant, making the sign-and-trade a more viable option. The Thunder wouldn’t go for a sign-and-trade unless they knew Durant was leaving, according to Wojnarowski, who nonetheless points out that Griffin, who starred for the University of Oklahoma, is an Oklahoma native. Teams are already calling the Clippers to inquire about trading for the injured Griffin, but coach/executive Doc Rivers appears set on keeping him and seeing how the team performs in the postseason, Wojnarowski writes.

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18 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Fond Of Warriors; Clippers Loom

  1. Daniel

    Should the Mavericks be on KD too? I mean they need to see if they can sign him for next season. KD along with Dirk and having Parsons on the bench as a sixth man. Who knows

  2. Steve in Chicago

    And who is leaving to make room on the Ws roster? How much of a pay cut will he take? Seems like head fake / negotiating ploy.

    • TJECK109

      He can go to any team he wants. He doesn’t need to pick one team and use them as a ploy. If KD wants to go to that team he can make it work; if not he will go where the money is

      • Steve in Chicago

        He doesn’t want to go anywhere. He wants OKC to do a Cleveland for him and try to buy him a championship, or maybe let him choose the coach.

  3. dstuart

    KD is great. I absolutely love the Durantula. But why on earth would the Warriors absolutely dismantle their core roster for one player? I understand that money is a factor but it could always turn into a mini Lakers situation a la Kobe Bryant. Nevertheless, a starting five of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Draymond, and maybe a Festus Ezeli would be hard to contend with.

    • Jason Champion

      Preach.

  4. Z.....

    I’ve been saying OKC or GS for over 2 years. My math was off though. Maybe it’s b/c I haven’t looked since they added Jason Thompson in the David Lee deal, instead of having that money come off the books this year. I thought they could keep Barnes too if they gave Durant slightly less than the max, and got rid of Bogut, letting Livingston walk. Now they’re also going to have to figure out Ezili, since he has finally showed his ability since the playoffs

  5. The Warriors should never make this trade. Durant has everything he needs in OKC, they’ve just never been healthy enough to figure it out. Bogut and Iggy have a good few years left and Shaun gives them a different offensive game plan when he checks in. HB does all the little things well enough to slot in as the glue man.
    I don’t have any faith in Billy Donovan and think a coaching shakeup could have the Thunder rolling

    • adshadbolt

      It’s not a trade it’s a free agent signing

      • That’s what I mean…

        • And it is, in effect, a trade… Letting key players walk in order to usher KD in

  6. Dave4585

    That wouldn’t even be right Jesus, with these higher caps this is your future NBA. A handful of teams that lure 3-4 top players while the rest of the teams have no shot at all

    • 10000%. This new, let’s go and make star teams is a cop-out.

  7. Dana Gauruder

    I don’t how you can get any better than the Warriors already are but securing Durant would guarantee at least five more years of championship-caliber teams.

  8. In my opinion, if Durant cares about legacy, going to GS wouldn’t be helping it (he would win rings, but his legacy would be slightly tarnished). Reason being, when LeBron went to Miami with Bosh to team up with Wade, people were criticizing the trio (or atleast LeBron and Bosh since they didn’t have a ring yet) because they needed to team up with other superstars to win. If fans/former players are going to criticize LeBron for needing two other superstars to win it all, Durant should be critized too. I personally think its stupid to criticize guys for trying to team up to win championships and I have nothing against Durant, LeBron or GS, but like i said, if LeBron is going to get criticized for teaming up to win rings, then Durant should too.

    • BayAreaSportsFan

      Golden state doesn’t have any “teamed up superstars”. Even curry was relatively unknown before last year.

  9. They could do it under the new cap figure. Hell they could trade Thompson back to the Sixers along with a 1st round pick for a fictitious player lmao.

  10. Durant needs to win a championship being the leader of his own team. Jumping on a “loaded” team that has already recently won a championship, maybe even two by next year would diminish the accomplishment. Plus he’d look better in purple and gold;)

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