Kevin Durant is still in Brooklyn after his trade request dominated the news for most of the summer. No one was willing to meet the Nets‘ high asking price, but Stephen Curry tells Matt Sullivan of Rolling Stone that he would have gladly welcomed Durant back to the Warriors.
Golden State was believed to be in a strong position to bid for Durant because of the team’s collection of young talent and draft assets. Curry revealed that there was “a conversation internally” involving Warriors management and selected players about pursuing a trade, and he was completely on board.
“I was never hesitant,” Curry said. “The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD’s a really good dude. I think he is misunderstood. I think he has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times. So all of those things, I understand, having played with him and gotten to know him. I love that dude.
“And if you said, ‘Oh, KD’s coming back, and we’re gonna play with him,’ I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ Then you have to think: What does that actually mean? What does it look like? You tell me I’m playing with [Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Draymond Green], I’m like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ There’s all types of emotion and things that happen to the league. And if anybody’s saying that you wouldn’t entertain that conversation — no disrespect to anybody on our team — but you don’t know how things work. But you also understand, like, if we run this thing back, I’ve got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.
“So, all those things were true. And it started with me wanting to play with KD at the beginning. Yeah, it’s about winning, it’s about having fun, playing the game of basketball. And that was part of the reaction of, like, ‘Yeah, it’d be amazing.’ What does that actually mean?”
The Warriors were extremely successful during Durant’s three years with the franchise, winning two NBA titles and losing in the 2019 Finals amid bad luck with injuries. He averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists over those three seasons and was named Finals MVP in 2017 and 2018.
However, Durant was heavily criticized for his 2016 free agency decision to join Warriors, who were coming off a record-setting regular season and a seven-game loss in the NBA Finals. There were also outward signs of unhappiness, especially in his final year in the Bay Area. Durant ultimately made the decision to head to Brooklyn when he became a free agent again after the 2018/19 season.
One of Durant’s current Nets teammates is Seth Curry, who said he talked to his brother about the possibility of Durant returning to Golden State.
“For him to even be entertaining the thought of having KD back on the team kind of speaks to his character,” Seth told Rolling Stone in July. “Who knows? I might be in the trade with him.”
Sullivan also recounts a conversation that Stephen Curry had with Snoop Dogg regarding what Curry viewed as Durant’s unrealistic expectations of how much talent a team would have remaining after trading for him. Curry concluded that under the circumstances, Durant’s best move was to stay with Brooklyn.