The Golden State Warriors are reportedly "reluctant" to give up some of their young players in a blockbuster trade for the Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported Tuesday there are only a handful of "realistic trade partners" for Durant. While the Warriors are in that group, the idea of moving multiple players from the quartet of Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Moses Moody has so far been a non-starter for the reigning NBA champions.
A second stint in Golden State was an obvious option for KD after he requested from the drama-filled Nets, but whether that's the best route for the Dubs isn't an easy question to answer.
On one hand, bringing back Durant would make the Warriors the unquestioned title favorite as they look to defend their championship next season since they would not only be adding an MVP-caliber player, but also keeping him away from their chief rivals.
The 12-time All-Star, who won a pair of NBA Finals MVPs during his first run with the Warriors, is coming off a 2021-22 season with the Nets when he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.1 threes across 55 appearances.
While there's an attractiveness to going all-in while its championship window is open, Golden State is on a path toward making a fluid transition to the next generation.
Stephen Curry (34 years old), Klay Thompson (32) and Draymond Green (32) are still the core and are all playing at a high level, but that won't be the case in a few years.
The emergence of Poole (23) and the hope that a similar development will come from Wiseman (21), Moody (20) and Kuminga (19) have rightfully given Golden State pause for the KD talks.
With the Warriors having shown they can win a title with the current roster, is it really worth giving up multiple members of what could be the next core group, along with probably multiple first-round picks, to get Durant back? Perhaps not.
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported last week the Warriors' superstars are "open" to the idea of playing alongside KD again, but they aren't "pressing" the front office to make the move. If it happens, they'll gladly welcome him back.
"I mean, it's freaking Kevin Durant," a Golden State source told Thompson.
With the Warriors' foundational trio taking a neutral stance and Golden State having a legitimate chance to remain in the title conversation for the long haul, maintaining the status quo seems like the best option despite the allure of Durant's high-end talent.
It would be hard to blame the front office if a KD deal is ultimately pulled off, though.