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Kevin Durant Recruited Breanna Stewart to Join Liberty to Form 'Incredible Dynasty'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2023

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 06: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 06, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant made a sales pitch to WNBA free agent Breanna Stewart on assembling a dynamic duo in the Big Apple.

Durant said Monday on his podcast he reached out to the two-time WNBA champion to say the New York Liberty could have an "incredible dynasty" with her in the fold.

Boardroom @boardroom

.<a href="https://twitter.com/KDTrey5?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KDTrey5</a> REALLY wants Breanna Stewart to join the New York Liberty. 🗽👀<br><br>"I hit [Breanna Stewart] the other day, and I never do this, and was like, 'Yo, it would be an incredible dynasty in New York City if you came here.'" <a href="https://t.co/BTnCtkETJW">pic.twitter.com/BTnCtkETJW</a>

Winsidr's Rachel Galligan and ESPN's M.A. Voepel reported the Liberty and Seattle Storm are the remaining finalists to sign Stewart.

The reigning champion Las Vegas Aces will likely be the title favorites to open the 2023 season regardless of Stewart's decision. The Aces return most of their key players, and Candace Parker announced Saturday her intention to sign with the team.

Whoever lands Stewart will basically become the Aces' biggest threat, especially considering she and four-time All-Star point guard Courtney Vandersloot could be a package deal. Vandersloot is one of the league's best playmakers and the active all-time leader in assists (2,385) after the retirement of Sue Bird.

For the Liberty, adding the New York native and possibly Vandersloot would immediately vault them into title contention for 2023 and beyond.

New York already has Sabrina Ionescu, who took a big jump in her third season by averaging 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists, and then acquired Jonquel Jones from the Connecticut Sun. Jones, who has drawn comparisons to Durant from the man himself, is a four-time All-Star and the 2021 MVP.

A starting lineup that includes Stewart, Vandersloot, Ionescu and Jones would be terrifying on paper.

Of course, Durant and the Nets have provided evidence of how superteams don't always equal the sum of their parts. Brooklyn continues to wait for its first title after signing KD and Kyrie Irving, and the franchise has encountered plenty of drama since their arrival.

Broadly speaking, building an NBA-style superteam in the WNBA might be even riskier for two factors.

The regular season is only 40 games long, so coaches don't have as much time to iron out the kinks. The talent pool isn't as broadly dispersed in a 12-team league compared to a 30-team league, either. Sacrificing continuity in favor of star power to the extent the Liberty would might be a counterproductive approach because you could be left with a disjointed squad that can't simply out-talent the opposition in the postseason.

But if you're Stewart, the opportunity to play in New York City alongside Ionescu and Jones might be too good to pass up.