Another day, another report on Kevin Durant’s exit from the Golden State Warriors dynasty. This time, it’s ESPN’s Brian Windhorst breaking down the surging leverage of NBA players, including Durant “balking” at the Warriors trading him for D’Angelo Russell straight up because it wouldn’t benefit the Brooklyn Nets enough. Here’s Windy spreading the business:
There were a series of squeezes put on the Warriors, a position with which they are not at all familiar. First, Durant initially balked at being traded for Russell straight up, multiple sources said. He didn’t think it was a fair deal, and in this case, the Warriors had to not just satisfy the Nets, but also Durant.
Leverage was applied by the player, and Golden State had to include a first-round pick before Durant would agree to sign off. The Warriors begrudgingly gave it up and did so with a heavy condition: If the pick falls within the top 20 next year, they don’t have to send it, and instead will only give Brooklyn a second-round pick ... in six years. It’s one of the most unusual pick protections the NBA has seen recently.
Huh, interesting. In the GSoM Slack channel we had privately discussed just why the Dubs were sending out a first-rounder for D-Lo, and now we appear to have the answer: BECAUSE KD SAID SO (more or less).
Of course, Durant wants to maximize his new team’s ability to compete. On the other hand, as a heavily biased Dubs fan, it does seem rather curious to me that he would tax the front office of the only team that could guide him to “RaNgZ”.
Alright Dub Nation, what are your thoughts?