NBA insider: Warriors played a role in Kevin Durant’s trade request

Nets forward Kevin Durant. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Nets forward Kevin Durant. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors may have played a role in his fate.

Whether or not he wants to admit it is one thing — but the Warriors still hold a special place in Kevin Durant’s headspace. Like every NBA player and basketball fan, KD surely had his eyes on the Finals, or at least kept up with it.

The Warriors just won their fourth NBA title, and second without Durant.

When KD left Golden State in June of 2019, it was understood that he wanted to go out on his own, and prove that he could lead a team to Finals glory, rather than simply hitching a ride on a potential dynasty. Instead, his tenure in Brooklyn was a disaster that ended in drama.

Adrian Wojnarowski: Warriors played role in Kevin Durant trade request

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Dubs winning it all without KD did help sway him to make this decision.

“The Warriors winning a championship played a factor in this,” Woj explained. “I think it exasperated Kevin Durant’s frustration. I think it’s the narrative that surrounded him that he dealt with in the aftermath of him leaving Golden State and then going on to win a title without him, contrasted with what has gone on in Brooklyn in these last three years.”

Durant wants his own NBA Title, and he’s earned the right to pursue that towards the tail end of his prime. Don’t get me wrong — he still has plenty of basketball left. But given a complicated injury history, now is the time to bet on himself.

It’s why he asked the Nets for a way out, and gave them a list of potential destinations with Phoenix and Miami near the top of preferred landing spots.

Golden State is the gold standard. He was one of them once. Now, he hopes to win a title on his own, to shut up the doubters once and for all.

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