The Phoenix Suns could use a star and need a power forward. If they aren’t able to acquire anyone to fill those needs in free agency, they could pursue the acquisition of a surprising name in a trade.
Durant is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season an uberstar who many seem to believe is going to take his own talents to L.A. (apparently including players on the Golden State Warriors’ roster) leaving the Warriors generally where they were before Durant joined them: a championship caliber team, but not one who is a lock for a title before the end of the prior season’s Finals have even finished.
Draymond has been with the franchise since the beginning of this Warriors run of nearly unblemished dominance, one of the key pieces in the team’s first title and their 73-win season the following year. If the Warriors believe that they can maintain that dominance with Draymond and without Durant, regardless of what happens in this coming postseason, the Warriors could thank Kevin for his services and return to the days before Durant.
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Or, they could trade Draymond, re-sign Durant, and remain the class of the league, all but guaranteeing themselves that they will catch the Boston Celtics of the 1960’s for the most consecutive seasons in the NBA Finals with eight (they are already halfway there).
Does Durant want to be a part of a winner through-and-through regardless of what the rest of the NBA world would think of him? Or does he want to be the star of his own team where the pieces are built around him rather than the other way around?
If Durant wants to stay in Golden State, as one of the very best players in the world, that alone has earned the right to demand who should and who should not be on a roster at any particular time – especially players who are not MVP candidates like both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are.
Based on their recent spat and the signs that they absolutely do not get along, he could very easily tell management that he will remain with the Warriors so long as Draymond is traded – even before they have the chance to offer such a deal to him.
And based on Green’s recently sinking numbers, such a move might – at least on paper – seem very logical.
Draymond’s scoring has dropped over the past 2+ seasons with Durant on the roster. As of November 19, he is averaging only 6.9 points per game (although he is right at his regular career averages of 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists).
Once a strong shooter with Curry and Thompson (he averaged 35.4% from beyond the arc from 2014-16 on 3.1 attempts per game and 38.8% in 2015-16 alone), Green has only averaged 30.0% on 3.4 attempts since Durant’s arrival, and a paltry 22.2% on only 2.1 attempts this season.
Green averaged career-highs of 14.0 points and 9.5 assists the season before Durant moved West to Oakland, CA, and while his rebounding has dropped some since as well (he averaged 9.4 per game in 2015-16), it still sits at 7.7 per game over that stretch. Most importantly though, is still averaging 7.1 assists per game, only a hair below his career-high of 7.4 (also in 2015-16), and still more than any Phoenix Sun has averaged since Goran Dragic averaged 7.4 himself in 2012-13.