Blockbuster reunion should be far from top of Warriors' offseason wish list

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

After a humiliating first-round defeat for the Phoenix Suns at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the future of former Golden State Warriors' forward Kevin Durant is again a hot topic of conversation.

Such discussions have sprung from The Athletic's Shams Charania's revelation, citing sources, that Durant wasn't happy with how he was utilized under first-year coach Frank Vogel. With the Warriors themselves in a state of uncertainty, speculation has arisen on whether Durant and the franchise could reunite five years after he left for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

While the Golden State Warriors should explore a move for Kevin Durant, it certainly shouldn't be at the top of their offseason wish list

Despite the first-round exit, Durant remains one of the league's great players after a regular season where he averaged 27.1 points on 52.3% shooting from the floor and 41.3% from three-point range.

Given the Warriors' need to add star power next to Stephen Curry, Durant is an obvious fit even before the knowledge of playing together previously and the extraordinary success that followed. However, Durant may not quite be the same player he was in his first tenure with Golden State, and the franchise has certainly been through plenty since his departure.

Adding Durant to a 10th-seed team would undoubtedly make the Warriors better, but it wouldn't make them the overwhelming championship favorite they were after he joined a Finals team in 2016. Therefore such a deal should be approached with caution, rather than one that's simply a 'no brainer'.

Durant will presumably cost much of Golden State's young and future assets, not to mention the salary filler required -- most likely in the form of Andrew Wiggins and Chris Paul -- that's needed to match a $51.2 million deal for next season.

The Warriors may be willing to give up that package for a soon-to-be 36-year-old, but they'd prefer a much younger star -- say Giannis Antetekounmpo -- that could extend their championship window far beyond what the combination of Curry and Durant could.

Durant can also become a free agent after 2025-26 season -- do Golden State want to go 'all in' on two years of the two-time Finals MVP then have him leave for nothing? If the Warriors want to add a veteran superstar, they may prefer a 39-year-old LeBron James who would cost less via trade or could even be had as an unrestricted free agent (though he'd have to sign a minimum level contract).

So as much as a reunion with Durant makes sense, it's not necessarily a perfect solution to the Warriors' issues. They should certainly explore a deal if a chance arises, yet they're likely to have more ideal scenarios they'd prefer to play out this offseason.