Grade the Trade: Warriors bring back Durant at a high cost in wild 3-team pitch

The Golden State Warriors will consider every move this offseason. Could they really pull off this wild 3-team trade to bring Kevin Durant back to town?
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors / Hannah Foslien/GettyImages
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Do the Warriors accept this trade?

There are two primary questions that have to be answered for the Warriors to say yes to this deal. The first is whether they want to go all-in for a championship over the next couple of seasons.

While it seems like the answer should obviously be "yes" that's not how the Warriors have operated. They held onto their lottery picks and used them, and haven't traded Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody despite ostensibly trying to maximize Stephen Curry's prime. They similarly held onto James Wiseman instead of moving him, either as the No. 2 pick or as a newly drafted high-value center.

The Warriors could decide to continue developing Kuminga, Moody and Brandin Podziemski, let them continue taking the mantle from the old guard, and let Curry and company fade into the sunset as a new, younger core takes over. They could also straddle the fence, perhaps moving Moody and Andrew Wiggins in a deal for a different kind of starter.

This deal, however, means they are going all-in for the present. Kevin Durant is 35 years old, Stephen Curry is 36, and the Warriors would give up multiple draft picks and both Kuminga and Podziemski in this deal. They would be making a bet that the best option is to prioritize another title run with Curry, with the consequences past that point a fair price to be paid.

The second question that must be answered is whether Kevin Durant is the right player to push in the chips for. Should they try to trade for a younger star instead? What about one with less organizational baggage?

Just as he was eight years ago, Durant is a perfect fit with this team's core. His shooting and length pair so well with Draymond Green in the frontcourt it's like the two were designed in a lab to complement one another. Even if each has lost a few miles off their fastball, the offensive combo of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant stretches defenses to their max. Nothing about Durant's game suggests he will suddenly drop off a cliff; that could happen, as it could for Curry, but they should each have another couple of star-level seasons in them.

If Curry, Draymond and Durant can come together and make peace, and are all three committed to making a final run, the upside is a championship. Klay Thompson would almost certainly be back, and they would have Moses Moody and Trayce Jackson-Davis as the starting point for the rest of the rotation.

It's an extremely expensive trade, but it's also one of the only ones in the realms of reality that gives them a real shot at a title. That just might make it worth pulling the trigger.

Grade: A-