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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Report: Warriors players tried to recruit Kevin Durant all season long


Kevin Durant will have his free agent meeting with the Golden State Warriors on Friday, but he’s reportedly been the subject of a series of recruiting pitches from the team since the start of last season.

Adrian Wojnarowski said in his most recent Vertical podcast that despite all of their on-court success, Warriors players were in Durant’s ear all season long about how they’d like him to join Golden State as a free agent.

“Here’s the thing that’s interesting about Golden State – their players have been recruiting Kevin Durant all year. And it goes back to early in the season when the Thunder were struggling,” Wojnarowski said, via Chris Walder of theScore. “And I don’t know if Golden State saw them as a peer; I don’t know that they saw them as a threat … Kevin Durant, just like he was hearing from guys in Boston, Washington, different places – he was hearing from guys on the Warriors about, ‘Hey, you can come help take the pressure off of Steph Curry. We need you.’ This is when they were running off win after win after win.

“They had him on their mind. He’s been on their mind. And it appealed to him. And some of it was text messages, it’s a lot of that. But the communication with some of the players in Golden State and Kevin, that’s just not just starting now.”

This is a very interesting wrinkle, particularly when you consider these recent comments made by Andrew Bogut about a potential Durant acquisition. It’s worth noting that Bogut’s opinion may be colored a bit by the fact that he could be one of the players on the chopping block if the Warriors want to clear cap space to sign Durant. It may also be a case where some of the team’s players are pushing at Durant while others are wondering why the move would happen. It makes plenty of sense for guys like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to be in Durant’s ear. If the star forward joined Golden State, they’d still be safe and would stand to benefit from another shooting threat, even if it would cost them a few touches. Role players like Bogut and even a starter like Harrison Barnes would likely be shipped off to make room for Durant, and thus they may look at the move less favorably.

Still, if this is true, it’s no wonder Durant reportedly prefers the Warriors if he leaves Oklahoma City. If a group of players of that caliber want you on board, you have to at least give it some thought.

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