The Golden State Warriors had their meeting with Kevin Durant today in the Hamptons, and surely they pitched him on how dominant their roster would be if he were to join forces with the squad coming off an NBA record 73 victories.
Marc Stein originally reported that the meeting was lead by owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers, and head coach Steve Kerr.
The players who were in attendance were Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
The Los Angeles Clippers may be trying to sell Durant on forming a “Big 4” with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, but the Warriors would be able to boast the best “Big 4” of anybody in the Durant sweepstakes.
Any interesting detail of this meeting is an extra player who Chris Broussard reported was present to meet with Durant: the man who was tasked with containing him in the Western Conference Finals, Andre Iguodala.
This isn’t just fascinating from a personal connection standpoint, but what it means for the Warriors going forward if they were to acquire Durant.
The Warriors currently have about $14 million in cap space, which would mean that Durant would have to take a steep discount to join the roster at the present time.
Considering that Timofey Mozgov just got $16 million per season from the Los Angeles Lakers, the relatively ego-less Durant might not be able to stretch his selflessness to those bounds.
They’d need to realistically create more cap space by moving a player currently on their roster. A prime candidate for this was originally Iguodala, who’s due about $11.1 million for next season.
Including him in a meeting with a potential free agent acquisition presumably means that Iguodala would be present on the team once Durant signed, or else why would he be invited to that meeting? They’d be introducing Durant to a guy he wouldn’t even get to play alongside of.
With Iguodala’s fate being much more secure, who would the Warriors have to move to free up more cap space? Obviously nobody in that meeting, for both logistical and practical reasons. Curry, Thompson, and Green are safe, as if that were ever in question.
The Warriors would also have to likely renounce their current free agents, particularly guys like Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli who are restricted free agents and expecting huge offer sheets from other teams to come their way.
Looking at the Warriors’ payroll, two people immediately jump out as potential casualties in a Durant acquisition: Shaun Livingston or Andrew Bogut. Livingston is due about $5.8 million next season, while Bogut is due just over $11 million.
Dealing Livingston away would give the Warriors almost $20 million in cap space, while moving Bogut would create an even bigger $25 million.
Durant may not want to sign anywhere for less than $20 million, which is why Bogut seems like the more probable player who the Warriors say goodbye to if they get an agreement from Durant to join the team.
Bogut is really the team’s only dynamic rim protector, and his absence was greatly felt after he got injured in the NBA Finals. It would be a huge sacrifice to make, but this is Kevin Durant.
The Warriors have done all they can do, and now it’s in Durant’s hands to make a decision presumably based on which team gives him the best opportunity to win a championship. It would be hard to argue from that perspective that this Warriors team doesn’t fit that description.