Kevin Durant Reportedly Forced Warriors To Include Draft Pick In Nets Trade
The Brooklyn Nets acquired 10-time All Star Kevin Durant this Summer, not directly through free agency, but via a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors that sent restricted free agent D'Angelo Russell to the Bay Area. The Nets also shed the contracts of Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham through the deal, which helped the team sign DeAndre Jordan as a free agent.
On top of that, the Nets also acquired a potential first-round draft pick as part of the deal, thanks to Durant. According to a report by ESPN's Brian Windhorst, KD didn't think being traded for Russell straight up was fair, so he pressured the Warriors into including a pick as well.
"First, Durant initially balked at being traded for Russell straight up, multiple sources said. He didn’t think it was a fair deal, and in this case, the Warriors had to not just satisfy the Nets, but also Durant."
"Leverage was applied by the player, and Golden State had to include a first-round pick before Durant would agree to sign off. The Warriors begrudgingly gave it up and did so with a heavy condition: If the pick falls within the top 20 next year, they don’t have to send it, and instead will only give Brooklyn a second-round pick … in six years."
As Windhorst notes, Golden State ultimately had to pay the Minnesota Timberwolves $3.6 million to take Napier and Graham off the books.
Additionally, because of the KD sign-and-trade and the salary cap ramifications, the Warriors needed to quickly move Andre Iguodala - which they did by sending him and a protected 2024 first round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.