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NBA Rumors: Golden State Warriors Trade Festus Ezeli, Harrison Barnes for Kevin Durant Free Agency

( [email protected] ) Jun 30, 2016 12:33 PM EDT
Despite their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers courtesy of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Golden State Warriors remain one of the strongest teams in the NBA. With the lethal combination of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the former NBA champions managed to beat the likes of the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge as well as the Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside. However, experts believe that the Golden State Warriors can still be better by simply adding one NBA All-Star in their roster: Kevin Durant.
Jun 5, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) knocks the ball away from Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the first quarter in game two of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers courtesy of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Golden State Warriors remain one of the strongest teams in the NBA. With the lethal combination of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the former NBA champions managed to beat the likes of the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge as well as the Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside. However, experts believe that the Golden State Warriors can still be better by simply adding one NBA All-Star in their roster: Kevin Durant.

The entry of Kevin Durant in the Golden State Warriors roster will undoubtedly make the Stephen Curry team a deadly NBA squad next season. Although LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love will carry with them the swagger of a recently won championship, the presence of the Oklahoma City Thunder scorer in the Draymond Green team will be close to impossible for them to beat. However, what will this cost the Golden State Warriors?

Rumors are rife that the Golden State Warriors are open to releasing both Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes to make way for Kevin Durant in the roster. Unsurprisingly, the 2014 NBA MVP will expect lucrative offers this offseason. Given the rising salary cap, NBA teams will need to sacrifice some players to accommodate the demands attached to potentially signing the NBA All-Star.

"Obviously he's a player who will improve any franchise tenfold, so I'm going to try to be in his ear saying, 'We would love to have him in our organization,'" shared Klay Thompson of Kevin Durant. He added, "He would make everybody better, obviously. I think he's got great character. But I'm also going to give him space. I know he's a very smart man, and he'll make the right, educated decision. But it would be an honor to play with him. I couldn't imagine the shooting we could have with him on our team. It would be very deadly, to say the least."

So how does Harrison Barnes feel about this? If the Kevin Durant free agency campaign of the Golden State Warriors succeeds, then there is a huge possibility that Barnes will no longer be with the Stephen Curry team. Will he launch a counter-campaign to keep his spot?

"The game is a business," said Barnes of the Kevin Durant free agency. He added, "Franchises are going to go out, and they're going to pursue the best talent, and that's what they have to do, but that doesn't direct my focus anywhere. My first objective is to re-sign, and if that doesn't happen, then it's to go somewhere else, and the chips fall where they may at that point."

Another Golden State Warriors star who could be bidding goodbye to their historic team if Kevin Durant signs with them is Festus Ezeli. Like Harrison Barnes, he is handling the possibility of leaving the Stephen Curry squad as professionally as possible.

"At the end of the day, it's a business," said Ezeli. He then noted, "You have to be professional about it."


Tags : NBA rumors, Kevin Durant, harrison barnes, Festus Ezeli