Stephen A. Smith believes the solution to the Golden State Warriors’ disappointing start to the 2022-2023 season lies in their recent history. The 55-year-old suggests that the defending NBA champions should trade for Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who previously played for the Warriors from 2016-2019.
During Thursday morning’s (Nov. 17) broadcast of ESPN’s First Take, the accredited journalist first addressed the San Francisco powerhouse’s unexpected struggles. “I’m not going to blame the Warriors for that just yet because in their eyes, and I know this for a fact, in their eyes they didn’t come into the season aiming to rebuild. They expected Klay [Thompson] to be better. They expected [James] Wiseman to be ready. They expected [Moses] Moody and [Jonathan] Kuminga to be ready.”
The enigmatic host acknowledged the team’s belief that they could come into this season and fight for a consecutive championship victory with their roster as constructed. Now, with that being in question, they have to consider other options. “If you have changed, and you no longer believe in some of those young guys, okay, in some of those young guys–are you ready for this? Go ahead and make the trade for Kevin Durant,” to which his guest Jay Williams agreed.
“You can’t waste, you cannot waste Steph Curry playing like this,” Smith said alluding to the two-time NBA MVP averaging 32.8 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, and 6.4 assists per game. “You can’t take this for granted, you can’t waste it. If you don’t believe that these young brothers can be ready to help you repeat, make a move.”
Williams interrupted Stephen A.’s rant and asked him “Do you believe those young brothers, with what you’ve seen thus far, with their inefficiencies on the defensive end, do you believe that they can be ready to give them a fifth championship?” Smith answered firmly, “No, but I have to confess to you I came into the season believing that they could.”
Both the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets currently have 6-9 records and sit toward the bottom of their respective conferences. With Kevin Durant assisting them in winning back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018, plus the Nets currently operating without star point guard Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, this change of pace with a proven track record of success is certainly a viable option.
However, the 2014 NBA MVP appears committed to the Brooklyn Nets. He spoke with Chris Haynes from Bleacher Report on Wednesday (Nov. 16) about welcoming the challenge that comes with being the focal point of every other team’s defensive schemes. Despite requesting a trade this past summer and a tumultuous start to the season, KD is happy to be playing basketball for a living and doing his best to make his teammates’ lives easier. The Warriors may have to look elsewhere for their saving grace.