NBA Trade Rumors: Golden State Warriors Swap Harrison Barnes For Kevin Durant

NBA trade rumors are suggesting that the Golden State Warriors could put together a package featuring valuable role player Harrison Barnes in exchange for Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kevin Durant is set to become one of the most sought after free agents in the NBA after this season concludes. That’s something that has been discussed for much of the past three years. A ton of trade rumors and possible free agency destinations have been discussed during that time frame, even though Durant himself might not have actually figured out what his future plans are.

The latest rumor to come out has Kevin Durant joining the already dominant Golden State Warriors so that he can finally capture his first NBA Championship. Some are under the belief that Durant does not feel that he can accomplish that with just Russell Westbrook, one of the best basketball players in the world, as a teammate. Kevin would have a much better chance if he played with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder wholeheartedly believe that Kevin Durant will be walking away via free agency, then they might be inclined to listen to trade offers. Knowing that he wants to go to the Golden State Warriors, then a phone call to general manager Bob Myers would make sense so that they can try to get something instead of nothing. To clear enough room in their salary cap, the Warriors would need to shed some contracts, which means that Harrison Barnes would be a candidate.

Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is set to become restricted free agent after the season ends. While the Golden State Warriors would love to keep him around, they would not hesitant to move him if it meant that they would get Kevin Durant, who would definitely be an upgrade over Barnes. Harrison isn’t a superstar player, by any means, but he has enough talent to become a good second or third star on most NBA teams.

At six-foot, eight-inches and 230-pounds, Harrison Barnes brings quite a bit to the table. For starters, he’s versatile enough to excel at both the small forward and power forward positions. Barnes is also versatile enough to where he can defend some guards. An energy player, Harrison can also provide three point shooting, which opens up the floor for penetrating guards and low post scoring centers. The former North Carolina Tar Heels star is also an above average and willing defender.

Andre Iguodala
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harrison Barnes would take over as the starting small forward, the position that would be vacated by Kevin Durant in the trade. He can form a pretty good defensive tandem with starting power forward Serge Ibaka, another player that can stretch the floor with his outside shooting. The team still belongs to Russell Westbrook, but Barnes would have a pretty big role in the offense.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder needed some convincing, then the Golden State Warriors could throw in veteran guard Andre Iguodala, whose salary could be moved anyways to make room for Kevin Durant. Iguodala could take over the starting shooting guard spot from Andre Roberson. Iguodala would also provide the leadership that the team needs, and his versatility could enable Thunder head coach Billy Donovan to do some pretty creative things.

It’s pretty simple to see what Kevin Durant brings to the Golden State Warriors. The team would have four offensive weapons, which makes them even more impossible to defend. He can keep up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green as an outside shooter. Durant can also operate within the paint, which will be made much easier because opposing defenses will be concerned with the outside shooters.

That’s a scary thought for the NBA.

[Featured Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]