Former Kevin Durant Teammate Urges Star to Retire After Suns Loss

The Minnesota Timberwolves swept the Phoenix Suns in embarrassing fashion on April 28. Following the loss, Kevin Durant‘s former teammate, Enes Freedom, took to his X account to plead for Durant to hang it up.

Freedom wrote, “KD just needs to retire. He is becoming irrelevant at this point.”

KD just needs to retire.
He is becoming irrelevant at this point.

— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) April 29, 2024

Ever since Durant left the Golden State Warriors, the furthest he’s gone in the playoffs is the Conference Semifinals. He’s done that twice since leaving the team in 2019 (2021 and 2023). This is also the second time in the last three years that Durant’s team has been swept in the first round. The last time Durant’s team was swept, he requested a trade the following offseason, which his team granted midseason.

Since the Suns acquired him in 2023, they have won one playoff series against the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers. While they did not accomplish their goal of winning a title in 2024, they also didn’t come close. This could lead to some major changes in the offseason.

Durant and Freedom played together on the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2015 to 2016.

Kevin Durant ‘Never Felt Comfortable’ in Suns’ Offense

Shortly after the Suns’ elimination, The Athletic’s Shams Charania detailed Durant’s discomfort with the Suns’ offense.

“Durant, among the best scorers in NBA history, was not always happy with how he was used. Sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic that Durant never felt comfortable with his role in Phoenix’s offense alongside Booker and Beal this season,” Charania wrote in an April 28 story.

Charania gave further detail on what exactly Durant did not feel comfortable with.

“Those sources said Durant had persistent issues with the offense, feeling that he was being relegated to the corner far too often and not having the proper designs to play to his strengths as the offense was built around pick-and-rolls.”

Charania added that many wished that Durant had made his concerns clear to Frank Vogel and his coaching staff.

“At the same time, some teammates and people close to the organization believed Durant needed to voice his concerns more adamantly and directly with Vogel and his coaching staff.”

At 36 years old, Durant is still one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers. However, with his NBA career winding down, he must consider his best options.

Exec Urges Suns to Trade Kevin Durant

After the Suns’ elimination, an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports‘ Sean Deveney that Phoenix should trade Durant.

“Vogel will be the fall guy, but I don’t think anyone thinks any of this is his fault,” the exec told Deveney in an April 29 story. “It’s the owner’s fault. But whatever way they want to point fingers, they gotta figure out what to do next, and the only thing is to trade Kevin Durant. That’s the eject button here. That is the shocker. That’s the only way out. Not saying they will do it, but that’s the only way.”

The Suns don’t have any avenues to get better. They will cross the NBA’s second tax apron when the 2024-25 season starts, which restricts their flexibility. They are fresh out of both first- and second-round picks. Making Durant available would hurt their chances of a championship, but since they were swept in the first-round, that may not matter much.

Despite his age and his contract, Durant would fetch back a lot for the Suns.

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