Proposed Suns Trade Pairs Kevin Durant With Generational Star

After an embarrassing first-round sweep, the Phoenix Suns are coming to grips with the hard cold reality that the “Big 3” has become vogue in today’s NBA.

With The Athletic Shams Charania and Doug Haller reporting that Kevin Durant was unhappy with his role in Phoenix, the focus now shifts to his future with the Suns. Will he request a trade or will James Jones reshape the roster which will need trading one or two of their stars?

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report proposed a trade where Durant could go for his next chapter after suffering two first-round sweeps over the last three seasons.

Bailey’s Proposed Trade:

San Antonio Spurs Receive: Kevin Durant

Phoenix Suns Receive: Keldon Johnson, Zach Collins, a 2025 first-round pick (via Atlanta), a 2027 first-round pick (via Atlanta), a 2029 first-round pick and a 2030 first-round pick (via Dallas)

This trade gives Durant and the Suns a fresh start.

At San Antonio, Durant could mentor Victor Wembanyama, who is like the supersize version of his younger self while the Spurs aim for a postseason berth.

Why Suns Should Consider Kevin Durant Trade

Durant will turn 36 next season. With the way this season unraveled in Phoenix, running it back expecting the same result would be a foolish idea for the Suns.

But as to why Suns should consider this trade, Bailey wrote:

For Phoenix, this is another deal that would open up some financial flexibility and recoup draft assets.

And though he’s probably too old to still be considered a prospect, Keldon Johnson is still 11 years younger than Durant and a few years shy of his own prime. The Suns could develop him into a star (he averaged 22.0 points in 2022-23).

And like Utah’s Collins, Zach Collins may be able to play well enough for a rebooted Suns squad to be flipped in a different deal later.

Trading Durant would also mean the Suns will keep Bradley Beal (who has no-trade clause) and their longtime franchise player Devin Booker.

The picks they could get in this hypothetical Durant trade coupled with their two first-round picks — No. 22 in this year’s draft and another one in 2031 — could make the Suns a major player for a point guard and a rim protector that will balance out Beal-Booker-Johnson-led roster.

Kevin Durant Unhappy With Suns’ Role

Under the Suns’ pick-and-roll-heavy schemes, Durant felt he was not maximized, according to The Athletic report.

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. 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. 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.

If Phoenix opts to keep Durant, then it’s more likely changes would come in their coaching staff.

The Suns owed Monty Williams $21 million when they fired him. Frank Vogel just finished the first season of a $31 million, five-year deal.

 

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