The Phoenix Suns almost acquired a $60 million star and a $13 million forward at the trade deadline.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on March 2 that Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley nearly went to the Suns in a three-team trade involving the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks. John Collins would have gone from Atlanta to Utah and Jae Crowder and Landry Shamet would have landed in Atlanta.
“Atlanta also tried to acquire Crowder in three-team trade talks with Utah and Phoenix centered around Collins going to Utah, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley going to Phoenix, and Crowder and Shamet going to Atlanta,” Scotto reported. “Among the reasons this scenario didn’t materialize was a disagreement in draft pick compensation that would’ve gone to Utah in the talks.”
The Suns wound up trading Crowder to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the blockbuster Kevin Durant deal. Brooklyn then sent Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, acquired Vanderbilt and Beasley from the Jazz for Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and a 2027 first-round pick. Los Angeles also got D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kevin Durant Is Shooting Standstill Shots
Durant sprained his left ankle before the Oklahoma City Thunder game on March 8. The two-time Finals MVP is able to shoot standstill shots.
“It’s just part of his progression,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “He hasn’t done anything outside of that. We obviously have to not just be careful, but a lot of boxes need to be checked. So we’ll see how he responds to standard shooting today, we’ll re-evaluate tomorrow and every day is a progression. That’s what he’s done. It’s a normal progression to this type of injury and that’s just where he is right now. Now he’s just doing standstill shots.”
Durant has played in three games with the Suns since being acquired from the Nets. The one-time MVP is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 69.0% from the field, 53.8% from beyond the arc and 88.2% from the free-throw line. The Suns are 3-0 with Durant in the lineup.
“We want him to be healthy,” Suns guard Terrence Ross said. “We want him to get right. It’s all about taking the right steps and make sure he does the right things and is taking the precautions to have him out there and stay healthy. Anytime you can get KD back on the court, it’s great. It’s good seeing him out there.”
Bleacher Report Has the Suns in 7th Place in Their Power Rankings
Bleacher Report has the Suns in seventh place in the latest power rankings. Phoenix has a record of 38-32 on the season.
“As it turns out, having Kevin Durant in the lineup is pretty important,” Andy Bailey wrote on March 17. “With him on the sidelines, the Phoenix Suns just went through a three-game losing streak. Their only win of the week was a squeaker against the rebuilding Orlando Magic. Still, they don’t get dinged too much. The teams they faced in the streak were the Sacramento Kings, the Chase Center version of the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks. Those are droppable games for anyone. And it’s impossible to ignore the championship upside this team has when everyone is healthy.”