When Kevin Durant first requested to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets this summer the Phoenix Suns were the team at the forefront of the Durant discussions. Phoenix was one of the top teams Durant was interested in joining following a trade. The Suns also had the opportunity to put together a package for Durant that other teams couldn’t with former number one overall pick Deandre Ayton.
However, the Suns were unable to complete a deal. The Indiana Pacers signed Ayton to a historic offer sheet which the Suns matched, making Ayton untradeable until at least January 15th. After Ayton was signed, the Suns were essentially ruled out of the running for Durant, and now Durant has rescinded his trade demand with the Nets and is expected to stay in Brooklyn long-term.
While all signs suggested Durant was open to staying with the Nets long-term, one NBA GM recently spoke out about the situation with the Nets All-Star and predicted he may only be off of the trading block for a few months and actually be dealt at the trade deadline.
“I think the Nets simply told him, ‘There’s not a deal we’re happy with, and we’re not just going to give you away,'” an Eastern Conference GM told Ric Bucher. “I think he’ll still get moved by the trade deadline if it doesn’t go well. That may have even been part of the deal, a soft agreement that they’ll move him if it’s not working.”
NBA Scout Predicts Phoenix Suns may Still Trade for Kevin Durant
Despite it looking like the Suns were out of consideration for Kevin Durant, one NBA scout believes that the Phoenix team could make a play for Durant once Ayton is eligible to be traded come January.
“I just don’t think teams are going to pay what the Nets are asking until Deandre Ayton can be moved, and then once he can, I think Phoenix is the team that had the most interest and the best pathway to get [Durant],” said the scout.
While Durant is returning for another season in Brooklyn, there is no guarantee that there won’t be drama, after all, there has been since Durant and Kyrie Irving chose Brooklyn as their free agent destination. They got a coach fired, forced the team to trade Jarrett Allen for Deandre Jordan, a summer of trade demands, and more. If signs aren’t pointing to a Nets championship-contending season, could they look to move Durant at the deadline?
Durant Deadline Trade Possibilities?
It’s hard to imagine a scenario for Durant to be traded at the February deadline, and the Nets get the trade package they are looking for in return. All summer, they were said to be interested in getting the biggest return of all time in a Durant deal and were unable to do so. The teams most likely to look for a Durant trade in the middle of the season would probably be teams in championship contention that are looking to add Durant to get them over the hump, those teams would most likely be opposed to sending too many pieces back in a deal.
The Suns are one outlier. Despite signing Deandre Ayton, they didn’t seem to have the most interest in bringing him back but wanted to avoid losing him for nothing. Brooklyn wasn’t incredibly excited about a haul headlined by Ayton either. It seems to be the only deal that could get a star return at the deadline, but it feels near impossible to get done after this offseason.