Despite all that Phoenix Suns’ star Kevin Durant has accomplished in his career, one thing he has never been to escape is his move to the Golden State Warriors in 2016. It was a move that was heavily frowned upon because that same Warriors team had just eliminated Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals months prior.
During a recent appearance on the “It Is What It Is” show, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said that he was one of the people who disagreed with Durant’s move to the Warriors.
“If I’m Kevin Durant, I’ve said this plenty of times before – I think KD is obviously one of the greatest players of all time, but if I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t have done that, personally. Like, it’s the team that… [you] just lost to, it’s a team that has won once,” Lillard said.
“As far as Golden State, I respect what they’ve been doing the last eight or nine years; and I’m from there, but I can’t go be a part of that. They won four championships. What do I look like if I did that? They would say, ‘I’m joining my home team.’ To me, that does not even make sense. I would never do anything like that. I’d lose every year before I go.”
Kevin Durant Reacts to Damian Lillard Demand
While Lillard is not too keen on playing for his hometown Warriors, he is still looking for a change of scenery after demanding a trade from the Trail Blazers this summer.
Durant is another player who is no stranger to trade requests. He had to make two before the Brooklyn Nets eventually succumbed to his demands and sent him to the Suns in a blockbuster deadline trade last February. Now, it’s Lillard’s turn to call his shot.
Despite signing a max contract extension in 2022, the All-Star guard has insisted on a trade, to the disdain of many Blazers fans. However, Durant says Lillard’s trade demand is not a “big deal.”
“Fans love the game of basketball, they will move on just like they do when the organization trades a fan favorite,” Durant tweeted. “In this case, Portland fans can’t wait to watch Scoot [Henderson’s] career. I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Suns Underwhelmed by Deandre Ayton Trade Offers
Suns star Deandre Ayton’s game has fallen off since losing in the 2021 NBA Finals. Phoenix has also suffered back-to-back exits in the second round of the playoffs in that span.
And after the addition of Durant into the Suns’ offense via a blockbuster deal at the February trade deadline, Ayton’s offensive touches have become exceedingly rare. That number will only decrease more this season after they acquired All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal this offseason. And for that reason, many believe that the former Arizona Wildcat will soon be a distant memory in the Valley.
“One source told PHNX Sports that the Dallas Mavericks made an underwhelming offer for Ayton over the summer, and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported in May that Ayton would be ‘excited about a fresh start with another franchise’ following the Suns’ second-round playoff loss to the Denver Nuggets,” Gerald Bourget of PHNX writes.
“It would take a compelling offer to get the Suns to reconsider their stance on Ayton. Not only would Phoenix seek a starting-caliber big man to replace DA, but they would also need additional assets — either a young player with potential who could also contribute right now on a contender, draft compensation to help refill their empty cupboard, or both.”
However, despite the Suns and Ayton wanting a fresh start, nothing has materialized because the offers for the former top pick have been “subpar.”
“Although the Suns considered trade offers for Deandre Ayton the night of the 2023 NBA Draft, those offers were subpar. One source went as far as calling them ‘trash,’ so the Suns kept their former No. 1 pick through the offseason,” Bourget added.