It seems as though the Phoenix Suns’ trade-deadline actions are paying off thus far. Landing Kevin Durant mid-season was the trade of the year and one of the biggest in-season trades in the history of the NBA. And so far, the Suns are 2-0 with him in the lineup.
Granted, their two wins were against the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, so they have yet to take on a playoff-caliber squad. However, that changes on Sunday when they take on the Dallas Mavericks and Durant’s former teammate, Kyrie Irving. The point guard sent a message on the matchup and Durant after Dallas’ recent win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Playing against the new-look Suns with KD and I think it’ll be an exciting time for us to compete again, compete against each other,” Irving said via House of Highlights. “That’s my brother for life, again, but when we’re stepping out there I’m looking forward to the competition, the friendly competition.”
Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension, kickstarting the end of an era in Brooklyn. His trade request led to Durant’s, and the Suns are probably pretty happy it all transpired the way it did.
Unfortunately for Irving, things haven’t gone quite as well for him in Dallas thus far. He and co-star Luka Doncic are just 2-4 when sharing the court together, leading to some questions regarding their long-term fit and partnership in Dallas.
However, on Sunday, the story will be about two long-time friends and teammates. It’s clear that the two players still have a ton of respect for one another, and it will also be a great test for both teams, as they are each looking to make a title push.
Kevin Durant Sounds Off After Suns Debut
The superstar has only appeared in two games for the Suns thus far, so he’s still getting used to things. But after his debut for Phoenix in a win over the Hornets, Durant said that his teammates have done a good job of helping him feel comfortable on offense, and on defense, he felt good regardless.
“I thought I would be lost on a few plays, a few sets on the defensive side of the ball, but I felt like these last, what, two weeks, a week and a half of practice and being around the guys as constant communication,” Durant said via NBA on ESPN. “CP [Chris Paul], Cam Payne, as the point guards, they’re doing a good job of letting me know where I need to be on a couple of sets I may not know, I may not be familiar with. But defensively, I thought I was in [a] solid position all night.”
Kevin Durant Happy to Be Back on Court
In addition, Durant admitted that he was simply happy to be back out on the court playing basketball again, as he has missed a ton of time due to injury this season.
“It was fun. It was fun. I missed playing,” Durant said. “This is the highest level of ball in the world, so, you know, I missed being out on the floor and going over strategy and just talking with the guys. The camaraderie, all that stuff, I missed it all. So, I’m good. I’m glad I got to get back on the floor today and try to build towards something.”