If the Phoenix Suns fail to win a title this year, it will be the third straight season that they have failed to do so with a core that features DeAndre Ayton, Chris Paul, and Devin Booker. But another failure, after trading away three rotation players at the deadline, would be catastrophic, and a major shakeup would likely be inevitable.
Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, there is already a potential deal hanging in the balance for the Suns should they decide to make changes. That deal is a sign and trade with the Dallas Mavericks, which would reunite Durant with his former Brooklyn Nets teammate, Kyrie Irving.
“A thing that has a slightly larger tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny percent chance of happening — a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns,” MacMahon said of Irving on the April 11 edition of “Howdy Partners”.
“The Dallas Mavericks have a gaping hole at their starting center. The Dallas Mavericks believe that Deandre Ayton is an extremely talented young big man who has a lot of untapped potential. Those are the facts. If it’s not Dallas, I don’t see a cap space route just with the teams that have room, just sliding him in there.”
Already trailing in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, the stakes could not be higher for the Phoenix Suns heading into Game 2. Especially after going all-in at the trade deadline to land Kevin Durant. Now in danger of going down 0-2 in the series, it is safe to say that Game 2 is a must-win for Phoenix.
Kyrie Irving & Kevin Durant Are Still on Good Terms
Durant and Irving arrived in Brooklyn as a collective in 2019, looking to curate a new hoops culture in New York City. But just as quickly as they arrived, is as quickly as they departed, and the 7/11 era of basketball never really got off the ground.
The Durant, Irving divorce happened abruptly. Some even questioned whether their relationship had soured over their three-and-a-half seasons as teammates. But following his Brooklyn departure, Irving said that nothing has changed between him and Durant following their trades out of Brooklyn.
“I’m just praying for his happiness and praying for his well-being. We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like. There was still a level of uncertainty. But we just cared about seeing each other be places that we can thrive whether that be together, whether that be apart,” Irving told reporters after his Mavericks debut in February.
“There has never been one moment where I felt like he’s been angry at me for decisions I’ve made, or I’ve been angry at him. We just tried to understand each other a lot better and grow as human beings, grow as brothers.”
Suns Face Daunting Task in Game 2
The Suns will face a daunting task in Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers. After failing to complete a comeback after trailing by as many as 16 points in Game 1, they are in a must-win situation at home. Being in an 0-2 hole with the series shifting to Los Angeles for Game 3 could be detrimental to the Suns’ title hopes.
The Clippers made it clear in Game 1 that even though they are missing a huge piece of their offense in Paul George, they will not be an easy out. Los Angeles put their depth on full display in their win over the Suns. They had five players reach double-digit scoring, led by two-time NBA Finals MVP winner Kawhi Leonard who had 38 points on a scalding 13-24 shooting from the field. They’ll need a similar output to combat the onslaught of the Suns’ offense throughout this series.
For the Suns, the name of the game is fast starts. They started slowly coming out of the gates in the first game, which contributed to their comeback effort falling short as they clearly ran out of gas at the end of the game. The Suns will also need a bigger effort from their All-Star point guard Chris Paul who had just 7 points on a frigid 2-8 shooting in the contest. It will be interesting to see if they can get back into this series.