Suns Interested in Reuniting Kevin Durant With Ex-Teammate: Report

Bismack Biyombo

Getty Kevin Durant (in black) of the Phoenix Suns.

As the Phoenix Suns navigate toward the start of training camp, they are still looking to add players to compete for a spot on their regular season roster. They have significantly improved their team this offseason after adding All-Star forward Kevin Durant in February. They made a blockbuster trade to land All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal in June and bolstered their bench with significant free agent additions Eric Gordon, Bol Bol and Yuta Watanabe.

But the Suns do not appear to be done adding players to their training camp roster. According to Michael A. Scotto of HoopsHype, Phoenix is interested in free agent guard Edmond Sumner. Sumner and Durant were teammates on the Brooklyn Nets last season before Durant was acquired by the Suns.

“Former Brooklyn Nets guard Edmond Sumner has drawn exploratory interest from the Hornets, Bucks, Raptors, Heat and Suns since becoming a free agent, league sources told HoopsHype,” Scotto wrote in a story published July 21.

“As previously reported on HoopsHype, Charlotte is searching for a veteran point guard – including monitoring Wizards guard Delon Wright as a potential trade target – after losing Dennis Smith Jr. to the Nets in free agency and failing to land Aaron Holiday before he signed with the Houston Rockets.”

Suns Roster Still Contains a Void

After announcing that Beal, whose natural position is at the two-guard spot, will be the starting point guard, the next step for the Suns is to figure out what the guard play will look like from the bench. They have made significant additions with players such as Gordon, but he is not much of a playmaker. Last season, he averaged only 2.8 assists per game.

Although Sumner proved to be an efficient scorer last season, shooting 35.6% from distance and 46.1 % from the field, he also made playmaking a non-priority, averaging just 1.3 assists, which were a career high.

Sumner could help the Suns in some facets, but there would still be a playmaking void on the Phoenix bench. Having an abundance of scorers and shooters on your roster is irrelevant if you do not have a way to get them the ball.

Edmond Sumner Has Injury History

The Nets took a chance signing Sumner to a roster spot last season. He has dealt with catastrophic injuries throughout his basketball career. During his sophomore season at Xavier, in 2017, Sumner tore his left ACL and got sidelined for the rest of the season. Despite suffering the injury that is career-ending for some, Sumner still made it to the NBA after getting drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the second round that June. But misfortune struck again in September 2021 when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during an offseason workout.

Durant also suffered a near career-ending Achilles rupture that sidelined him for more than a year, so he can relate to the struggle of getting reacclimated to the NBA game. During his time on the Nets last season, Durant praised Sumner, and other teammates such as Joe Harris and Ben Simmons for their ability to return from injury.

“You spend a year off from the game, and you play organized basketball again, I mean, that’s a nerve-wracking feeling. To wake up that morning — at shoot-around, that nap — you’re thinking about those minutes you’re about to play,” Durant said to Sports Illustrated in October.

“So, it is good to see them get over those nerves a little early, and it is always good to start a race. Once we are in it now, you understand what you have to do.”