Suns Could Pull off Blockbuster Trade to Reunite Kevin Durant With Ex-Teammate

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns.

Getty Kevin Durant (left) and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns.

With the NBA free agency period drawing nearer, decision time is coming for players who have an option in their contract for next season. They will have to elect to either opt in for the final year of their deals or opt out and test free agency. As the season comes to a close, all eyes are on former NBA Most Valuable Player James Harden, who has until June 29 to decide on his future with the Philadelphia 76ers.

After being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round, some are speculative about what Harden’s next move will be as he is still looking to win the first NBA title of his career. According to ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, Harden could be eying a move to the Phoenix Suns, which would reunite him with his former Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, Kevin Durant.

“I’m simultaneously texting like four people as you just read that to me because it’s really shocking. They don’t do that unless they feel really good about somebody else,” Shelburne said on ESPN Radio’s “Mason and Ireland” show.

“I want you to keep your eye on James Harden. I don’t want to report anything but that was in the wind in the last month or so. Everybody thinks it’s like Philly or Houston, but I don’t know. There has been discussion in the wind.”

Devin Booker Could Help Lure James Harden to Suns

Since entering the league out of the University of Kentucky, Suns guard Devin Booker has gradually improved his game and thus has been crowned one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. But during this 2023 playoff run, Booker officially elevated into the tier of superstardom. He averaged a career-high in nearly every statistical category, including 33.7 points per game and a scalding 50.8% from beyond the arc.

The Suns have recently convinced some high-level talents to come to Phoenix. They have already enticed Chris Paul and Kevin Durant to join them in the last three seasons. Shelburne says that Booker has been one of the factors in that.

“This is the thing about Phoenix — everybody wants to play with Devin Booker. He is like the perfect guy to play with,” Shelburne added.

“He doesn’t suck up all of the oxygen in the room, he’s really good, he’s a great shooter, and he knows how to be a great teammate. He’s already proven — Kevin Durant wanted to be on his team, and Chris Paul wanted to be on his team.”

Is James Harden a Good Fit for Suns?

Booker and Durant proved to be one of the NBA’s top duos during their first postseason run together. And the Suns faired pretty well, considering they had to gut their roster unexpectedly to acquire Durant at the deadline. But now, with new owner Mat Ishbia approaching his first offseason, the franchise will have adequate time to build a roster around their two stars and hopefully be able to compete for a championship. Adding Harden to this roster would be a great way for the Suns’ front office to make a statement in the free agency period.

Of course, Harden is entering the latter years of his career and is no longer playing at the MVP level that fans have grown accustomed to. But the fact is that the Suns don’t need him to be that player. With Booker and Durant leading the offense, Harden won’t have to be a first or second option on offense and can focus on making plays for his teammates.

The Suns showed during the playoffs that they have one of the top duos in the NBA, who could one day be ready to compete for a championship. If the Suns can add Harden to their roster this offseason, that day could be coming a lot sooner than expected.

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