The Suns were at the top of Kevin Durant‘s list of preferred destinations because of his close relationship with head coach Monty Williams, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. Williams spent a year as associate head coach in Oklahoma City during Durant’s time there, and they worked together on Team USA as well.
Amick adds that credit for the early-morning mega-deal should also go to Phoenix president of basketball operations James Jones, whose image of team building was influenced by his time as a player in Miami when the Heat brought in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with Dwayne Wade. In 2019, Jones made the decision to hire Williams, whose connections to Chris Paul and now Durant have turned the Suns into an updated version of that Heat super-team.
Amick hears from sources that Durant spent the past few days seeking advice from confidants about the best path for his future in the wake of Kyrie Irving‘s trade to Dallas. Most league insiders believed he would wait for the offseason to seek an exit from Brooklyn, but the deal with Phoenix came together quickly late Wednesday night.
There’s more on the Durant trade:
- Even before Durant made his request last summer, league insiders understood that he had a desire to go to Phoenix, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. The chance to play with a Hall of Fame point guard in Paul and another All-NBA player in Devin Booker was appealing, and Durant knew the Suns had enough draft assets and young talent to make a trade realistic. Sources tell Fischer that Durant didn’t give the Nets a list of preferred locations when he made his trade request last June, but there was an understanding that Phoenix was among the leaders.
- Brooklyn issued several public denials through the media this week that Durant was being made available, but teams began to believe on Wednesday that the Nets might reconsider that stance, says Ian Begley of SNY (Video link). He states that several clubs had similar offers ready, including the Grizzlies and Pelicans, but Durant’s desire to be in Phoenix influenced Brooklyn’s decision.
- The Nets had no intention of trading Durant when they agreed to send Irving to the Mavericks on Sunday, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (video link). When Brooklyn obtained Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith from Dallas, they were intended to be pieces that could team with Durant and remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. The Nets’ front office spent Monday trying to move Finney-Smith and draft picks to improve the team even more, but things had changed by Tuesday. Windhorst said there was essentially a “one-team negotiation” with the Suns, and new owner Mat Ishbia was willing to offer a lot more than Robert Sarver did last summer.
- The Durant news broke shortly before Irving addressed the media following his first game with the Mavericks, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Irving indicated there was a dysfunctional situation in Brooklyn and responded, “I’m just glad that he got out of there,” when he was asked about Durant. “I think this was in the works after year one,” Irving said. “I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to be in Brooklyn because of things that were happening behind the scenes. I just did my best to put my head down and work as hard as I could.”
17 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Trade Notes”
“I just did my best to put my head down and work as hard as I could.”
Yeah, that’s very believable…
He also said he was unsure he wanted to be there after year one. lmao this dude says something different everytime he speaks
He should be careful “putting his head down”. Might walk off the edge of the flat earth.
What color is the sky on Planet Kyrie?
How delusional is Kyrie, my jaw dropped when I read that
Milwaukee vs Phoenix finals? Who wins the championship? Milwaukee, Phoenix or someone else?
I said this would pretty much be the package from the onset in the offseason, if they really wanted to trade for KD, but I didnt think it would happen b/c moving all of those guys at the 3/4 takes a lot away from the point of trading for him, and having a top team…
Craig probably becomes the starter on the wing next to KD, and then Okogie and Wainright will be of importance off the bench…I think they will need another wing and/or another defender at the 4…again, I didnt think they should or would make a deal like this, but my guess is the new owner probably heard they could have had a name like Kevin Durant, and didnt care about anything else b/c he probably doesn’t actually know how team building works
Clippers (w/ Russ) & these Suns are now on same level as Nuggets as far as title contenders now. Obv health is gonna be a major factor w/ guys like CPaul & KD. But if they’re healthy during the postseason they’re gonna be extremely tough to beat. Anybody that’s been paying attention should see how unbelievable the scoring & shot making has been this season. With great scorers/offensive players like KD/Book/Ayton/Warren led by a guy like CPaul, the Suns are now the strongest guy at the weightlifting contest.
So now Dallas and Suns are all in this year. Nets are smart trading players to the other conference. i still put Denver as #1 in west since they already built chemistry with their starters.
” James Jones, whose image of team building was influenced by his time as a player in Miami when the Heat brought in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with Dwayne Wade.”
Those 3 guys were entering the prime of their careers when they went to the Heat. Durant has been living off his rep for years now – having good games now and then. Chris Paul is playing through no knees.
A few years ago the Suns had a wonderful hungry young team that got to The Finals. What happened?
They were up 2-0 and went away from what they did all season, refusing to use Kaminsky as a floor spacer off the bench when Saric got hurt, and playing Ayton 40 minutes per game b/c the matchups called for it in earlier rounds, and Milwaukee stopped using Brook Lopez more and more and it was over before game 3 was even played. Ayton couldn’t guard Giannis or Portis at the 5
They also made some questionable decisions with their bigs at times the last couple of years, but this year, the Crowder situation made no sense. The narrative wasn’t had to do with Cam Johnson’s role, but he is playing 1 fewer minute per game and taking 1 more shot, so ignoring him having been injured and that they traded him anyway after not extending him, I dont get how he effected Crowder, and why they didnt bring Crowder back when he was injured. They also had been clearly looking for a 4 to replace Crowder the whole time, so it’s just really confusing why they couldnt come to terms on him playing
Now they have a new owner, and the guy just spent $4 billion, and found out he could have had Kevin Durant if they were willing to move players the guy probably didn’t even know, so he told them to make that deal they didnt make in the offseason.
They’re still good, but I just think they need another piece either on the wing/at the backup 4/possibly both
Yeah, it’s not like this Kevin guy is averaging 30ppg or anything. He definitely washed at this point.
The Nets FO is a joke. The pettiness of moving Kyrie literally anywhere but LA just to spite him is so hilariously misguided and cost the Nets value they desperately needed to keep. Not only that but prioritizing players to run with KD and then TRADING KD has to be an all time gm blunder. Nets are just as much the bad guy of this story as Kai or Slim. Fun run.
Their coaching/rotation decisions was the bad guy the entire time, but I disagree on the trades they made being poor. They got top 2 highest value they could have got for KD, and a versatile option at the 4/3 signed to a team friendly deal in that trade with Dallas, and replace kyrie with a guard that can potentially play 3 positions, but could replace the playmaking/shooting they lost by trading kyrie, and they have him for 1 more season/he could maybe be flipped in the offseason. Finney-Smith was the main get there though, plus obviously the picks, and now with this, they have like 6 guys at the 3/4 positions that are valuable, versatile, and a significantly important part of a contending team in today’s nba
They probably were a little petty with the Kyrie deal, but it’s not as if Kyrie earned any say in his destination. The guy was a constant headache for Brooklyn, and a world class piece of trash. So it is what it is.
The KD trade was apparently a very late pivot. They did well in that deal, though. Given KD’s age and injury history, I expected they’d get less.
“Irving indicated there was a dysfunctional situation in Brooklyn”
Yeah, you and Durant ♂️
It sure was dysfunctional. It was the inmates running the asylum. But honestly, I thought the window of opportunity to win was there with Hardin, and it got dysfunctional then. Ben Simmons was just a bandaid on the wound which was developing at the time.
I’d feel a lot better if Durant didn’t have a sore knee.