Ever since Kevin Durant decided to nuke the NBA offseason by asking out of Brooklyn, the Phoenix Suns have been mentioned as his preferred destination and as his most likely landing spot.
The Brooklyn Nets were rumored to be interested in a package centered around Devin Booker, but their aspirations were quickly squashed with Booker’s agreement to extend with the Suns for four more seasons.
Because of CBA rules, this will make him ineligible for trade for the next sixth months. The most popular package discussed around NBA circles is centered around a Deandre Ayton sign and trade.
NBA Trades: Phoenix Suns trade would land Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving
At first glance, it makes perfect sense, since it doesn’t appear Phoenix is interested in holding on to him. But a deal around Ayton is very complicated due to Base Year Compensation Rules, and because acquiring a player via sign and trade would hard cap the Nets.
One trade that hasn’t been discussed is Phoenix trading for both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I know, I know… we just saw how this movie played out in Brooklyn, and it didn’t end well, but hear me out.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two stars would still like to play together elsewhere, they just don’t want to play for the Nets anymore. Due to their high salaries, acquiring both of them could be very challenging if not impossible for most teams. But the Phoenix Suns could pull it off.
Aside from the draft compensation that the Suns would have to give out, which would probably be 4 unprotected 1st round picks and 3 unprotected pick swaps. The Suns would have to send out a whole lot of salary to pull this off. The trade would be the following:
Suns receive: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
Nets receive: Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Chris Paul, Lots of first-round picks
Why on earth would Phoenix trade Chris Paul? That’s a good question. Parting with Chris Paul would certainly hurt. He is everything Kyrie Irving isn’t off the court. But Chris will be 38 years old by next year’s playoffs, and he has consistently struggled to stay healthy.
Kyrie is by no means an ironman; he has his own injury concerns with him aside from all the extracurricular challenges he presents. But he is only 30 years old, and adding him would make the Suns’ title contention window much wider.
By retaining CP3, the Suns’ window to win the title would be 2 years at most. Meanwhile, if they can trade for Kyrie and sign him to an extension, their window would stretch out for four years and they would be able to contend for the remainder of Durant’s contract.
By giving out the assets it’s going to take to land Kevin Durant, the Suns will take on enormous risk. If they are willing to stomach this risk, they should just go all in and trade for Kyrie Irving as well.