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NBA Mock Trade: Phoenix Suns Land Kevin Durant For Two Players And Three First-Round Picks

Fadeaway World 2/6/2023 Eddie Bitar

Phoenix Suns have a real chance to land Kevin Durant before the 2023 NBA trade deadline.

Credit: Fadeaway World © Provided by Fadeaway World Credit: Fadeaway World

It is official: Kyrie Irving is out of Brooklyn. After a season marred with speculation about his future, the point guard made it known that he wanted to leave after the Nets decided to not extend Kyrie Irving to a max contract if the team did not win a championship this year. The point guard did not want his finances to be uncertain, and the Nets pulled the trigger on a massive blockbuster deal to send Kyrie to the Dallas Mavericks. That’s right, Luka Doncic now has Kyrie Irving as his new sidekick and even more reinforcements could be on the way. Kyrie’s deal has thrown Kevin Durant’s future in doubt because the superstar forward won’t be able to win in Brooklyn without the point guard.

Kevin Durant is in contract until 2026, which means he is getting paid over $40 million per season until the age of 37. Brooklyn is aware of that fact and that Kevin might become unsettled with the situation. It could be likely that KD becomes available sooner rather than later. Of course, teams across the NBA will be excited for the chance to trade for the superstar forward and former MVP. There is no doubt that Kevin Durant is one of the greatest offensive players of his era, and has consistently been one of the most unstoppable players in the league since his rookie season.

There isn’t an NBA player with better offensive talent than Durant because the former Oklahoma City Thunder star has the ability to create any shot he wants at any time. Of course, Kevin has consistently been a walking bucket with a career average of 27.3 PPG on 49.8% FG, 38.4% 3-PT FG, and 88.6% FT. But since Kyrie Irving is officially out of Brooklyn, Durant should become available because the Nets will not win with him as the sole superstar. Even if he has only played 39 games so far this season, the 4-time scoring champion is capable of carrying an offense by himself and is one of the top-three players in the world right now.

It is a shame that Durant and Irving weren’t able to deliver in Brooklyn, because they were one of the most talented duos in NBA history. Kyrie Irving’s inability to stay focused on basketball has forced Durant’s hand to request a trade earlier this season, something we never thought we would see from arguably a top-15 player of all time. Quite frankly, the Nets management has also had enough with the drama, and another Durant trade request could push them over the edge once and for all.

Since Kyrie is gone, the Nets are in the mix to trade their superstar Kevin Durant for a chance to rebuild their title hopes with the likes of Ben Simmons still on the roster. With the trade deadline around the corner, there is one team that has been mentioned: the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix is currently 29-26 in the Western Conference, as they have dropped out of being one of the top teams in the conference as they sit 5th. Chris Paul and Devin Booker are an incredibly talented duo, but they need more help besides the unsettled Deandre Ayton and Miles Bridges. The Suns are extremely interested in Kevin Durant and have been for a while now, and they have a legitimate shot to acquire him in an even bigger trade than the one that sent Kyrie Irving to Dallas.

While it has been historically unlikely that a top-3 player in the league would be traded, there have been a ton of circumstances that have effectively forced Durant out of Brooklyn. It is time to discover the blockbuster trade package that allows the Phoenix Suns the services of 12-time All-Star Kevin Durant.

A Blockbuster Deal For The Ages That Creates A Big Three And Forces Brooklyn Into Rebuild

Trade Details: Kevin Durant for Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, 2024 First-Round Pick, 2026 First-Round Pick, 2027 First-Round Pick

It is no secret that the Phoenix Suns can offer the most attractive package for the Brooklyn Nets because they have two studs Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges who play on both ends of the floor at a high level. After Chris Paul and Devin Booker, these two players have been most important in Phoenix’s revival in the West as they made the NBA Finals in 2021. Of course, last year, the Suns fell flat on their face due to the brilliance of Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.

The main focus of this blockbuster deal is without a doubt, Kevin Durant. The superstar forward is posting 29.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 5.3 APG on 55.9% FG, 37.6% 3-PT FG, and 93.4% FT. Durant can score better than most players in the league, clearly, and is putting up MVP numbers for a Brooklyn Nets team that won’t have Kyrie Irving anymore. Not to mention, there isn’t any legitimate help outside of Nic Claxton right now. The team is 32-20 through 42 games which is very solid, but it was unsustainable. Ben Simmons has not been much help (7.4 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 6.4 APG) and only Claxton has been playing at or above his level (13.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.6 BPG). For the sake of 34-year-old Kevin Durant, he belongs on a team that has the pieces to compete for a title.

With Chris Paul aging, the Suns need to make changes to help the point guard lead the franchise to the Finals again. With Kevin Durant, Phoenix forms the best Big Three in the NBA under one of the best young head coaches Monty Williams. Durant, Chris Paul, and Devin Booker are three extremely talented players who can win games single-handedly. Sure, Phoenix will have to get creative with their starting lineup by losing two key starters, but even in combination, they cannot replace 30 PPG which Durant is very capable of putting up every game.

The Nets get two young players who are worthy of being starters for at least a decade, and they also fit nicely alongside Ben Simmons, assuming the Australian star wants to stay in Brooklyn too. The Nets did not want to rebuild around young players, as they recently acquired Royce O’Neal to bolster their depth. But a Kevin Durant trade focuses the franchise to re-think their approach to the future and start clearing the house for young players and picks. If the Suns can acquire the Suns’ duo of young studs and also add in three first-round picks, they have done very well in moving on from one of the game’s greatest-ever talents in Kevin Durant.

A new core of Nic Claxton (23 years old), Mikal Bridges (26 years old), and Deandre Ayton (24 years old) is something to build around whether they decide to keep Ben Simmons (26 years old) or not. Of course, the three first-round picks mean that the Nets have a future to look forward to as they start to lose games as soon as the trade deadline is over. It is a shame that the Nets could not compete for a title like they wanted to, but living in the past will harm the franchise rather than do them any good.

Phoenix Suns Win The West And Make NBA Finals In 2023

Of course, the Suns place themselves right in the mix to be the favorite to come out of the Western Conference thanks to their newly formed Big Three. Give credit to the duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, who have placed the Suns on the map in the 2021 season and onwards. Despite being 37 years old, Chris Paul is continuing to do “Point God” things by averaging 13.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 8.6 APG, and 1.4 SPG on 38.9% 3-PT FG and 82.2% FT. The point guard is still one of the best passers in the game and is never a slouch on defense either.

Not to mention, Paul is a phenomenal leader and is the type of point guard which whom Kevin Durant always thrives with. CP3 is the type of player who will make KD better by taking over leadership roles and feeding the forward on offense. Unlike his situation in Oklahoma City and with the Nets, Durant does not have to be a leader and can simply play basketball. Paul also has playoff experience and will elevate Durant’s game in the biggest moments. Of course, Devin Booker is the best player in Phoenix right now.

The All-Star shooting guard is averaging 27.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG on 37.0% 3-PT FG and 85.0% FT. Booker is an elite scorer and outside of Donovan Mitchell and Jaylen Brown, he is the best in the NBA at creating his own shot from the perimeter at his position. Devin’s growth as a player has been exponential since Chris Paul arrived in town, and is best suited as the second option on a championship team because there is only so much he can do at 6’5”.

With Durant on board, the pieces of the Big Three fit like a glove. Paul becomes the third scoring option and the primary playmaker, along with being the leader to galvanize everyone. Devin Booker plays off of Kevin Durant and acts as a secondary scoring option and spot-up shooter, roles he fits in perfectly. Finally, Kevin Durant can allow CP3 to lead and just be the offensive juggernaut that he is. With the best trio in the NBA, Phoenix can make a push for a top-3 seed in the West and can legitimately make the NBA Finals.

After all, look at the competition. Denver has the two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic, but Jamal Murray is not an All-Star yet and Michael Porter Jr’s health can’t be trusted. Memphis is talented but young, the Clippers have to build chemistry from scratch, and the Mavericks need a bit more. Dallas has Kyrie to help Luka, but they do not have a Big Three and none of the aforementioned teams do. No team has three superstar players like Phoenix will have, which means they can beat anyone over a 7-game series.

Phoenix is currently 9.0 games behind the first seed and only 2.0 games behind the Sacramento Kings for the third seed. The Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA championship as the third seed, so Phoenix can do the same at the end of the season. Their title window is closing and they must go all-in for Kevin Durant because with Golden State reeling from a championship hangover and the Western Conference wide open, it is time for Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Monty Williams to finally get over the hump thanks to the presence of 4-time scoring champion Kevin Durant. 


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