Kevin Durant has requested from the Brooklyn Nets. The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are thought to be the favorite destinations for him in a trade
Kevin Durant wants to be leave the Brooklyn Nets. How realistic is it that the Phoenix Suns could acquire him in a trade? Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Nets And Suns Swap Durant And Booker?

The rumors surrounding Kevin Durant and where he wants to be traded are coming fast and furious. Free agency in the NBA has just started and already there has been a bombshell dropped; Kevin Durant wants to leave the Brooklyn Nets. He made the decision upon hearing Kyrie Irving was planning to opt out of his contract with Brooklyn. His preferred trade destinations: the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat. Reports are that in order for the Suns to have a chance at getting Durant they must send Devin Booker to Brooklyn.

A Durant trade that involves trading away Booker would be hard to imagine for Suns fans. Suns fans watched Devin grow from a pure scorer to a much better all around player. Booker’s defense and playmaking have improved since Chris Paul arrived. Durant is a better scorer and rebounder than Booker, but would the Suns gain or lose on the defensive end and in playmaking? Injuries may be the key reason Durant’s defense is not what it once was, and the Suns have good enough defenders to cover for him. The Nets want more than just Booker so if the Suns trade someone like Mikal Bridges as well then Durant’s defense may be an issue.

Who Else Would Suns Have To Give Up?

Devin Booker is being mentioned as one piece in the Kevin Durant trade
Devin Booker is being mentioned as someone the Nets must have in a Kevin Durant trade. Should the Suns even consider trading someone so closely associated with the team? Tony Gutierrez/AP

In addition to Booker the Suns may also have to give up Bridges and Cameron Johnson. Signing and trading Deandre Ayton remains a possibility for Phoenix. Booker just signed a supermax extension with the team. Bridges contract, 5 years, $90 million, means the Nets likely have interest in acquiring him. Johnson’s best skill, shooting makes him an intriguing option for any team in a trade.

How much is too much for Phoenix in a Durant trade? Every player mentioned played a key role in the Suns run to the Finals in 2021. The issue the becomes do the Suns really want to change their whole way of building a team? Phoenix’s approach under GM James Jones has been team first, not acuiring superstars. Paul and Booker are stars, yes, but not Kevin Durant’s level. Given his injuries how much long will Durant be a superstar? Jones will have to way these questions carefully. The future of his team depends on the answer.

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