The Phoenix Suns should overpay…and sign Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Durant (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Kevin Durant (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Durant (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

At the moment of publishing, it has still not been confirmed although it seems highly likely that Kevin Durant has ruptured his right achilles tendon. The Phoenix Suns need to jump at the opportunity and sign him (no pun intended).

Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors’ misfortune could become the Phoenix Suns’ winning lottery ticket.

When he dropped in the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals with what appears to have been a ruptured achilles tendon, Durant suddenly became far more available to a team like the Suns than ever before.

If totally healthy, he is a golden ticket, a basketball panacea of sorts: arguably the best player in the league, a guaranteed winner (for all of his personality flaws), and one of only a small number of human beings on this planet who could turn a team like the Phoenix Suns from a basement dweller into a championship contender overnight.

Yet today, an injury like a ruptured achilles could cost him a full year of his career, and if DeMarcus Cousins‘ season is at all representative of how difficult it is for a player with this injury to return, possibly even longer.

I have long believed that – if healthy – Durant was going to re-sign with the Warriors this offseason.

Had he played the entire Finals, Golden State probably beats the Raptors in five or six (although that is not to turn my nose at Toronto and say that an upset was impossible), and although entirely from an outsider and layman’s perspective, I am not sure that Durant cares about leading a franchise to a title by himself as it seems to me that he prefers winning to competing, thus why go to New York and likely never make it back to the top when he can continue to play with the best team assembled in this generation, winning until he retires?

But now that he is hurt and may never be the same, things have changed in a major way.

Teams that may have been eager to sign him in unrestricted free agency might now cower at the prospect of offering a max contract for a player to sit for the first season.

Teams that might feel more pressure (or at least an overwhelming eagerness by ownership) to compete for a title this year, might not want to have their most expensive player nursing an injury that could steal a good portion of his athleticism when he returns.

This all in turn makes teams who were not in the running to sign him initially and who might be more willing and capable of taking a slower approach, much more plausible a destination than they ever were in the past – making the Phoenix Suns specifically a sudden possibility to sign the now limping Kevin Durant.