How the Phoenix Suns Can Land Kevin Durant in Three Team Trade

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The Phoenix Suns will need to win a bidding war if they want to acquire the services of Brooklyn superstar forward Kevin Durant. There are several other teams (most notably Toronto, Memphis, New Orleans, Miami, and Golden State) that are reportedly in the mix for Durant. The Slim Reaper has made it known that he wants to be traded to either the Suns or Miami.

Suns fans should be honored that Durant wants to play for their team. Generational talents such as Durant are almost never available via trade, especially those with four seasons remaining on their contract. Brooklyn would get the most substantial trade package in NBA history if they ended up trading Durant this offseason.

How substantial? USA Today reported that the Suns would have to include Devin Booker for Brooklyn General Manager Sean Marks to even consider trading Durant to Phoenix. However, such a trade is impossible with how Brooklyn’s roster is currently constructed.

Booker cannot be traded to Brooklyn as long as Ben Simmons is still on the roster. Booker and Simmons are both signed to a designated-rookie contract maximum extension. NBA rules allow only one player signed under that type of contract to be on each roster. With the market for Simmons at an all-time low, Booker being traded for Durant is highly unlikely.

This is the same reason why Miami’s All-Star center Bam Adebayo cannot be included in any trade for Durant. Without being able to include Adebayo, Miami will not have enough trade assets to entice Brooklyn to send Durant to South Beach.

That leaves the Phoenix Suns as the only viable trade destination that Durant prefers. This trade proposal below is the best and final offer that can be presented to Brooklyn.

Suns fans must understand that this is the price to pay for a generational talent like Durant. Again, Brooklyn will net the largest return in NBA history if they trade Durant now. This still might not be enough for Brooklyn to part with Durant.

The trade will be approved by the NBA front office. It meets the necessary salary cap requirements, presuming Ayton is signed to a four-year maximum contract starting at $30.5 million next season. The Suns and Jazz have enough first-round picks to replenish all of the draft capital Brooklyn lost when they acquired James Harden from Houston.

But why does Utah have to be included in the deal?