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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Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges, Kevin Durant (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

How the Utah Jazz can make Kevin Durant on the Phoenix Suns a Reality

A third team will need to be included for this proposed trade to work. Brooklyn reportedly has no interest in acquiring Ayton. They already signed starting center Nicolas Claxton to a two-year, $20 million contract a few days ago.

Any third team will have to not only want Ayton but also be able to balance the outgoing and incoming salary of each team in the trade. Out of 28 possible teams, only the Utah Jazz can meet both requirements.

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is reportedly interested in Ayton. Ainge just traded their all-star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a treasure chest of young players, expiring contracts, and draft picks. Ayton can become Utah’s starting center for the next decade.

Ainge knows he has all the leverage in this deal as long as Utah is needed to complete the Durant trade. He was a ruthless negotiator when he ran the Boston Celtics. Brooklyn learned that lesson the hard way when his Celtics fleeced them in a blockbuster trade during the 2013 offseason.

How difficult will those negotiations become? It might become downright impossible if Ainge balks at any of these trade demands.

Utah starting forward Bojan Bogdanovic and reserve guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker would need to be traded to Brooklyn to match the incoming and outgoing salaries of each team involved in the deal.  I presume Brooklyn might want their first-round pick back when they traded for another Utah starter, Royce O’Neale. Brooklyn is also going to want one of Minnesota’s first-round picks acquired in the Rudy Gobert trade.

Will Danny Ainge and Sean Marks agree to this trade? Assuming the answer is yes, and that is a massive assumption, here is another question that the Suns must ask themselves.

Is trading for Kevin Durant worth it?