While any Kevin Durant news should be taken with a grain of salt at this point, another interesting development arose yesterday as the drama continues around the Brooklyn Nets superstar.
This comes just a day after it was reported Durant met with team owner Joe Tsai, reiterating his trade request and delivering an ultimatum to Tsai to choose between him and coach Steve Nash, along with general manager Sean Marks.
Now, one of the Phoenix Suns Western Conference rivals, the New Orleans Pelicans, reportedly remain interested in the 12-time All-Star and two-time Finals MVP.
The New Orleans Pelicans renewed interest in Kevin Durant may lead to the worst possible result for the Phoenix Suns and other Western Conference contenders.
According to NBA insider Kristian Winfield of New York Daily News, the Pelicans remain a player in the Durant Sweepstakes. Armed with a potentially enticing trade package, the threat of New Orleans may be as real as Boston or any other team.
"“The New Orleans Pelicans remain interested in a deal for Durant, according to a source, and can put together a compelling package around All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, role players like Herbert Jones, Devonte Graham and Jose Alvarado, and remaining draft compensation”."
Durant landing in New Orleans may be the worst possible result for the Suns, along with every other contending team in the Western Conference. Firstly, he’d make a jump back from the East, dividing the talent pool further between both conferences.
The 33-year-old would likely form an explosive trio alongside Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum. In a competitive league where parity may be at a decade-high, the three would undoubtedly stake a claim as the most talented core in the league.
If the Suns can’t acquire Durant themselves, there best result is him remaining in the East, even if it were to a team like the Celtics who’d become instant championship favourites. If he were to come back to the West, then the Suns may still be best off if Durant went to the Golden State Warriors or a team of that nature.
The Warriors, as displayed last season given they won the championship, will be contenders with or without Durant. The worst possible result would be him arriving at a team, like the Pelicans, who would have otherwise been in the 5-10 seed range.
A move like that would create a further logjam at the top of the conference, making Phoenix’s challenge of winning the championship all the more harder.