Phoenix Suns Have New Competition in Kevin Durant Sweepstakes

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

A sea of grey will flood the Footprint Center during the Phoenix Suns‘ season opener a few months from now, not due to any change in the team’s color scheme, but due to a change in every fan’s hair color—of course caused by the unshakable stress brought on by the 2022 NBA offseason.

Even with the Suns not partaking in the NBA Draft and only signing a few fringe free agents with exception to Deandre Ayton, this summer brought a new wave of instability out into the desert all the same.

When Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant asked out of the big apple and listed the Phoenix as a preferred landing spot to begin July, he simultaneously threw the Suns into a fire. Although fun at first, this fire built with twitter threads, trade machines, and juicy rumors as its embers has taken somewhat of a toll on the Suns community.

Thoughts of whether or not Phoenix would, could, or should try and acquire Durant have endlessly rung throughout our heads like annoying TikTok songs for weeks now. With months to go until the 2022-23 season tips, all fans seem to be rooting for this KD saga to reach a conclusion, whether that includes him ending up in a Suns jersey or not.

Unfortunately, forecasting when that conclusion might arrive just became trickier.

This week, a few NBA insiders listed a new team as a possible suitor for Durant. Although every team would be interested in the Slim Reaper given his skills, this surprise squad seems to be gaining more serious ground on Phoenix as far as Durant’s interests are concerned.

Who else is now in on Kevin Durant besides the Phoenix Suns?

Yesterday, SNY’s Ian Begley reported that the Philadelphia 76ers have not only thrown themselves into the mix for KD, but are a team seen by him as “another welcome landing spot,” according to his sources. Begley did list the Suns, the Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics as other destinations prior to his note on Philly, essentially expanding this four horse race to five.

However, Begley was not alone in his shoutout to Philadelphia. Yesterday afternoon, Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson also reported that some mutual interest exists between Durant and Philadelphia.

But while Miami and Boston remain significant threats to swipe up Durant before Phoenix does, things do not quite add up between Brooklyn and Philadelphia to make a deal worth executing.

With Brooklyn holding two future Philadelphia draft picks (via Harden/Ben Simmons trade), it makes almost zero sense for them to trade KD to the City of Brotherly Love, as doing so would improve the Sixers for the next few years and therefore make those picks less valuable. However, Durant was seen working out with 76ers point guard and former Nets teammate James Harden in Barcelona this week, so take that as you will.

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NBA training camps do not open until mid-to-late September, leaving a sizeable amount of negotiating time still available for all parties before we reach a potential hold out stage for Durant. However, the clock is ticking, the party is expanding, and the fire is only growing hotter.