The Phoenix Suns are not getting Kevin Durant. It’s a sobering, but at least a final conclusion every Arizona hoops fan now needs to stomach heading into the 2022-23 season.
With the Suns recently completing a historic regular season only to roll over onto their bellies in the playoffs a few weeks after, the prospect of reeling in KD came as a fun and much needed distraction for everyone in the Valley of the Sun.
Rather than headlines like “Where do the Suns go From Here” or “Suns Blow Best Title Chance Yet,” local papers penned stories about how Phoenix might soon house arguably the league’s best player. Nobody had time to spend time dwelling on the embarrassing loss—as the lurking Slim Reaper was something far more intriguing to follow.
For that reason, Durant’s eyeing of the Suns this summer helped out fans despite him never making his way to the team. His trade saga was an effective and timely painkiller even if we did not realize it until now.
But again, this is all now over. Durant agreeing to stick with the Nets diluted the painkiller in an instant, leaving Suns fans somewhat susceptible to more troubles during the 2022-23 season.
Even if you remove their swing and miss during the KD sweepstakes, the Suns have put together a somewhat lackluster offseason. They added Josh Okogie, Jock Landale, and Damion Lee. They also waved goodbye to JaVale McGee.
Neither of those additions or subtractions feel likely to move the needle on this team, which again fell flat on its face when it mattered most last season.
Due to that, the Suns might want to continue snooping around the trade block and look to strike a deal not involving Durant. Players with enough talent to significantly alter the team’s standing have to be at the top of their list. The following two make the most sense right now.