Explosive mock trade sees Kevin Durant go back to former team

With the Phoenix Suns stuck in their current situation one mock trade has Kevin Durant leaving to completely re-stock the Suns' roster for next season.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

No matter what way you look at it, the Phoenix Suns had an extremely disappointing 2023-24 season. A campaign that promised so much, but which ended in a first round sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves after just barely securing the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

There is no doubt then that this is an organization that - unlike what owner Mat Ishbia would have you believe - needs to make some changes in order to improve next season. As a result of their difficult cap situation and new CBA rules though, the Suns can't do much outside of trading Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

With Booker obviously going nowhere, one mock trade has been put forward that would see Durant go back to San Francisco and the Golden State Warriors.

Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently examined one trade idea for every team if they were to win this year's NBA lottery. The Suns aren't in position to do this, but that doesn't mean that another franchise who could wind up with that pick couldn't pick up the phone and make an offer to the Suns.

Although this year's draft class is being spoken about as the weakest since 2013, the chance to add a young player with high upside on a rookie deal could appeal to the Suns. Owner Ishbia may talk a big game about paying whatever it takes for top end talent, but they do need to fill out their roster badly. Which is where the proposed trade that would see Durant return to the Warriors has emerged.

KD to Warriors

Well then... what do you make of that? This trade would get the $105 million still owed to Durant over the next two seasons off the books, and it would also declutter the Suns' offensive schemes. No sooner had the season ended in The Valley, had reports surfaced that Durant was unhappy with his role offensively.

If Durant were to return to the Warriors - he would be reunited with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green - and would be on a team that knows how to get the best out of him. Better yet, with the future of Klay Thompson uncertain in San Francisco, Durant could become even more important to a franchise and its fanbase that would welcome him back with open arms.

For the Suns, they could completely restock their bench, as well as filling out parts of their starting five. Booker and Bradley Beal could continue in the back court - although the need for a real point guard still exists - while Andrew Wiggins would be about as close to a knock-off version of Mikal Bridges as they could get given their salary cap situation.

Jonathan Kuminga is a young forward with tons of upside who could both come off the bench or play alongside Wiggins, Booker and Beal, while Moses Moody would form a nice bench unit featuring Grayson Allen, Royce O'Neale and perhaps both together. The first overall pick could be used on a floor general for the future like Reed Sheppard, or else a big who could play right away.

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That additional first rounder for down the road could also be used in a trade, or else to build out a roster similar to the one they had back in 2021, when the Suns made the NBA Finals. Booker would still be the best player, Beal could be the second option and the hope is that Kuminga could maybe blossom into a talent that flirts with making the All-Star game.

From there, the two picks could be packaged with center Jusuf Nurkic to go in a new direction, or else be used both this season and in future to get deeper as Booker approaches his 30s. This is a deal that would draw ridicule given everything the organization gave up to get Durant - but when you break it down and see what the Suns could get for a 35-year-old - it is worth seriously thinking about.