Grade the Trade: Suns regain their future by trading superstar in blockbuster pitch

The Phoenix Suns are trapped in team-building purgatory, but another team just made a move to go after a Suns superstar and give the team back its future.
Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Matt Ishbia was lying through his teeth.

In the aftermath of the Phoenix Suns' humiliating sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix owner Matt Ishbia declared that 26 other GMs would want to swap places with the Suns. He bragged about their star power and promised that a few tweaks would have the Suns back in contention for a title.

The problem is that it is going to take more than a few "tweaks" to take the Suns from first-round punching bags to true title contenders. They mortgaged their future to add Kevin Durant and jettisoned their remaining depth to add Bradley Beal. Now they are well above the second luxury tax apron, restricting their ability to make changes to the roster, and they only have this year's first-round pick and a single second in the future to include in trades.

How to the Suns change the team this summer?

That's the kind of situation no GM wants to swap into, and it presents an impossible decision before the Suns: do they run it back, make those few tweaks and hope things go better? Or do they move off of one of their two key stars, recoup some assets and retool for another run in a season or two?

The barrier to the second option is that the Suns don't control any of their own future picks, so the risk of losing and not receiving any reward for it is sharp. The solution may have just appeared, however, when the Houston Rockets got involved with a New York blockbuster on Tuesday night.

The Rockets traded for a Phoenix first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets and also got the rights to a swap. The reason was declared right away by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski: the Rockets were after Kevin Durant.

Can the Rockets make a real run at Kevin Durant? Would the Suns entertain the possibility? Let's lay out what a trade could look like and evaluate it from both sides.