Kevin Durant for Evan Mobley, who says no?

If the Phoenix Suns swapped Kevin Durant straight up for Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which organization would say no?
Cleveland Cavaliers v Phoenix Suns
Cleveland Cavaliers v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

With the NBA's offseason getting underway, the Phoenix Suns are about to get mentioned in all manner of baseless trade rumors. The reason for this is simple, they're unlikely to do anything and so people can speculate away, and they're are above the second apron and so can't do much of anything either.

With three stars in Devin Booker (not going to trade), Bradley Beal (can't trade) and Kevin Durant (more on that in a minute), owner Mat Ishbia seems content to run it back with a new head coach in Mike Budenholzer and what it is hoped will be a marginally better support cast.

But what if the perfect trade to get out of this tight spot was right there for the Suns, and it involved trading Durant for Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers?

That's what Matt Dollinger of The Ringer recently suggested the Suns do this offseason, and his reasoning makes a lot of sense. The reality of achieving this wild dream however, is a lot more difficult. For Dollonger's part, he thinks this works for both parties because -

"With Donovan Mitchell potentially staying in Cleveland, there’s a ripe win-win Durant–for–Evan Mobley trade sitting right there. Cleveland would become a legit contender, and Phoenix could build around Devin Booker (27-years-old) and Mobley (23-years-old). As great as Durant is, he doesn’t have time to be patient with the Suns’ shenanigans."

Matt Dollinger of The Ringer

Right off the bat there's a couple of problems with getting this done, although it is hard to argue with the end product. One of the stipulations of the Suns being above the apron as a result of their massive cap sheet is that they cannot participate in sign-and-trade that would keep them above said apron.

In fact, as Bobby Marks of ESPN pointed out, under the second apron you can't engage in sign-and-trade deals of any kind.

So the only way this works in some exceptionally unlikely scenario is if Mobley signs a new deal with the Cavaliers this summer - he is now eligible to do so - and is then moved for Durant. Mobley is in line for a max contract, and with the Cavaliers having Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen already on their books, paying Mobley would become problematic for them down the road.

If there was a way Mobley could land in The Valley at a number the Suns could absorb, they'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to. Last month it was revealed Mobley's representatives perhaps never wanted him in Cleveland, while the idea of swapping a 35-year-old who is past his best for a 22-year-old with All-Star potential has to appeal to the Suns.

Perhaps they could get a pick out of the Cavaliers as well, but this would solve a lot of problems for the Suns. Their core moving forward is set, and a lineup featuring Booker, Beal and Mobley has better balance, although losing Durant means a step back when it comes to star power. The Boston Celtics did just show us what two stars and serious depth three through six can get you though.

Next. 3 players you didn't know landed on the Suns' G League roster. 3 players you didn't know landed on the Suns' G League roster. dark

For the Cavaliers, they get the chance to contend with Durant next to Mitchell and Garland, while Allen has been an All-Star big man before. Mobley looks like the odd man out there anyway - assuming Mitchell stays - and they'd never have a chance to get a player of Durant's talent in free agency. They were aggressive in trading for Mitchell, and so far that looks to have paid off.

We've already looked at a Durant back to the Oklahoma City Thunder trade that looked to suit both sides, although the recently departed Josh Giddey was part of that proposal. If the numbers were able to work - and that's just one of several stumbling blocks here - it is hard to see how either side could pass up this trade.