NBA insider suggests Kevin Durant get traded to former team

The Phoenix Suns need to make some moves to get out of their current situation this summer, and trading Kevin Durant to a former team could be one of them.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The 2023-24 Phoenix Suns ended up falling well short of expectations, with a first round sweep at the hands of the up-and-coming Minnesota Timberwolves about as bad an ending as they could have hoped for.

It is clear that changes need to be made in order to compete more seriously next season, but it is unclear what that will actually entail. Bradley Beal has a no-trade clause, while Devin Booker is the face of the franchise. Head coach Frank Vogel will likely end up being the fall guy here, but how much can changing the coach alone impact trying to win a championship in the short-term.

Which leaves Kevin Durant, with one NBA insider suggesting that a reunion with the Golden State Warriors may be the best course of action here.

The idea was put forward by Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic - and although it is very much suggested with making the Warriors better in mind - it is a scenario the Suns should at least consider as well.

Beginning with the Warriors and Durant, coming together again makes sense for a whole host of reasons. Durant is still clearly one of the 15 best players in the league - and when you pair that with Stephen Curry - good things happen. The two are on the same timeline, it would improve the Warriors in the Western Conference, and Durant can also improve that team defensively.

For Durant personally, going back to San Francisco is about the only place outside of Oklahoma City he could wind up that wouldn't tarnish his legacy any more. He received a lot of hate for joining the Warriors to win titles, and he hasn't come close with the Suns or Brooklyn Nets before that. Going back to where he once was to try and win again is the best case scenario for his legacy.

For the Suns, the only way you do this is if you feel like you're getting some sort of roster flexibility back, as well as more of the depth that was missing this season to try and help Booker win. The first part is hard, because both the Suns and Warriors are among the worst offenders under the new CBA, meaning there are more strict rules in place when it comes to them making trades.

What both have to do is make a trade that seems them taking back the same amount of money they're sending out. There can be no salary dumping or taking on a huge deal with picks attached as an incentive. Not that either organization wants that, as they're both still trying to win big right now. With Durant making $51 million next season, that is a problem. But what about this?

Durant to Warriors trade

This isn't great if you're the Suns, because Draymond Green is a problematic player at the best of times, and Andrew Wiggins has not been the same since helping the Warriors win it all back in 2022. Both are above average defenders, and both would allow Booker and Bradley Beal to cook more offensively.

It could get even more interesting, if the Warriors also agree not to guarantee Chris Paul's contract, which would allow him to go back to the Suns for the veteran's minimum in free agency. The legality of that may be grey, but the Suns would suddenly have a point guard, some more defensive-minded players and a little bit of quality depth, plus a future first round pick.

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Is this the ideal scenario for the Suns? Hardly, but we're only trying to make sense of a proposal put forward elsewhere, and this team does need to make a change in order to get competitive again in the Western Conference. If anything this just shows the reality of going all in on three max players, with the new CBA discouraging teams from trying this. Trade ideas like this one showing exactly why.