Well, here’s some more grist for the very busy Kevin Durant rumor mill. The 33 year-old all-world scoring sensation, who is on the outs with the Brooklyn Nets, is reportedly visiting the Valley of the Sun.
Hearing KD landed in Phoenix around 7ish PM has a driver who also is a provides his security: Technically, he can’t meet with the Suns without permission which doesn’t preclude him from talking to Suns players. pic.twitter.com/yXyfCAmaSy— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 12, 2022
The news of the visit seems to have been broken by John Gambadoro Thursday afternoon. Durant supposedly arrived Thursday night, though I’ve seen nothing official about it and his own twitter has made no mention of it.
But let’s be really honest here: Even assuming Durant is definitely visiting Phoenix right now, nobody knows what it means.
Durant is still very much under contract with the Nets, all the way until the 2025/2026 season. That means that despite his very public trade demands, first revealed at the end of June, he can’t meet with the Phoenix Suns organization and the Suns can’t make any official overtures to him.
He can, however, hang out with Devin Booker, if he wants. So there’s that. Some have suggested the Durant could simply be on vacation hanging out, though it’s also a fair point that the only reason to vacation in Phoenix in August is the savings vs. visiting in April. And Durant doesn’t really need to be pinching pennies over the cost of a hotel room.
The Durant situation is very complex for the Suns. Original speculation when he first made his relocation wishes known was the the Suns would use Deandre Ayton as the main piece of a trade to acquire Durant, but subsequent events (the Suns matching the max extension offered Ayton by the Indiana Pacers), now mean the Suns can’t trade Ayton until at least Jan. 15.
The Suns can still build a trade package around Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, if they want, but the Nets’ stated requirement of an all-star plus a bunch of picks makes it questionable whether the Suns will ultimately be the best offer the Nets get.
And of course...this could all drag on a long time. There’s no real deadline here, since Durant is under contract and he has no real leverage to force them to make a move very soon other than just complaining more and more.
So stay tuned, but don’t be surprised if there’s still no clarity on this weeks or even months down the line.