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Center of the Sun: The Suns’ trade offer for Kevin Durant is unlikely to get better as time passes

Your weekly roundup of Suns news, rumors, notes and videos from the prior week plus a preview of the week to come.

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

If a trade for Kevin Durant can’t be worked out this summer, will the Suns basically stand pat with the roster they presently have to begin the 2022/23 season? I’d say that is the likely scenario as long as KD hasn’t been traded elsewhere. A mid-season trade wouldn’t be the optimal way to acquire him but I doubt that the Suns will give up any of their best trade assets until a trade for him is definitely ruled out.

That may come sooner than later though as there is some speculation that Durant may sit out of training camp if a trade doesn’t happen this summer (a link to that story is in the News & Notes section below). Would that threat work? Possibly but the Nets might try to call his bluff and see if he will really do it... or how long he will hold to it.

No matter what, the trade offers they have been getting aren’t likely to get much better by midseason if they continue to wait. Our own Dave King outlined the limitations as to what the Nets can get in return for Durant this season in detail a few days ago and not much of that will change as time passes. With the main players from a 64-win team returning, the Suns aren’t likely to suddenly get desperate for KD and offer more than they already have and it’s unlikely that other teams will either.

The Suns also have a lot of restrictions that would make a mid-season trade for KD unlikely to anything different than what they are offering now. DA can’t be traded until after Jan. 15 and he has veto power over any trade this season. Unless DA has already quietly informed the Suns that he doesn’t want to be in Phoenix any longer (which I doubt), I think it’s unlikely they would even approach him with the idea of being part of a trade.

There are several other players that have restrictions on when they can be traded. Even if they aren’t likely to be a part of a possible trade for Durant, this limits the Suns in other trade possibilities.

Bismack Biyombo also has veto power this season and can’t be traded before Dec. 15. Why does he have veto power? According to NBA rules:

A player who re-signs with his previous team on a one-year contract – or a two-year deal with an option year – is given no-trade protection.

And then there are new acquisitions Josh Okogie and Damion Lee, neither of whom can be traded before Dec. 15. Even Jock Landale who was acquired by trade has some restrictions. He can be traded now but only in a 1-for-1 trade. He can’t be included in a multiple player trade until 60 days after he was acquired (July 6) which would be on September 4. Two-way players (Ish Wainright and Duane Washington Jr) can be included in trades but their salaries would not count for salary matching purposes as they aren’t included as part of a team’s cap.

As long as the Suns’ front office believes that a trade for KD is possible, I doubt that they will trade away any players that would likely be included in that trade. That makes other trades that might improve the team highly unlikely... unless that trade would also significantly improve the Suns’ chances at winning it all.

Other than adding Durant, I don’t see any other likely trade possibilities that fit into that category so don’t expect the Suns to suddenly pivot to any other plan before training camp opens. Either they will get a trade for KD done this summer or they will go into camp relatively unchanged from last season.

Durant wants out of Brooklyn, wants to join the Suns and the Suns want him but aren’t desperate for him. Eventually someone will have to give in and bite the proverbial bullet before a trade happens but don’t bet on it being the Suns... and don’t bet on it happening before KD proves that he’s willing to sit out to get out.


2021-22 Season Highlights

NETS at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | February 1, 2022

SUNS at BULLS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | February 7, 2022

SUNS at 76ERS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | February 8, 2022


Quotes of the Week

“Whatever they (the Suns) ask of me, I’m gonna make sure I give 110 percent... I am super excited.” - Duane Washington Jr

“The thing I look forward to the most is there are so many lethal scorers on this Suns team... that it will just leave a lot more room for me to operate.” - Jock Landale


News & Notes

NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant might hold out of Brooklyn Nets training camp if he doesn’t get traded. Sportkeeda

NBA Rumors: Suns vs. Nuggets Slated for Christmas Day in Initial Schedule Draft. Bleacher Report

Boston Celtics open with top projected win total for 2022-23 NBA season, followed by Suns, Warriors, Bucks. ESPN

Chris Paul on high school dating life: “My girlfriend was my basketball”. Basketball Insiders

Trade Value Rankings 3.0: The Top 100 in the NBA. Hoops Hype

Best bets for 2022-23 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Basketball News

Offseason Power Rankings: Warriors, Suns lead wide-open Western Conference. NBA.com


This Week in Suns History & Suns Trivia

On August 16, 1987, former Sun Nick Vanos and his fiancée, Carolyn Cohen, tragically died when their plane crashed after takeoff from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan en route to Phoenix. Vanos and Cohen were among the 154 passengers and crew that died in the crash. Vanos was 24 and had just finished his second season in the NBA after being selected by Phoenix in the second round of the draft with the 32nd pick. Vanos played college ball at Santa Clara University, the same college where Steve Nash would play almost ten years later.

Nick Vanos Phoenix Suns Tribute Video

On August 18, 2005, The Suns signed Pat Burke as a free agent. Burke is still the only Irish born player to make an NBA roster. He rarely made an impact on the court but became a fan favorite during his two years with Phoenix... and not just because of his play.

Pat Burke’s Hair Restoration Tonic

On August 19, 2005, seven weeks after the trade had been agreed upon, the Phoenix Suns completed a sign-and-trade with Joe Johnson, sending him to the Atlanta Hawks. Phoenix acquired Boris Diaw and two lottery-protected first round picks.

The 2006 draft pick acquired from Atlanta in this trade was originally owned by the Lakers, traded to Boston and then traded to Atlanta. The Suns then traded this pick - which eventually was used to select Rajon Rondo - back to Boston for a 2007 1st round draft pick (which originally belonged to Cleveland) and cash considerations. That 2007 draft pick was used to select Rudy Fernandez whose draft rights were then traded along with Suns present GM James Jones to Portland for... cash considerations. The 2008 1st round pick (15th) was eventually used by Phoenix to select Robin Lopez


Classic Suns Highlights

Joe Johnson Phoenix Suns Feature 2005

Boris Diaw 24 Points 10 Rbs 10 Ast @ Mavericks, 2005-06


Important Future Dates

August ? - Regular season schedules expected to be released.

August 31 - Last day for teams to waive players and apply the stretch provision to their 2022/23 salaries.

September 5 - Last day for teams to issue required tenders to unsigned second-round picks; those players become free agents on September 6 if not tendered.

Late September (Probably Sept. 26 but specific dates TBA) - Training camps open.

October 5 - Suns vs Lakers (Preseason game in Las Vegas) 7:00 pm AZT

October 12 - Kings @ Suns (Preseason game) 7:00 pm AZT

October 18 - Regular season begins.

December 15 - Most players signed during offseason can be traded.

December 25 - Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets (Time TBD)

January 5 - 10-day contracts may now be signed.

January 15 - All players signed during offseason can be traded.

February 17-19 - 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend/All-Star Game (Salt Lake City, UT)