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Should we be worried that people with the Phoenix Suns can “feel the frustration with Durant”?

The foundation with the Phoenix Suns is beginning to crack, and on Christmas Day we heard that KD might not be very merry.

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Winning cures all. Right now, the Phoenix Suns aren’t winning. Instead, the 14-15 squad is leaning hard into 35-year-old Kevin Durant, who once again is putting up All-Star and All-NBA numbers. You can only lean so hard before the pressure begins to create tension.

Following their Christmas Day loss, however, a storm is brewing. The team doesn’t look good, and given such a top-heavy financial situation, there isn’t much flexibility that exists for them to improve. The rumor mill is beginning to churn, especially as the trade deadline begins to peak its head above the horizon.

One of those rumors? Kevin Durant isn’t happy.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided some insight on a Christmas Day edition of NBA Countdown of what exactly is going on behind the curtain in Phoenix. It wasn’t exactly the present we wanted to open.

“Start with Kevin Durant,” Woj began. “You talk to people in Phoenix and around that organization, they can feel the frustration with Durant. “Part of that certainly is the missed games for Brad Beal. This team was built around those three stars. The underwhelming supporting cast that comes from those massive trades for Durant and Beal.”

Watching KD play on Christmas Day only fortified the rumors. He appeared to be disengaged, taking only 11 shots. That was less than Devin Booker, Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, and Chimezie Metu. His three fourth-quarter turnovers looked lazy and his hustle on the offensive end was lackluster. Not what you wanted to see after a micro-Woj bomb on Christmas morning.

The question now becomes should we be worried?

Of course KD is frustrated. He is a competitor. An elite competitor, I might add. Phoenix hasn’t looked good on offense. Or defense. Or in transition. Or from behind the arc. Or from a coaching standpoint. Or a health standpoint.

Durant is frustrated because this has been a frustrating season in nearly every capacity. I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything sooner.

Or have we?

Following an embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks on December 15, Kevin Durant was talking about the 50-point performance by Jalen Brunson. “They all support him. They put in sets for him, they run plays for him. When he gets hot they continue to get him the ball.”

At the time we pondered if we were reading too much into his statement. Maybe he was observing how Bruson cooked and was simply giving his insight into how. Or maybe he was passive-aggressively pointing out one of the issues he is facing: when he’s cooking, the Suns don’t run designed plays to allow him to continue to cook.

It’s a rumor that we shouldn’t be shocked by, as this has happened in the past with KD. He was part of a super team with the Brooklyn Nets that had the same issue: they couldn’t get healthy and therefore relied on Durant to carry them. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving played together for one-and-a-half seasons. But they only played together for 16 total games. Brooklyn was 13-3 in those games.

KD mentioned it in his introductory press conference with Phoenix this past February. “In order for you to win a championship and be a great team,” Durant said, “You just need more time on the floor.”

It’s happening all over again in Phoenix.

Should we be worried? I don’t think so. Durant should be frustrated. So should the team, the organization, the ball boy, and the clock operator. What is occurring is unacceptable, especially given expectations. The bright side? It is all correctable.

Bradley Beal is on the mend. He could be back as soon as next week, as Frank Vogel stated, “If he gets healthier sooner, then he’ll be back sooner.” The three-point shooting woes? Correctable. The defense? Correctable. The offense? Correctable. The Suns simply need to use the frustration as a tool to improve. They need to clamp down in all aspects of the game, and given the talent and coaching they possess, they can.

If they don’t? The clock is ticking. And Kevin Durant holds the launch codes.

If the Suns hit critical mass, if they cannot figure it out or get healthy enough to succeed, then an entirely different conversation will begin. It might involve firing a coach or trading one of the Big Three to replenish assets that they parted with when acquiring Durant and Beal.

And remember, Bradley Beal has a no-trade clause...

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