Newly-acquired Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant is targeting to make his debut with the team Wednesday on the road against the Charlotte Hornets, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Durant, who was traded to the Suns for forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson, four unprotected first-round picks and a pick swap in 2028 Feb. 9, has not played since Jan. 8 due to an isolated MCL sprain in his right knee. Durant was observed in practices in the days after he was traded, but Suns coach Monty Williams said upon his arrival he had not participated in 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 drills.
Durant said at his introductory press conference Thursday at the Footprint Center he would return “soon” after the All-Star break, which he reiterated at the event in Salt Lake City over this past weekend. There was speculation he could make his debut Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder since the game was picked up by ESPN, but reports Wednesday suggested against that (see what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggested below).
Kevin Durant could make his Suns debut as early as Sunday against Milwaukee, according to @WindhorstESPN ☀️ pic.twitter.com/uscuZ0PwqJ— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 22, 2023
Durant, who is 34 years old, is still one of the most dominant players in the NBA and could give the Suns the push they need to perhaps make a run at and win their first championship in franchise history. He is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season while shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from 3-point range.