According to multiple reports, the Phoenix Suns popped up as a potential suitor throughout the weekend, and initially, it was difficult to tell whether or not their name was being used by Brooklyn as leverage or if there was legitimate interest.
Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes was the first to report that the interest was indeed legitimate, as Phoenix pitched an offer of Paul, Crowder, and “unspecified picks” for Irving.
Sources: Brooklyn Nets received Los Angeles Lakers’ proposal that did include team’s two first-round picks (2027, 2029) and Phoenix Suns’ offer of Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and unspecified picks: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/cJuABbaYGy— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 6, 2023
Haynes said he went directly to Chris Paul before reporting the Suns' offer for Kyrie. CP3 thanked him for being upfront and told Haynes: “you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Shams Charania also confirmed the Haynes report that Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, and one first-round pick were on the table in an Irving trade.
“The Suns made an offer of Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and one first-round pick. The Lakers also offered Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks.”— Stadium (@Stadium) February 6, 2023
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania has more details on the Kyrie Irving trade. pic.twitter.com/b99aSwVGL2
The first thought that pops into Suns fans' minds has to be whether or not that rumor could cause any friction from Paul. It’s not ideal for trade packages that fell through to leak out, and there was certainly no chance that report came from Phoenix.
Chris Paul has been nothing but a consummate professional throughout his entire NBA career, and he knows better than anyone that it is a business.
"It's a business. I've seen crazier. The way I found out I was traded from Houston. You just show up to work and be a pro day in and day out. Nobody's exempt from being traded. Find out just like everybody else." Chris Paul on being part of Kyrie Irving trade package #Suns #Nets— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) February 6, 2023
I doubt there are any hard feelings that impact the rest of the season, assuming he finishes out the season in Phoenix.
It does have to be something in the back of his mind however, as there have been previous reports that Phoenix is looking towards the future at the point guard position and thinking about life after CP3. Fred VanVleet is a name that has popped up plenty of times.
If there is any bad blood from him being included, I’d expect it to be kept internal and dealt with close to the chest as Phoenix tends to do with most of their issues.
I’d certainly keep an eye on it leading up to the trade deadline, but it mostly feels like more of something we’ll circle back to during the offseason this summer.
Brooklyn leaking this info seems to be a way for them to convince their fanbase they took the “best” offer whether you agree with it or not. Or maybe it was them taking the petty route.
You have to wonder if there’s any bad blood from the Suns-Durant negotiations that led to the Nets brass strategically leaking this in bad faith. We all know there was reported turmoil between the Lakers and Nets front offices from the Irving discussions.
Leaking another team's trade offer is a good way to make sure they never engage with you again.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) February 6, 2023
The Phoenix Suns host the Brooklyn Nets tomorrow in what is expected to be Devin Booker’s return from a lengthy absence.
Devin Booker is expected to play tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/NHsokhe9qH— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 6, 2023
The game was recently flexed onto TNT Tuesday as well.