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Report: Suns expected to pursue Kevin Durant via trade

Phoenix is going to go after KD after the Nets dealt Kyrie Irving to the Mavericks on Sunday.

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on January 06, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are blowing it all up. On Sunday, the Nets dealt PG Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for a package including Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and picks. Now that Irving is gone, the Nets are reportedly setting their sights on potentially moving Durant, per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report. The Phoenix Suns are preparing to go after Durant if he’s made available.

There had been trade rumors surrounding the Suns and Nets on Durant prior to the 2022-23 NBA season. Durant was fed up with Irving and his lack of commitment and adding Ben Simmons didn’t help any. So now we’re back to Durant looking like he wants out. This report isn’t saying that, of course. It’s merely stating that the Suns are going to try and take advantage of the Nets’ potential fire sale before the deadline on Thursday.

Durant is currently sidelined due to a knee injury but is expected to be re-evaluated soon. After that, we could see Durant come back some time after the All-Star break, which is in a few weeks. The Nets are also without Ben Simmons, who is dealing with injury as well.

Now let’s go to the ESPN NBA Trade Machine to cook up a deal for Durant and the Suns. Phoenix could shed the salaries of Dario Saric, Jae Crowder and also include Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges, plus picks, and we get there. Durant’s salary is $44 million, which makes it tough to navigate. This deal would be decent for Brooklyn. You get a very nice piece in Bridges, plus Johnson. You get a few expiring contracts and then w/e picks Phoenix throws in.

The other deal is centered around Deandre Ayton. The Suns could deal Ayton along with Crowder and the salary matches up. Then you’d just throw in a bunch of future picks for Brooklyn and boom. The Nets really don’t need another center though with the emergence of Nic Claxton.