The Phoenix Suns are considered one of the favorites for a Kevin Durant trade but what is the trade package the team could send to the Nets in a deal?
Upon the breaking news that Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, the superstar’s list of preferred landing spots was also reported. And among the teams on that short list was the 2020-21 Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix already locked up star guard Devin Booker to a supermax contract at the start of NBA free agency on Thursday and they have been a contender since adding Chris Paul. So the notion that Durant would want to be the guy to push this team over the edge to getting a ring makes a ton of sense.
Having said that, the question then becomes what the trade package would look like that would land Durant on the Suns. A big part of that depends on former No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton, a restricted free agent this offseason, and what he decides to do. If he agrees to be part of a sign-and-trade, then the deal with the Nets could be simple. However, signing an offer sheet with another team could complicate matters.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at two trade packages the Suns could send for Kevin Durant, one including Ayton and one that does not.
Suns: Kevin Durant trade package with DeAndre Ayton
2025, 2027 first-round picks
2026 first-round pick swap
As long as Ayton doesn’t sign an offer sheet from another team, then he should be an easy inclusion for a sign-and-trade that would land Durant in Phoenix.
The assumption would be that Ayton would sign a max deal and, alongside Bridges, would make the money work in this trade. Along with that, the Suns would still have to sweeten the pot with two future first-round picks and a pick swap, both of which could come at a time when Durant and Paul have retired or are well beyond their peak effectiveness on the court.
This would certainly be the ideal scenario for Phoenix, though. Having to give up fewer immediate assets in a trade that is certainly a win-now move has to be the preference of the front office. But if Ayton were to complicate things and sign an offer sheet from another team, they can still make a trade work with the Nets.
Suns: Kevin Durant trade package without DeAndre Ayton
Mikal Bridges, Landry Shamet
Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder
2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 first-round picks
The big difference in having Ayton in a deal and not would likely be the amount of draft capital that Phoenix would have to send. With the former No. 1 overall pick in the deal, there will be a few picks, but not this number. That’s the price of doing business for a superstar, though, especially one with so much left on his contract.
Still, you have to believe that the Suns and Nets would both be interested in this deal. Brooklyn would get two young pieces in Bridges and Johnson that could be valuable along with picks that should get more valuable moving forward as Durant and Paul age out in Phoenix.
All told, the Suns have options no matter what happens with Ayton this offseason. However, whether or not he sets them up for a sign-and-trade easily will determine what a Durant trade would look like.