After being one of the first candidates to acquire disgruntled Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns’ recent re-signings have put them in a tough position to secure the two-time Finals MVP.
This was confirmed by Athleticism Shams Charania in his report outlining the Boston Celtics’ commitment to a potential Durant deal.
“After the Phoenix Suns matched Indiana’s $133 million maximum offer sheet to Deandre Ayton, Durant’s list of suitors became clearer. With Ayton currently unable to be traded, the Suns appear to be virtually eliminated from Durant’s draw.
The Phoenix Suns’ elimination from Kevin Durant’s draw could prove a blessing in disguise as the franchise builds around its young talent.
Would the Suns be better off with Durant? Absolutely. But at the same time, they should also be mortgaging a future they’ve worked so hard to build.
Phoenix has been a scoundrel for over a decade, consistently missing the playoffs and failing to instill a stable and consistent culture. But after years of poorly developed and mismanaged lottery picks, the Suns finally struck gold with a few young players.
Devin Booker is the franchise superstar who has become one of the league’s best goalies. Former overall number one Deandre Ayton is a high-quality starting center on any roster, while the Suns have knocked on versatile wings Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson.
All the foursome needed was a coach who believed in them and empowered them, and a veteran leader to lead the way on the pitch. Once the combination of Monty Williams and Chris Paul formed, the Suns immediately rose to championship contender status.
Three of these four aforementioned young players are now under contract until at least the 2025-26 season. Although contracts now mean little in today’s modern NBA (see Durant), it is a clear indication of the mutual faith between players and the franchise.
There is value in building something from scratch. By developing a league roster naturally rather than “cheating the system” to some extent by simply buying the best player(s) available.
Just ask the Golden State Warriors whose 2022 NBA championship would be infinitely more satisfying than the two they won with Durant. Phoenix, Boston, again the Warriors, are all considering mortgaging the future of a 33-year-old among the top 20 players of all time.
As good as Durant is for the Suns, they will remain a championship contender without him. If they want to clear the championship hurdle and deliver a long-awaited title, completing it with their young core would provide a much healthier emotional experience.