Phoenix Suns Reportedly Wanted To Land Both Kevin Durant And Kyrie Irving At The Trade Deadline
The Phoenix Suns walked out of the 2023 NBA trade deadline as massive winners. Despite giving up 4 unprotected first-round picks, the team managed to land Kevin Durant on their roster to fully realize their dreams of winning the championship after 2 years of playoff heartbreak.
New owner Mat Ishbia has been credited for pushing to ensure the Suns made a win-now move like acquiring Durant, but it seems his ambition may lead to more stars being added to the roster.
The Suns were linked with trying to trade for Kyrie Irving and failing before the Nets sent him to the Dallas Mavericks. Jake Fischer of Yahoo is reporting that the Suns actually wanted to acquire both Irving and Durant, and are likely to pursue Kyrie in the summer when he’s a free agent.
“The Suns approached the Nets about trading for Kyrie Irving once the All-Star point guard asked out of Brooklyn, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports, and there were rumblings around the league that Phoenix was hoping to somehow land both Irving and Durant. That isn’t just a window into another present reality. A future reunification of Durant and Irving with the Suns will loom on the periphery of both Phoenix and Dallas’ stretch runs.”
Dallas should be sweating at the thought of Irving leaving for their rivals in Phoenix, so they need to maximize whatever time they have with Irving this season. Otherwise, Phoenix may build a juggernaut.
How Can The Phoenix Suns Land Kyrie Irving In Free Agency?
Even though Irving will be a free agent and has said he doesn’t want to discuss an extension with Dallas right now, the Suns need to have enough cap space to offer him a contract. Considering Irving wants a max contract, Phoenix cannot make that happen with the salaries they’re paying Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton.
With the Lakers also being interested in Kyrie, with the ability to make cap space for a contract offer, the Suns need the Mavericks to agree to a sign-and-trade. Irving’s bird rights remain with Dallas who can go over the salary cap to give him the contract he wants.
The Suns don’t have picks to tempt Dallas into a sign-and-trade package, so they’ll likely have to give up a player like Deandre Ayton to make it happen. Otherwise, the Mavericks can extend and keep Kyrie on the money he wants or Kyrie can leave and sign a fresh offer sheet with the Lakers. A sign-and-trade is the only route and the Mavericks won’t be making it cheap for Phoenix