Should Tax-Strapped Suns Consider Trading Kevin Durant?

The Phoenix Suns’ best chance to revamp the roster, if they decide to go that route, might be to trade Kevin Durant this NBA offseason, per John Hollinger of The Athletic.Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns, NBA

“The Suns used every available asset at their disposal and went $25 million into the luxury tax, and in the savage West, their reward was zero playoff wins,” Hollinger wrote. “Building around a Booker-Bridges-Ayton-Johnson core and some depth guys wasn’t likely to yield championship parades — but it wasn’t going to lead to this either. Phoenix is screwed, a non-contender that might not even make the playoffs in next year’s loaded West, but one with no chance to rebuild effectively until the 2030s. The 2030s.”

Because the Suns are well into the second tax apron, they can’t “aggregate salary in trades or take on more than they send out, and they are limited to signing minimum contracts in free agency,” Hollinger wrote.

Nor can they generate trade exceptions or send out cash in trades, he noted.

Durant will be 36 next season, and while he was still a high-impact player that helped the Suns win 49 games, he may not be a star who will lead this roster, as constructed, to championship construction. And again, this roster won’t change much with his salary, along with the contracts of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

“How do you get out of this? Here’s one heretical angle to think about: Trading Durant to a cap room team for picks and a young player,” Hollinger wrote. “It would get them out of salary-cap jail, resupply the player pipeline and still leave a decent team behind. They’re not getting four unprotected firsts back, but they can live to fight another day.”

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