The Suns made a deal for Kevin Durant, but we can now say it fell flat.
So what remains? For the Suns, it will all likely come down to trying again by building around Durant and Devin Booker. But as we’ve seen, it will have to be more than just the Kevin and Devin Show in Phoenix.
In other words, it could be a fairly busy offseason for new team owner Mat Ishbia and GM James Jones.
But they will have to get creative, because the Suns don’t have a lot of assets, as relayed by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
- Chris Paul ($30.8M: 1/2 guaranteed)
- Cameron Payne ($6.5M: 1/3 guaranteed)
- Ish Wainright ($1.9M: team option)
Unrestricted Free Agents
- Torrey Craig
- Josh Okogie
- T.J. Warren
- Jock Landale
- Terrence Ross
- Darius Bazley
- Bismack Biyombo
- Damion Lee
If we had to guess, the Suns will look to trade Ayton, who has not been consistent in the pivot. Nor does he seem thrilled with his current situation or coach Monty Williams. But good luck trading that contract, initially given to Payne last summer by the Pacers.
Meanwhile, the Suns have to figure out what to do with Paul, who turned 38 earlier this month. They unquestionably have to get younger at point guard.
Payne will likely be brought back, but he isn’t the long-term starter. And it’s hard to know who the Suns will want to bring back among the unrestricted free agents. The best candidates are Landale, Bazley and Warren, but you certainly don’t want to break the bank for any of them.
Would any of those players be enough to put them over the top? As we’ve seen in places like Denver and Miami, it really is all about depth and fit.
Right now, the Suns don’t have enough of either.
Basically, there’s no reason the Suns can’t return to the top of the Western Conference, as they were back in 2021, but they will need to make some tweaks. How do they go about it? Well, we’re about to find out.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) May 12, 2023