West Notes: Suns, Kevin Durant, Spurs, Mavs, Kyrie Irving


Star forward Kevin Durant is targeting Wednesday, March 1 to make his Suns debut, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Durant suffered an MCL sprain on Jan. 8, when he was still a member of the Nets. He initially had been eyeing a return before the All-Star break last weekend.

Either way, once Durant does return, many are calling the Suns to beat coming out of the West — as Durant will team with shooting guard Devin Booker, point guard Chris Paul, center Deandre Ayton and the rest.

  • Durant recently said that players making trade requests is a positive for the NBA. You can check out that full post here.


Rookie small forward Dominick Barlow indicated he is learning plenty and developing as a pro with increased opportunity, in an interview with Spencer Davies of Basketball News.

“Just stay patient and stay with what I’m doing,” Barlow told Davies. “Obviously, I think the organization is seeing something — some of the stuff that I’m doing often and allowing me to play some more minutes when some guys are hurt, which I want to just keep proving myself and proving I can play at this level.”

Barlow, 19, signed a two-way contract with the Spurs in July, becoming the first NBA player to emerge from Overtime Elite. He aims to make a name for himself with his defense.

“Everybody wants to become a good offensive player, but I think defensively is the way to get out on the court,” Barlow said, via Davies. “So just trying to read that and understand that certain guys can score. As long as you’re keeping them in spots where they’re uncomfortable and they have to make tough shots, you kinda sometimes have to limit that. So just trying to learn.”

  • The Spurs as an organization are also staying patient, realizing that youth movements and rebuilds take time, wrote Jesus Gomez of SB Nation.


Coach Jason Kidd suggested now would be the time for star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to mesh, given that the playoffs are right around the corner.

The Mavs currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference, but just 1.5 games out of fourth — and only one game ahead of ninth.

“This would be a good time to have that kick, but again, with (Irving), we’re still getting to know each other,” Kidd said, via Schuyler Dixon of The Associated Press. “There’s going to be some times when you can see (Irving and Doncic) out there playing catch with one another. Hopefully that’s over. One of them will shoot the ball, I guarantee.”

No matter, Kidd said he has no doubt that Irving will continue to fit in and get into a rhythm next to his teammates.

“We’ve got 22 games left. Now it’s just about connecting not only on the floor but off the floor,” Kidd said. “He’s an adult. He knows how to do that.”

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