The Nets might not be done yet.
Moments after they traded the talented yet polarizing Kyrie Irving, many wondered what would become of Kevin Durant.
Two days after Irving requested a trade, he was dealt on Sunday afternoon to the Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and draft picks, including an unprotected 2029 first-rounder.
With teams around the league waiting to see the Nets’ next move, Bleacher Report and TNT’s Chris Haynes reported that the Suns are “prepared to pursue” Durant should he be made available ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
Much of the 2022 NBA offseason and its inactivity was related to Durant’s previous trade request shortly before the beginning of free agency last summer. It, in effect, held up the league and was the bookend to an underwhelming Nets season, where they became the only team to get swept in the entire playoffs. It was also the first of Durant’s four-year, $194 million contract extension signed the previous summer.
At the time, the Suns were on Durant’s list of preferred destinations, along with the Heat, and later, the Celtics.
Such a deal would likely have to involve the reportedly long-unhappy DeAndre Ayton, who is on the first of a four-year deal and making about $31 million this year, or Mikal Bridges, who is also signed through 2026. Bridges and Ayton were the centerpieces of a proposed Durant trade package this past summer, according to multiple reports.
The Suns are 29-26 and were in fifth place in the Western Conference entering Sunday, having won eight of their last 10 after falling to 21-24 on Jan. 16. The Nets have dropped to 32-20 and fourth in the Eastern Conference, and are awaiting the return of Durant, who suffered a sprained MCL on Jan. 8.
Unless, of course, he’s traded.