PHOENIX SUNS

Monty Williams unworried about Kevin Durant trade rumors impacting Suns

Aug 26, 2022, 9:58 AM | Updated: 10:03 am
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams does not sound like a leader in damage-control mode after nearly two months of Kevin Durant trade rumors.

He does not expect his job will require any mending of fences with players mentioned in trade scuttle before Durant made up with the Brooklyn Nets this week.

In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Williams for the first time acknowledged the weird situation some of the Suns’ best players were put in after Durant requested a trade from the Nets on June 30, followed by reports that he’d like to land in Phoenix.

“I never talked to any of our guys about that,” Williams said. “One, people don’t understand how hard trades are to pull off. When I first heard about the Kevin Durant stuff, I was kind of blown away by it just because, you know, we’ve been so blessed here to have guys want to come. At the same time, ‘at the expense of what?’ was my thinking. And I like our team. I love our guys.

“I wasn’t going to have conversations that didn’t need to be had,” the Suns head coach added. “I think our guys are mature enough to understand that part of our business. I didn’t want to have conversations about stuff that didn’t need to be brought up. Part of it is because I’ve been in the business so long. It’s just hard to pull trades off.”

Williams was likely a reason Durant reportedly requested that the Suns were atop the All-Star’s favored landing spots. Williams was an associate head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2015-16, Durant’s final year with his first NBA franchise.

Durant and Brooklyn have since made up, and the Suns had already moved forward, re-signing center Deandre Ayton, who was reportedly not of interest to the Nets in any Durant deal.

That all left Mikal Bridges as the key exchange piece in any Durant proposal from Phoenix’s end. He has seemingly taken the trade chatter in stride.

While Williams believes the Suns can move forward easily, other teams can’t say the same.

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, who was reportedly his team’s biggest asset in pursuing a Durant deal, appeared to let some of his frustration over his link to the Durant trade request be known on Twitter during the saga.

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