Report: Suns prepared to pursue Kevin Durant after Kyrie Irving traded to Mavericks
The Brooklyn Nets traded point guard Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks following his request to be dealt, according to multiple reports on Sunday.
With the move drastically changing the look of the Nets, the Phoenix Suns are prepared to pursue star forward Kevin Durant if he becomes available, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes.
The Nets agreed to acquire guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and two second-round picks for Irving, who requested a trade out of Brooklyn and is on an expiring contract.
Durant requested a trade during the offseason and reportedly had the Suns atop of his list of desired destinations. He rescinded the request — saying he was committed to Brooklyn — and dominated much of the first half of the season to earn an All-Star Game starter spot. He has missed the last 12 games with a sprained MCL.
Durant is currently 34 years old and signed an extension before the 2021-22 season that keeps him under contract through 2025-26.
He joined the Nets in 2019 with Irving, but the duo only played 74 games together due to injuries and off-the-court incidents with Irving including his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine and a team-issued suspension after he made a post about an anti-Semitic film on social media.
Prior to the trade deadline last year, the Nets had a trio of Durant, Irving and James Harden, with Durant the last man standing.
The Suns were reportedly in pursuit of Irving as a team that could potentially make a deal that kept both squads in contention.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that trade discussions between Dallas and Brooklyn accelerated on Sunday, and the Nets preferred Dallas’ package to that of fellow pursuer the Los Angeles Lakers.
Irving had ties to the Suns as a former teammate of general manager James Jones with the Cleveland Cavaliers and through a relationship with Chris Paul built in the NBAPA.
He averaged 27.1 points and 5.3 assists for the 32-20 Nets, who are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Reports emerged Friday that Irving, an upcoming free agent, requested a trade from Brooklyn after a roller-coaster 3.5 seasons that resulted in one playoff series win.
Irving joins a fellow Western Conference contender in Dallas to pair with All-Star Luka Doncic, a move that could jumpstart an active deadline, especially with a wide-open conference.
Changes are coming for Phoenix with Mat Ishbia set to take over the team and a Jae Crowder deal still needing to be made.