PHOENIX SUNS

‘It’s all love’: Suns GM James Jones refutes Kevin Durant trade speculation after NBA Draft pick

Jun 26, 2024, 11:21 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2024, 5:50 am

James Jones, Mat Ishbia and Kevin Durant at introductory presser....

Kevin Durant of the Phoenix Suns (C) answers questions from the media while owner Mat Ishbia (L) and general manager James Jones look on at a press conference at Footprint Center on February 16, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones put Kevin Durant trade rumors to bed once again on Wednesday night.

Though first-round coverage of the 2024 NBA Draft demanded explanation of 28th pick Ryan Dunn — and rightly so — touching on Durant trade rumors was naturally a part of Jones’ Zoom meeting with reporters.

Earlier on Wednesday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that the Suns “want out of Kevin Durant right now.”

Jones doubled down on the franchise owner Mat Ishbia’s stance that the bona fide NBA All-Star is not going anywhere.

“I think I said it specifically on May 19, when I was asked ‘Are we trading Kevin Durant?'” Jones said on Wednesday night. “I said no then, I say no now … but that makes the NBA and the draft and everything around it, the offseason, that what makes it interesting for the fans, so I get it and understand it.”

Jones also elaborated about his growing relationship with Durant.

“It’s all love,” Jones said. “It’s all good. Having a chance to work with one of the all-time greatest players and the success that we’ll have going forward, it’s what you live for.”

With the damage control done and residue cleaned up, Jones was freed to answer questions pertaining to business at hand in this year’s NBA Draft.

The Suns traded down from their original 22nd position and collected the 28th from the Denver Nuggets along with Thursday’s 56th selection and future second-round picks in 2026 and 2031.

Jones told media members that Dunn will have the opportunity to develop as a his shot-making ability, as he was primarily asked to defend while at Virginia. The GM also expressed confidence in the wing player to impact the box score in a variety of ways.

“I know how badly he (Dunn) wanted to be in Phoenix,” Jones said. “He saw that fit, and most importantly, he was adamant. His desire is to become an elite defender in this league first and foremost, and that’s something we can really benefit from.”

Last season with the Cavaliers, Dunn averaged 8.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 assists complemented by 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals.

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