The Phoenix Suns were at one point during the offseason viewed as favorites to acquire Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets.
Ultimately, a deal never ended up materializing and Durant remained in New York.
This week, an interesting tidbit from that particular period in time came out.
Apparently, there was one player the Suns were unwilling to give up in their pursuit of Durant.
That player: Cam Johnson.
“During the team’s trade pursuit of Kevin Durant this summer, sources said, Suns officials remained steadfast that Johnson was off limits,” Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported.
“Johnson is extension-eligible himself, and early indications suggested the Suns had hoped to re-sign the 26-year-old sharpshooter in the ballpark of four years and $72 million. Every dollar more will add to Phoenix’s already pricey luxury tax bill, which is surely coloring the Suns’ ongoing trade talks regarding Crowder.”
Johnson is a supremely talented young player. Last season he averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while shooting nearly 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Is that production enough to torpedo a possible Durant trade? The Suns thought so, apparently.
It will be interesting to see how both Phoenix and Brooklyn move forward in 2022-23.
The Suns were recently linked to a fairly massive proposed trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s hard to see anything materializing at the moment. Both teams will likely want to see how they start the year off before shaking their rosters up too much.
As for the Nets, Durant has already been expressing some frustration with the way things have gone during the preseason. Whether that frustration will grow or go away remains to be seen.
The Ben Simmons drama complicates things to some degree, obviously.
Both the Suns and Nets had the opportunity to radically change their fortunes with a trade centering around Durant.
Not a great start for the Lakers. https://t.co/RXnxT4iRqR
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 12, 2022
They ultimately opted not to move forward.
Which team will regret it come year’s end?
Time will tell.