The Phoenix Suns have moved up in the NBA tiers.
Trading for Kevin Durant has officially made them a legit contender, even if the legendary scorer hasn’t played for weeks.
Durant suffered an MCL sprain while still with the Brooklyn Nets, an injury that halted his MVP-caliber campaign.
He hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, but the Suns — like the rest of the league — will have over a week to rest and get ready for the final stretch of the season during the All-Star break.
So, even though it seemed like Durant was still a ways away from being back, a sudden schedule change raised some eyebrows and hinted at a potential debut date with the Suns.
As NBA insider Kellan Olson pointed out, Phoenix’s first game after the All-Star break — which happens to be versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, of all teams — has now been moved to ESPN and will start at 8:00 pm local time.
League announces the Suns' first game back from the All-Star break against the Thunder will now start at 8p local time and has been moved to ESPN.
Hmmmm. Curious. Very curious.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) February 17, 2023
Of course, this could be just ESPN getting ahead and trying to be ready in case Durant is — indeed — back on the floor, or maybe they know something most of us don’t.
KD still needs to clear some hurdles before getting back on the floor, namely going through 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 drills.
Also, there’s a big chance he’ll be under a strict minutes restriction early in his return, but we already know he doesn’t need a lot of minutes to make his presence felt.
Durant is the ultimate plug-and-play guy, as he seamlessly fits in nearly every system.
So, the rest of the league is now officially on notice…the Slim Reaper is coming.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Says 1 Player Is Under The Most Pressure In Phoenix