When the Phoenix Suns stunned the NBA by trading for superstar Kevin Durant at midseason, people were split on what type of results it would yield.
Some felt it would make the Suns, who had gone stale after reaching the 2021 NBA Finals, instant championship contenders, and some even proclaimed them as the favorites to come out of the Western Conference.
But others said it was a mistake, especially given the high price the Suns paid for him and the resulting lack of depth.
On Fox Sports 1’s “Speak,” analyst Joy Taylor said Phoenix should not regret trading for Durant.
.@JoyTaylorTalks doesn't think the Suns should regret the KD trade. pic.twitter.com/NSbH5sbCtd
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) May 15, 2023
There is no question that Durant is still one of the NBA’s premier players, and he put up 29.1 points a game while shooting a career-high 56.0 percent from the field.
But to get him, the Suns had to give up two very good complementary players in Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, as well as a whopping five future first-round draft picks.
Bridges is a very good 3-and-D wing, and he blossomed after being sent to the Brooklyn Nets in the Durant trade, as did Johnson.
It was a hefty price to pay for a 34-year-old Durant who has become injury-prone ever since tearing his Achilles nearly four years ago, and it made the Suns a very top-heavy team that lacked any reliable offensive contributors off the bench.
Then there is the matter of what some say are diminishing returns from him.
He struggled with his shooting efficiency in his team’s six-game loss to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs, and his ability to hit jumpers off the dribble seemed to have eroded.
The Suns are in a situation where they have put lots of pressure on themselves, and they will have no choice but to win the NBA championship next season or face more questions about their decision-making.NEXT: The Suns Are Eyeing A Former Bucks Coach For Opening