The NBA landscape shifted considerably in February when the Phoenix Suns pulled off a blockbuster trade for future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant.
It was expected that he would elevate an already good team into championship contention, but he has played only three games for them so far due to injuries.
When the trade was executed, he was already out with a sprained knee, and on March 8, just before what was supposed to be his first home game with the Suns, he suffered a sprained ankle during warm-ups and has been out since.
According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Durant could return next Wednesday when Phoenix hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Phoenix Suns' 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant (sprained ankle) is progressing toward a potential return to action on Wednesday vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, barring any setback, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 24, 2023
The 34-year-old is still one of the best players in basketball when healthy, and he’s averaging 29.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game this season while shooting 56.6 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from 3-point range.
But ever since he tore his Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals, he has been injury prone.
Durant has failed to appear in more than 55 games in a single season ever since, and it makes his contract, which pays him over $44 million this year, look like more of an albatross than an investment.
The Suns gave up Mikal Bridges, one of the NBA’s best 3-and-D wings, key reserve Cameron Johnson and five future first-round draft picks to get Durant.
If he were in his late 20s or even his early 30s and had no injury concerns, perhaps that price could be justified, but instead, it has placed an enormous amount of pressure on the franchise to win its first world championship as soon as possible.NEXT: Suns Head Coach Did Not Hold Back In Ripping The Refs