NBA Rumors: Suns Pursued This Trade Before Kevin Durant Blockbuster

Phoenix clearly was motivated to improve its roster


Feb 9, 2023

One way or another, the Suns were going to end up with some new blood before the NBA’s trade deadline passed.

The new face turned out to be Kevin Durant, who was dealt by the Nets in exchange for three players, four future unprotected first-round draft picks and a future pick swap. But as Phoenix and Brooklyn negotiated a potential KD blockbuster, another player reportedly was on the Suns’ radar.

“Talks had progressed and stalled, and the Suns appeared to be pivoting toward a three-way deal that might’ve landed them Atlanta’s John Collins sometime Thursday morning, sources said,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. “On the direction of his new owner, Mat Ishbia, general manager James Jones texted Nets GM Sean Marks sometime after 11 p.m. ET — and it wouldn’t be long until Ishbia and Nets owner Joe Tsai had cobbled together the final elements of the blockbuster trade, sources said.”

According to Wojnarowski, the Suns engaged the Detroit Pistons about a potential three-team deal that would have brought Collins to Phoenix. But Ishbia, who was introduced as the Suns’ new owner at noon ET on Wednesday, reportedly “wouldn’t call it a night” until his team made a stronger push for Durant.

And with KD now on board, Phoenix is among the preeminent favorites to win the 2023 NBA championship.

Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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