Suns Owner Drops Bold Prediction After ‘No Risk’ Kevin Durant Trade

'I'm in the let's win today phase'


Feb 21, 2023

Will the Kevin Durant blockbuster trade to the Phoenix Suns prove to be among the franchise’s greatest decisions? Well, team owner Mat Ishbia sure thinks so.

Ishbia, who owns both the Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, didn’t hold back with the organization approaching this season’s NBA trade deadline. Instead, Phoenix acquired Durant, a two-time NBA champion and former league MVP, in exchange for three players and seven draft picks sent to the Brooklyn Nets.

And Ishbia envisions nothing but brighter days in Phoenix, standing by the organization’s decision with a strongly worded response of confidence.

“The vision is not, ‘Let’s win a championship,’ Of course we’d like to. But the vision is, ‘We’re going to be the leading franchise in the NBA,'” Ishbia said, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “… This is not just about winning this year. We’re going to win again in ’27 and ’29 and ’31. We’re going to try to win all the time. I’m not into the planning to win phase. I’m in the let’s win today phase and let’s win tomorrow phase.”

The Suns are just two years removed from their last of three total NBA Finals appearances over the course of the franchise’s 55 years of existence. With guard Chris Paul reaching the tail end of his career at 37 years of age, Phoenix was far from a sure thing at returning to that grand stage this season before the Durant trade. With not a single title to show for in their team’s history, if Durant leads Phoenix to the promised land, it would be impossible to dispute the trade as their greatest ever.

Durant is averaging 29.7 points with 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting 55.9% from the field this season. The 34-year-old has yet to make his Suns debut, still recovering from an MCL sprain he suffered with the Nets.

Now, while some might view swapping a trade package that consists of five first-round draft selections for an aging star as a risky move, Ishbia disagrees.

“I think there is no risk,” Ishbia said. “I don’t look at it as a risk at all. I look at it as a vision and a decision. And you go with your decisions and you run with it.”

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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