It was a busy 18 hours or so when it was Phoenix Suns He went from being one of three teams without a one-way slot filled with both by Duane Washington Jr. and Eshe Wainwright, but then we hit a little dead period in the off season.
Even now that we’re into August and camp looms, there are still a couple of loose ends that need tying up, so we’ll go over each limb here.
Kevin Durant’s Chance to Play Hard Ball
Speaking of Durant scenarios that Crowder might play a role in, we finally have a few actions that could push the whole deal forward in one direction or another. Steve Bullpett in Heavy.com he has the Reportwith some key points:
“What I’m hearing is that KD will be meeting the owner this week,” the source told Heavy Sports. “It’s going straight to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works… I have no idea what’s coming from that meeting. There are some things KD doesn’t like, and I’m not sure they’ll fix any here. But maybe be so.”
At an obvious crossroads in business discussions, this meeting could go one of two ways in my view:
- Durant begins playing hardball, insisting he won’t play for any team other than “favorite destination” Phoenix.
- The relationship was repaired and Durant returned to play with the net.
I still firmly believe that there is no end with Durant in another of the 28 teams; It would be Phoenix or Brooklyn. Looks like those other 28 teams are afraid to even put their names in the hat, too.
An executive from another team expressed disappointment with the process… “I think there are some teams that weren’t very happy when they talk to Brooklyn, it’s in the papers,” he said. “It doesn’t help. I’ve spoken to a couple of teams who are unhappy with the rumors creeping in through all of this. It’s not a good way to do business.”
Sean Marks, the general manager of Brooklyn, may have flown too close to the sun in an attempt to foment a bidding war by using the media any chance he got. Suddenly, the Suns package of picks and salary stuffing looks a lot more interesting since it’s the only offer, especially if Durant activates the “hard ball” mode.
The anonymous source quoted in the story explained that Durant would not activate the “hard ball” mode, saying, “If they can’t close a deal, he’ll just say, ‘”[Expletive] That’s, “And he’ll play — and he’ll play hard like he always does. I know KD, and he’s not going to sit outside or anything like that. He’s not that kind of guy. There’s no way.”
We might see later this week if Durant is that kind of guy or not, and for the sake of Suns fans, we should hope he is.
Update on Sarver’s investigation
since we last heard From Adam Silver on July 12 that the investigation is in its final phase, there have been two small developments in Sarver’s story.
Former Sun Goran Dragic spoke about Sarver’s austerity a week later when he shared that after he missed the 2013-14 All-Star Game (the season in which he was selected for his third All-NBA team), Sarver told Dragic he was glad he missed it.
Sarver would have had to pay a $1 million signing bonus if Dragic made the team.
Another week later, Reverend Al Sharpton – from Speak against Sarver When the allegations were first announced – speak up again, To express frustration With the never-ending nature of the investigation:
Enough is enough. I was patient when the NBA told me that Sarver’s investigation would be over by April. But April came and went. Then in June they told me to wait a few more weeks; But June came and went. We’re now approaching August, and there’s no end in sight to Sarver’s investigation.
This point about the target date for June matches something I heard a month ago that there are people all over the league preparing for this to be a drop date as well. It, Sharpton notes, came and went, and August became the new target date.
We are in August.
The final roster place remains open… for now
I was included in the group of many who thought the last place on the full list was saved for Wainright, who was recently reverted to a “two-way” slot only. Without a clear candidate on deck for the final position now, what options are left?
For the steadfast believers on Kevin Durant’s front, there’s always the possibility that if that happens and Phoenix loses a lot of depth in the process, players throughout the league might be intrigued by the opportunity to join the contender and order a buyout. FLEX From Jersey alluded to the same amount in a recent podcast, stating that up to three players across the league would be interested.
Given the financial constraints of Phoenix’s current salary as well as the lack of free agents still on the market, other options are few and far between. Suns can only offer minimal contracts at this point, which isn’t the worst thing because the remaining options don’t necessarily run into bid wars.
Dennis Schroeder is the biggest name still available, and he did quite well as recently as last month representing Germany in 2023. Basketball World Cup Qualifiers, including a match against Poland where he scored 38 points (10-25 shots) in 31 minutes with a 10-point win.
However, there is a point that Schroeder played his best season in the NBA alongside Chris Paul in Oklahoma City, so if Paul was interested in a reunion, it probably did.
Personally, I think that after the training camps and the cuts are made, there will be a player with added value; This is the kind of luxury afforded to rival teams – players want to play for your team, especially when your organization includes Monty Williams and Devin Booker.
The really bad thing about August in the NBA is that it takes a lot of patience, which is sometimes easier said than done. But if you were told in April, that a team of 64-18 would successfully bring it back with Ayton on a smaller deal than it could have been, I think most of us would be happy with what happened off-season.