Suns Excited Over Addition of Kevin Durant
The Phoenix Suns walked out of the NBA Trade Deadline as the clear winners, following their blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets that landed them Kevin Durant, one of the best players of this generation.
While it may be a bit before Durant makes his official debut for the Suns, as he makes his way back from injury, his impact on the team has already been felt.
“I think it’s more than a lift,” Suns coach Monty Williams said following their loss to the Hawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN’ Nick Friedell. “I think it’s a jolt, if that makes sense. Just because of, not just who he is as a player, but his love for the game. I think the guys are going to see something that they may not have seen before as far as his approach and how much he just loves to play basketball.
“I think if he could hoop every day, 24/7 he would do that and I think that’s who we are. And so to be able to have someone like that in your gym, but who’s also ultratalented, and one of the best to ever do it, I think it’s going to not just compliment what we do, it’s gonna uplift and give us a bit of a jolt.”
Suns veteran point guard and future Hall of Famer Chris Paul agreed. “What KD say in that interview one time? What did he say? Y’all know who he is,” Paul said. “So you add him to the daggone who is that that the Harlem Globetrotters play against all the time? The Washington Generals. You add him to them and they’re going to be nice. You know what I mean? KD is different, man. He different. That’s why he is who he is. He’s been doing it in this league for a long time. We got to see what it is.”
“It’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” Paul said. “Just to know how he approaches the game, his nickname’s Easy Money, just somebody who loves the game like that. I think that’s what brought me and Book closer together because he just love to hoop. And KD, he just love to hoop. So I’m excited about the process of building this team.”
Suns center Deandre Ayton believes that the sky is the limit for the Suns following the blockbuster deal, with an NBA championship in their sights.
“Damn right,” Ayton said. “You damn right. That’s how I feel. Where we’re at, especially at the start of the season, we lost a few games and we seen what it’s like. I think we got punched in the face so many times where we’ve adapted and accepted to where, we’ve accepted adversity, it helped build confidence to where we’ve been in situations where a team threw everything at us to stop us even though we didn’t have the right pieces on the court … knowing what these teams can throw at us, we’re ready for it man and it’s going to be real fun because it’s so many pieces, golly. It’s trouble and it’s fun because it’s about time. We got the firepower for real and you can feel it.”
The Suns, who have battled injuries all season long and are starting to get healthy again, know that they have a heck of a shot at doing something special.
“We got a chance to be really good,” Williams said. “We got to get a rhythm, we got to understand how we can play together — Kevin can play with anybody. Any team in the league he can find a way to play. Same with Book, same with Chris [Paul] so it’s on us to figure out the guys around those guys and how [DeAndre Ayton] fits and all of that. But we have some time for that … we’ll figure out all that stuff as we go forward.”
“There’s a human side to all of this that you have to deal with,” Williams said before the game. “It was an emotional day talking to those guys. I got to see them before they took off and it was emotional. Those two are near and dear to my heart. They literally are like my family.”
Paul, who is personal friends with Durant, spoke about Durant’s excitement to head to Phoenix.
“I mean, he ain’t mad,” Paul said. “But it’s also a lot for him. He’s been there in Brooklyn for a while. I think that’s the thing, I get it, it’s definitely exciting — but there’s a lot that goes into this stuff, man.
“Obviously guys are changing teams but guys got their families. [Mikal Bridges] and Cam [Johnson]’s settled in Phoenix. KD done built a whole business and he’s a big figure there in Brooklyn, New York. So it’s a lot to deal with. So I think everybody got to figure it out. It just happened.”
Now, the Suns will focus on keeping things together as a few more players work their way back to health, they await Durant’s debut, and they do some work on the waiver wire to add some depth to the team.