Analyst Reveals Suns' Biggest Offseason Fear

The Phoenix Suns sure hope Kevin Durant wants to stay put in the Valley.
Apr 23, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) in the second quarter during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) in the second quarter during game two of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns will explore various avenues to upgrade their roster over the coming weeks. The 2024 NBA Draft begins later in June while free agency will follow in the first weeks of July.

With the Suns well over the second apron of the luxury tax, there are restrictions - massive ones - that will serve as roadblocks.

In trades, the Suns can't aggregate player salaries. They also can't utilize cash, among other restrictions.

For free agency, the Suns can only bring in outside players on veteran minimum deals.

Under the new guidance of Mike Budenholzer, Phoenix is hoping their star trio of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal can reach newer heights than the 49 regular season wins and first-round sweep endured in 2023-24.

Things got fairly rocky towards the end of the season, which has prompted speculation on nearly everybody's future in the desert.

That of course extends to Durant, who has had the label of "team-hopper" slapped on him since departing the Oklahoma City Thunder. The future Hall of Fame player has two years left on his deal in Phoenix, and there's been some noise on what the All-Star could do in terms of requesting a trade.

If Durant does decide to request a trade, Bleacher Report believes that's the Suns' biggest fear moving into the offseason.

"The Phoenix Suns are a bit of a mess at the moment," wrote Greg Swartz.

"This could become the most expensive roster in NBA history next season, especially if Royce O'Neale gets a new contract. The Suns are already projected to cost a whopping $328.7 million in salary and luxury tax penalties, yet they failed to win a single playoff game in their first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Phoenix is on its third head coach in 13 months. The draft picks are all gone, with first-rounders still owed to the Brooklyn Nets in 2025, 2027 and 2029. On top of all of this, ESPN's Michael Wilbon said on PTI that "I don't hear great things about the Suns and Kevin Durant."

"If Durant wants out, the Suns are really in trouble.

"For all that's gone wrong, the 35-year-old is still playing All-NBA-level basketball and was mostly healthy last season (75 games played).

"A trade request would be devastating for Phoenix."

Funny enough, we covered this exact scenario on our recent buying/selling Suns rumors piece, which you can enjoy here.


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Donnie Druin

DONNIE DRUIN

Donnie Druin is the Publisher for All Cardinals and Inside The Suns. Donnie moved to Arizona in 2012 and has been with Fan Nation since 2018. In college he won "Best Sports Column" in the state of Arizona for his section and has previously provided coverage for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin for more news, updates, analysis and more!