The acquisition of Kevin Durant by the Phoenix Suns now seems to be a failure. There are no more lessons to be learned after the Denver Nuggets’ six-game sweep of the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Game 6 was a rout from the get-go, with Phoenix losing 125-100. The Suns started Jock Landale, Cam Payne, and Landry Shamet in a playoff game that they had to win, so it’s not shocking that they ended up with that outcome.
Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four unprotected first-round picks, and a pick swap for the 2028 draught pick were acquired by the Suns from Brooklyn in exchange for Durant at the trade deadline. Over the summer, Durant will turn 35. During the Nuggets series, Chris Paul turned 38 years old. A groyne strain forced him to miss the last four games. It’s imperative for the Suns to turn this team into a title contender as soon is possible. However, the team does not have any draught picks to trade in order to get the upgrades that the squad so desperately needs.
There are a few big-picture pivots the Suns should think about in the wake of their disappointing playoff defeat, but there are no easy fixes for saving the Suns this summer.
The KCP contract and the addition of Bruce Brown are essential for the Suns.
Due to Jamal Murray missing the previous two postseasons due to an ACL tear, the NBA had not fully appreciated the Nuggets’ talent until this season. In return for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the early plan was to send Monte Morris and Will Barton to Washington. The next action was to acquire guard Bruce Brown from the Nets on a two-year, $13 million deal.
The Nuggets added two more good perimeter defenders with KCP and Brown’s signings, plus they now have cutters and floor spacers who can help them on offence. Phoenix needs men with similar skill sets to complement Durant and Devin Booker.
With a defensive rating of 118.3, the Suns ended the playoffs in 28th place overall, according to the league standings. Even though they only attempted 25.8 three-pointers per game, the fewest of any playoff team by a significant margin, the offensive managed to score at close to top-five efficiency.