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Suns GM James Jones Reveals Why He Didn't Trade For Kevin Durant: "Brooklyn Wanted To Keep Him..."

Kevin Durant

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant cause a major stir this offseason when he issued a trade request to team owner Joe Tsai. Almost immediately, the NBA world exploded with reactions as fans, experts, and executives tried to figure out who would land the 2x champion.

For most of the KD sweepstakes, Phoenix was right in the mix as one of the two teams that Durant wanted to join the most. Despite this, and weeks of negotiations, the Suns failed to land Durant and he is destined to return to the Nets for another season.


Suns GM James Jones Explains Why Kevin Durant Trade Talks Fell Apart

In the aftermath of the failed opportunity, Suns GM James Jones spoke out about what went wrong:

(via Duane Rankin of AZ Central):

Phoenix Suns GM was asked why Kevin Durant wasn't acquired by Phoenix this offseason. Jones' answer was about as straightforward as it gets.

"Brooklyn wanted to keep Kevin Durant", said Jones.

Jones went on to say the Suns talked with the Nets about a Durant trade, but that those talks never got really far.

"We had discussions with Brooklyn about their desires and what they were trying to do, but ultimately, I would say like most teams, there was nothing to it.” When pressed about the nature of the negotiations, Jones said "Not much discussion, in-depth discussion."

So what exactly happened between the Nets and Suns? Why did a deal never get done despite KD's immense pressure?

The simple answer is that Phoenix didn't have anything the Nets wanted. For a guy like KD, the Nets were expecting a package that rivals some of the best trade offers in NBA history.

On paper, the Suns just couldn't make that happen, which is why they never really got close to a deal.

(via John Gambadoro):

The Phoenix Suns had multiple conversations with the Nets this offseason but none in the last couple of weeks. The Suns were never out of it because they were never really in it. Nets were always insistent the return had to be better than what Utah got for Gobert.

Mikal Bridges was never offered because no formal offer was ever made from Phoenix nor was there a proposal made by the Nets. The Suns simply did not have what Brooklyn wanted - were told several times they did not have what it would take to get a deal done.

With Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns would have been the prohibitive title favorites. At the very least, they would have been competitive in the loaded Western Conference.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards and the Suns may be better off with who they have now rather than trying to win with a weak supporting cast.