Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

The state of Arizona is on a week-long bender internet hosting the Tremendous Bowl and Phoenix Open, and now getting information of the blockbuster commerce for Kevin Durant.

One of many best NBA gamers of all time is suiting up with the Phoenix Suns.

That’s not simply information – that’s free beer and rum on faucet for each sports activities fan within the Valley. That’s a bacchanal that received’t be seeing straight for the subsequent a number of weeks.

That’s why I’m right here. I’m your designated driver.

Analysts love the Kevin Durant commerce

Somebody wants to remain sober whereas all of the Kevin Durant pleasure strikes from hoopla to hype to cultural takeover.

“Phoenix is on hearth proper now,” Charles Barkley mentioned.

The oddsmakers in Las Vegas are choosing the Suns to win the NBA Western Convention and problem the Boston Celtics or Milwaukee Bucks for the title.

A lot to study:New Suns proprietor Mat Ishbia’s trial by hearth

All throughout sports activities media, analysts are handing out As and A-pluses to the Suns for electrifying the league with their spectacular commerce.

That’s not the letter grade I give the hometown crew. I give them an “F” and never for “failed.”

For “faceplant.”

It might be the worst commerce in Arizona historical past

Brooklyn Nets ahead Kevin Durant (7) reacts towards the Philadelphia 76ers in the course of the first half of an NBA basketball recreation Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in New York.

This can be the worst commerce in Arizona sports activities historical past, and that’s a really excessive bar.

That is town that traded pitcher Max Scherzer and three different gamers to the Detroit Tigers for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. You could have heard of Scherzer. He went on to win three Cy Younger Awards, pitch two no-hitters and win a World Collection.

What {qualifications} do I – an editorial web page columnist – have to guage the Suns commerce?

I’ll present you my {qualifications}: Fifty years of struggling. Fifty years of watching Arizona arenas turn out to be the Leisure World for getting older superstars.

We have now completed this so many instances earlier than it has turn out to be virtually seasonal, the factor we do together with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We roast the turkey, we hold the mistletoe and we signal a beyond-his-prime sports activities legend to experience his final massive contract into the sundown.

Story continues

We have now an extended line of past-prime superstars

The Arizona Cardinals did this with Emmett Smith, the good Dallas Cowboys working again. He got here right here when he was 33. He retired at age 35. In between he broke his shoulder blade.

J.J. Watt, the hulking defensive lineman with the Houston Texans grew to become a Cardinal at 32. He retired at 33. He was injured a lot of the time he was right here.

In 2011, the Cardinals signed Todd Heap, an ideal NFL tight finish. His tank was practically empty. He performed two-injury plagued seasons earlier than he was launched in 2012.

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed World Collection legend Madison Bumgarner previous his prime for $85 million. He has by no means returned to his former glory.

Some will say, what about Charles Barkley? He performed quite a lot of good years in Philadelphia, then got here to Phoenix and reworked the Suns. Charles Barkley was 29 when he got here to Phoenix. He retired with the Houston Rockets at 36.

Kevin Durant is 34. He has a current historical past of accidents and plenty of missed video games. Although paired lately with two different superstars, he was not in a position to get the Brooklyn Nets past the Japanese Convention playoffs. The Brooklyn triad was a bust.

Phoenix Suns have mortgaged their future

On Thursday, we discovered the Phoenix Suns traded Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 for the famous person Durant and former Suns draft decide T.J. Warren, who has been damage susceptible his complete NBA profession.

Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson have been distinctive draft-day additions. Each have soared nicely above expectations. At age 26, with many prime years to go and maturity nicely past their years, each are cornerstones you may construct a crew upon.

They not solely carry out at a excessive degree, however they assist set the tone within the locker room. They’re worthwhile athletes and distinctive human beings, and to know how deeply their loss is felt within the Suns group, watch the clip of Suns coach Monty Williams speak about their departure.

He does so with actual disappointment: “These two are close to and pricey to my coronary heart. They actually are like my household.”

4 unprotected first-round draft picks? Speak about residing for immediately and the long run be damned.

Now we’ve neither protection nor depth

These are the costs you pay for a 28-year-old Durant, not an injury-prone 34-year-old.

The Phoenix Suns are one tendon tear from auctioning off their subsequent decade. If Durant declines rapidly like Heap and Watt and Baumgartner, the Suns will likely be far diminished from what they have been earlier than the commerce.

Many say it’s a must to go for it when a championship window opens. But when the Suns have discovered something over their final two years of success, the NBA playoffs are an endurance check. You higher go together with protection and depth.

The Suns now have neither. They could treatment that within the free market, however why are we to consider that Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul (not even the identical Chris Paul he was two years in the past) will fare higher than Durant and Kyrie Irving and James Harden?

I hope I am improper about all of this

This isn’t a screed concerning the new Suns proprietor, Mat Ishbia. He’s a extremely achieved athlete and businessman with a ardour for NBA basketball. I like that he’s the brand new proprietor. However I feel he made a rookie mistake.

If I’m improper and the Durant-led Phoenix Suns hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, I’ll gladly eat this column with the identical enthusiasm and tangy barbecue sauce that Billy Bob Thornton used to eat the Massey prenup. (See Cohen Brothers, “Insupportable Cruelty”.)

However I’m not improper.

I’m 50 years of chilly, arduous Arizona sports activities actuality staring you within the face. And I’ve received the keys to your automobile.

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist with The Arizona Republic. He may be reached at [email protected]

This text initially appeared on Arizona Republic: Kevin Durant to Phoenix Suns is the worst commerce in Arizona historical past

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