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Devin Booker Trade Rumors: 'No Way in Hell' Suns Trade Star for Nets' Kevin Durant

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns have emerged as a strong contender in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, but it appears the Brooklyn Nets will have to lower their asking price to get a deal done.

"From what I'm hearing from the Nets' side, they want at least two All-Stars, which means they would want Devin Booker," Stephen A. Smith said Thursday on SportsCenter. "From what I'm being told on Phoenix's side, there's no way in hell they're giving up Devin Booker. He's not going anywhere."

The Suns and Booker agreed to a four-year, $214 million supermax contract extension at the 6 p.m. ET opening of free agency, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The deal will tie Booker to Phoenix through the 2027-28 season.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Suns and Miami Heat were among the list of destinations Durant has on his "wish list" as he seeks to leave Brooklyn. Durant requested a trade earlier in the day Thursday in a phone call with Nets owner Joe Tsai, a straining of the relationship that transpired over the course of the last several months.

After signing a four-year extension with the Nets last August, Durant appeared committed to Brooklyn for the duration of his prime. However, the near-constant misery that was the team's 2021-22 season—highlighted by the fiasco surrounding Kyrie Irving's vaccination status—clearly impacted how Durant saw his future. Wojnarowski reported that Durant had not spoken to the Nets front office in several weeks before requesting the trade.

The Suns have a strong package they could offer built around Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton (via sign-and-trade), Cam Johnson and several draft picks. That said, it's unclear if Bridges or Ayton will ever develop into All-Stars, and the Suns' draft picks will be projected in the 20s for the foreseeable future. It's possible the Nets could target a young talent that has already made at least one All-Star team.

That said, it would make little sense for Phoenix to include Booker in any trade talks. The entire point of a trade for Durant would be to pair him with Chris Paul and Booker to form the NBA's most formidable Big Three.

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