NBA, Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker pairing rekindles championship hopes for Phoenix Suns

Blowing a 2-0 lead against the Bucks in the 2021 NBA Finals and getting kicked out by the Mavs in last year’s conference semis made many people question whether the Phoenix Suns have missed their championship window. CP3 isn’t getting any younger, and Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton may not have it in them to carry the team to the top.

Booker, Paul, and Ayton are still among the best 30 players in the NBA this year, but it’s becoming evident that if they are to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien Trophy, help is urgently needed. The beginning of their 2022/23 season was unimpressive, and while some of it can be attributed to Booker’s absence due to injury, many started excluding the Suns from contention talks.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the NBA world was shaken up by a Woj bomb claiming that Phoenix was nearing a blockbuster deal with Kevin Durant. To make things even more interesting, the Suns were to make the trade without losing any of their top three players. So, is KD the final piece needed to complete the Suns’ championship puzzle?

KD’s blockbuster trade made the world crazy

According to The New York Times NBA piece, the 2023 NBA trade deadline was relatively dormant before Kyrie Irving shocked everyone by requesting a trade and ultimately getting sent to the Mavs on February 6.

The Nets fans were divided about the news. On the one hand, they were getting rid of a guy that couldn’t stay out of the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, thus damaging team chemistry, and on the other, they were losing one of the most prolific point guards in the league and a player with a championship pedigree.

Oh well, at least they still had Kevin Durant… for a few more days. Hearing the news about Kyrie wanting out, Durant decided to jump ship and explore his options. On February 9, the deal was made official, sending KD to Arizona and instantly turning the Phoenix Suns into serious contenders again.

One of the best scorers the game has ever seen has joined sharpshooting superstar Devin Booker and rowdy veteran Chris Paul to create a formidable trio the whole league should be seriously frightened of. Add Ayton’s presence in the paint and a solid lineup of role players, and this trade undoubtedly brings the Suns to a whole new level.

Devin Booker: A star that shines in Phoenix

Following Durant’s trade, the Suns are one of the biggest favorites to win because of their strong line-up with KD, CP and Devin Booker. If you like the Suns’ chances of winning and want to make the most of your prediction, you should check unbiased reviews on the gambling operators by and choose a betting site that offers competitive odds and lucrative promotions.

However, Kevin Durant is not the sole reason everyone feels the Suns are now the top dogs of the NBA.

Devin Booker is still the face of the franchise and a guy that’s there to stay, agreeing to a four-year supermax that should go into effect in 2024. This is Booker’s eighth season with the team, and he’s only 26. He’s a three-time All-Star and one of the best three-point shooters in the league.

The duo of KD and Booker may potentially be one of the best NBA duos of all time and a pair that finally lets Phoenix wave a championship banner. But if they were to fail, it could permanently damage Booker’s legacy.

That might sound harsh, but if you want to be called an NBA great, expect to be held to very high standards. Sure, Booker still has time to prove himself, but he has a top draft pick in Ayton, one of the best point guards in Chris Paul, and now Kevin Durant. If he doesn’t win now, he’ll run out of excuses.

How does Durant’s injury affect the team’s chances of success?

As stated in CBS’s news on Durant and Booker, it didn’t take long for the duo to click and start dominating. The first three games they played together ended in relatively easy road wins against the Hornets, Bulls, and Mavericks, with Durant scoring 26.7 PPG on nearly 70% FG. Booker had ever greater outings in those games, averaging 36 PPG on 50% from beyond the arc.

But then, everyone gasped as KD tweaked his ankle during warmups before getting a chance to make his home debut in Phoenix. There is no official timetable for Durant’s return at this time. Still, initial reports indicate he’ll likely miss the rest of the regular season and potentially the beginning of the playoffs.

The Suns now face the challenge of weathering the storm until Durant is 100% healthy again and ready to help them make a run for the championship.

Can the Suns go all the way and win the NBA championship?

Before February, sportsbooks favored the Bucks, Celtics, Nuggets, and defending champs Warriors, while the Brooklyn Nets were also in the mix before Kyrie wanted out. As soon as the trade dropped, betting sites shifted their odds to favoring the Suns.

Of course, acquiring Kevin Durant (and T.J. Warren) from the Nets was not cheap, as the Suns had to trade notable role players in Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Cam Johnson, as well as four first-round picks and a pick swap. Still, the Suns believe this isn’t a “four quarters for a dollar” deal and that they’re getting a great price for what they had to sacrifice.

Trading away much of their future sends a clear message — the Suns want the championship, and they want it now. They must win either this year or the next. Booker is still relatively young and has time to develop into an even better player, but Chris Paul is soon-to-be 38 with an expiring contract, while Durant is 34 and on the very back end of his prime.

Durant already proved what he could do when paired up with a couple of other superstars by winning back-to-back titles with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, Paul, Booker, and Ayton were exactly a Kevin Durant short of winning that Finals series against Giannis and the Bucks two years ago.

Joining forces should make Durant and the Suns top candidates for a chip this year. The Western Conference seems open-ended, and while Boston, Milwaukee, and Philly mean business, no order looks too tall for Phoenix with Durant.


Leave a Comment