THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!
So now that this has gone from ridiculous Danielle Steele-level fan fiction to real life, let's consider what it would cost the Suns to trade for Kevin Freaking Durant.
More to the point, would you be willing to trade Mikal Bridges to land Kevin Freaking Durant?
Before I answer that, let's consider the alternatives:
- You trade Deandre Ayton and Cam Johnson plus as many picks as you can
- Two very good role players but neither one of them is a star. The picks could be tempting because of how old the Suns would quickly get and how good those picks may be. But those are picks. And this is Kevin Durant. Unless KD holds the entire Nets franchise hostage until he's dealt to Phoenix and unless Kevin Durant himself dictates the terms of the trade, I don't think this is possible. Though I wouldn't underestimate Kevin Durant on anything.
- You trade Devin Booker straight up for Kevin Durant
- This would never happen for a multitude of reasons but hear me out quickly: this would probably be the best basketball trade for the Suns. A CP3/Bridges/Crowder/KD/Ayton starting five with Cam Johnson off the bench is probably the best combination of players the Suns could field for next year and still acquire Kevin Durant. You'd be sacrificing a bunch of really good Devin Booker years but your chances of winning the NBA title next year could not be better. The Suns wouldn't trade Booker and Kevin Durant likely wouldn't want to play in Phoenix without Booker but its still an interesting, albeit completely far fetched thought.
- You pass on trading for Kevin Durant.
- Don't be an idiot.
So that brings us back to Mikal, who's a really good player. If this simply came down to trading Mikal and getting KD or not trading Mikal and not getting KD, I'm trading Mikal Bridges.
And I love Mikal Bridges. He possesses both the on court skills and intangibles that the culture of an entire franchise can be created around. He's unselfish, likable and accountable. He's capable of getting even better offensively and would probably go down as an All Time Great Sun.
But two things stood out from the postseason that would justify a reluctant inclusion of Bridges: He was physically dominated by Brandon Ingram and Luka Doncic AND his offense regressed when the Suns really needed it to take off.
Ingram is several inches taller and Doncic is Doncic but if you can't be a shut down defender at wing when it matters most, that's a problem in a league increasingly decided by wing play. As far as the second point, the Suns had groomed and prepared Bridges for a bigger offensive role all year. When Booker and CP3 were injured, they ran a decent amount of crunch time plays for Bridges and he was really good. In the playoffs, when they needed another level from Mikal, he couldn't get there. It's too much of a risk to bet that he will when Kevin Durant is on the other end.
So, should the Suns trade Mikal Bridges and DA for Kevin Durant, assuming DA doesn't throw a wrench in the whole deal?
Yes but it wouldn't be easy. On second thought, yes it would, it's Kevin Durant.
Bring on the KD era.