Kevin Durant understands the strain and the results if the Suns — with him, Devin Booker and lately acquired Bradley Beal — don’t win a title this season.
However the former Nets star, getting into his first full season in Phoenix, said in a SiriusXM NBA Radio interview that he’s additionally to see how shortly the totally different items of their roster can begin to mesh.
“Clearly if we don’t win a title we’ll get pounced on,” Durant mentioned in an interview launched Friday. “However for us … individually as gamers, you’re simply trying to get higher and do our jobs one of the best we are able to do.”
When the Suns acquired Durant from the Nets on the commerce deadline final season — in change for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, 4 first-round draft picks, a draft decide swap in 2028 and Jae Crowder (who was later traded to the Bucks) — it stacked the Suns’ roster for a title run that fell brief once they misplaced to the Nuggets within the Western Convention semifinals.
That prompted Phoenix to fireside Monty Williams and rent Frank Vogel as its new head coach.
In addition they acquired Beal from the Wizards in June, parting with guard Chris Paul to spark a stretch of motion that finally ended with him becoming a member of the Warriors.
Durant handled accidents after arriving in Phoenix — lacking time because of an ankle damage that was sustained in warmups main as much as his house debut with the Suns — after which they underperformed of their semifinals collection in opposition to the eventual NBA championship, dropping their 4 video games to the Nuggets by a mean of 17.25 factors.
Nonetheless, the offseason transactions supplied one other alternative for Durant to work with a Large 3, just like his time with the Warriors (alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) and the Nets alongside Kyrie Irving and James Harden, earlier than Ben Simmons later arrived and changed Harden.
The primary state of affairs led to 2 NBA titles.
The second solely resulted within the trio taking part in 16 video games collectively earlier than Harden requested a commerce out of Brooklyn.
Their path by means of the Western Convention shall be troublesome in opposition to Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets and Curry’s Warriors, in addition to LeBron James’ Lakers, however between Durant, Booker (27.8 factors per recreation in 2022-23) and Beal (23.2 factors per recreation), the Suns have located themselves as contenders as soon as once more.
And although that comes with expectations, Durant stays involved about their incremental progress, too.
“I perceive that’s a part of expectations and the expertise stage that we have now on our workforce,” Durant mentioned within the radio interview. “However I don’t even have a look at it like that. It goes with out saying I at all times really feel like we must be profitable each recreation and championship is at all times the aim, however I don’t even discuss it. I feel the event of our workforce, and seeing the place we’re and … how shortly can we come collectively, I feel that’s a very powerful factor.”
- Suns will get ‘pounced on’ if they do not win title
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