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3 Phoenix Suns trade scenarios after striking out on Kyrie Irving

Phoenix Suns
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking for the Phoenix Suns right now as the trade deadline is fast approaching. Phoenix has been dealing with a ton of trouble this season, especially with their star player Devin Booker missing games due to injuries.

Last week, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Kyrie Irving demanded a trade. Following this, the Suns quickly became one of the top teams to pursue the star point guard. However, before the week ended, Irving was rapidly traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round, and multiple second-round picks. With that, the team has missed out on potentially adding another star to play alongside Booker.

However, there’s still a chance for them to make waves during the upcoming trade deadline on Thursday, February 9. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Suns “are prepared” to go after Kevin Durant once he becomes available. Phoenix tried to go after Durant during the summer, but they failed to strike a deal with Brooklyn. With the Nets in shambles this time, James Jones could make a blockbuster trade happen.

Here are three trade options that the Suns could explore before the trade deadline to improve their chances of winning the title.

Related: NBA playoff predictions: Bracket picks & 2023 Finals champion

Ayton and Crowder in exchange for the Spurs’ veterans

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Suns get: Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson
  • Spurs get: Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, two future second-round picks

The San Antonio Spurs could be one of the teams that make a bit of noise ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. San Antonio has three veteran players capable of contributing right away. Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, and Jakob Poeltl have been on a losing team for quite some time now. A change of scenery is what they need.

With this mock trade, Ayton and Crowder could suit up for the Silver and Black. There will be backlash from fans since Ayton isn’t who they need right now, but they need a center that fits their long-term plans. He’s a young, talented big who has playoff experience. The Suns could add two future second-round picks to make the Spurs’ front office agree to this trade.

Related: 10 stars possibly on the move at NBA trade deadline, including Anunoby and Westbrook

Phoenix Suns pursue Fred VanVleet

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Suns get: Fred VanVleet
  • Raptors get: Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, Cameron Payne, first-round pick, second-round pick

As the trade deadline is slowly approaching, there have been rumors of the team’s desire to improve its roster for the future. The Suns’ starting point guard, Chris Paul, is 37 years old, and it looks like this is his last productive season. With that, the front office has started to eye Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors as a potential guard for the foreseeable future. But knowing how Masai Ujiri works in getting the best trades for his team, it won’t be an easy trade to seal.

Phoenix has three players available to get this potential trade to happen. Crowder, Johnson, and Cameron Payne could all be part of a deal to bring VanVleet to Arizona. Ujiri could also be looking for a package similar to what the Nets received in exchange for Irving. The Suns will need to add future picks if the Raptors remain hesitant. Adding one first-round and two second-round draft picks could do the deal. Toronto could also put Juancho Hernangomez in the package, but the Suns would have to include another player to make salaries match.

Related: NBA trade rumors: Latest buzz ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline

Suns go chasing after Kevin Durant

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at New Orleans Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • Suns get: Kevin Durant
  • Nets get: Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Cameron Johnson, two first-round picks

Over the summer, the Suns gave Deandre Ayton a contract to return to the team worth $132 million for four years. It came after the Indiana Pacers offered him a deal, and Phoenix had to match their offer since he was a restricted free agent. Ayton’s contract included a stipulation preventing him from being traded until January 15. Now that the date has passed, there’s no reason for Jones to keep him.

Ayton could be the key for the Suns to acquire Durant from the Nets. Now, a one-for-one exchange wouldn’t be fair for Brooklyn. The Arizona-based team could add Jae Crowder, a player unwilling to suit up for the squad, and Cameron Johnson. The addition of Johnson is just in case the New York team demands young players in the deal. Jones could add two first-round picks in the trade to keep the trade fair. In addition to KD, the 2021 Western Conference champions could get Nic Claxton in the mix, but the Nets may be unwilling to part with so much of their core.

Related: 3 ideal Chris Paul trade scenarios ahead of NBA trade deadline

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