August taping on Suns offseason: Durant reunion, Sarver news… coming soon, final roster spot

It was a busy 6 p.m. when the Phoenix Suns went from being one of three teams without a single spot in either direction to having both filled by Duane Washington Jr. and Ish Wainright, but beyond of that, we’re reaching a bit of a dead period in the offseason.

Even now that we’ve reached August and camp looms, a few loose ends still need to be ironed out, so we’ll touch on each here.

The opportunity for Kevin Durant to play hardball

Speaking of those Durant storylines that Crowder could play a part in, we finally have an action that could move the whole case forward in one direction or another. Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett had the report, with a few key points:

“What I hear is that KD is going to meet the owner this week,” the source told Heavy Sports. “He will go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, this week. We’ll see how it goes… I have no idea what’s going to happen from this meeting. There are some things that KD is unhappy with, and I’m not sure that’s fixed here. But maybe yes.

At an apparent crossroads in trade talks, this meeting can go one of two directions in my view:

  1. Durant begins to play hardball, insisting that he won’t play for any team other than “preferred destination” Phoenix.
  2. The relationship is mended and Durant returns to play for the Nets.

I continue to firmly believe that there is no end with Durant on another of the 28 teams; it’s gonna be Phoenix or Brooklyn. Those other 28 teams also seem afraid to put their names in the hat.

A personnel manager from another club expressed disappointment with the process… ‘I think there are teams that are not very happy that when they talk to Brooklyn it gets in the papers’ , did he declare. “That doesn’t help. I’ve spoken with a few teams who aren’t happy with the rumors floating around through all of this. It’s not a good way to do business.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks may have flown too close to the sun trying to start a bidding war using the media as soon as he had the chance. Suddenly, the Suns’ pick and salary-filling package looks a lot more intriguing since it’s the only offer, especially if Durant activates hardball mode.

The unnamed source cited in the story argued that Durant wouldn’t turn on ‘hardball’ mode, saying ‘If they can’t get a deal done, he’ll just say, ‘[Expletive] it,” and he will play — and he will play hard like he always does. I know KD, and he’s not going to sit down or anything like that. He’s not that kind of guy. There’s no way.”

We may find out later this week whether Durant is that kind of guy or not, and for the sake of Suns fans, we should hope he is.

Update on the Sarver investigation

Since we last heard from Adam Silver on July 12 that the investigation is in its final stages, there have been a few small developments in Sarver’s story.

Former Sun Goran Dragic spoke about Sarver’s frugality a week later when he shared that after missing the All-Star Game in 2013-14 (the season in which he was named to the third team All-NBA), Sarver told Dragic he was glad he missed.

Sarver would have had to pay a $1 million signing bonus if Dragic had made the team.

Another week later, the Reverend Al Sharpton – who spoke out against Sarver when the allegations were first made public – spoke again, express frustration with the endless nature of the investigation:

Enough is enough. I was patient when the NBA told me the Sarver investigation would be completed in April; but April has come and gone. Then they told me in June to wait a few more weeks; but June has come and gone. We are now almost in August and the Sarver investigation is not over.

This point about a June target date aligns with something I heard about a month ago that there were people in the league who were also preparing for that to be the drop date. As Sharpton notes, it came and went, and August became the new target date.

We are in August.

The final roster spot remains open…for now

I was included in the group of many who thought the bottom spot on the full list was reserved for Wainright, which was recently cut back to “just” a two-way slot. Without an obvious contender on deck for the final spot now, what are the options left?

For the hardy believers on the Kevin Durant front, there’s always the possibility that if this happens and Phoenix loses a lot of depth in the process, league players might be intrigued by the opportunity to join a contender and ask to be redeemed. FLEX From Jersey hinted at this in a recent podcast, stating that up to three league players would be interested.

Given the financial constraints of Phoenix’s current payroll as well as the lack of free agents still in the market, other options are few and far between. The Suns can only offer minimum contracts at this point, which isn’t the worst thing since the remaining options don’t necessarily trigger bidding wars.

Dennis Schroder is the biggest name still available, and he performed well as recently as last month representing Germany in the FIBA ​​World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, including a game against Poland where he netted 38 points (10-25 shots) in 31 minutes in a 10-point victory.

However, there’s the fact that Schroder is having arguably his best NBA season playing alongside Chris Paul in Oklahoma City, so if Paul had any interest in a reunion, it probably would have happened by now.

I personally believe that after the start of training camps and the cuts, there will be a player of value to add; it’s the kind of luxury given to competing teams – players want to play for your team, especially when your organization includes Monty Williams and Devin Booker.


The thing that August in the NBA really sucks is that it takes a lot of patience, which sometimes is easier said than done. But if in April you were told that a 64-18 team would manage to come back with Ayton on a smaller contract than he could have been, I think most of us would be happy with the offseason that happened.

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