NBA Trades: 3 targets for the Phoenix Suns not named Kevin Durant

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 16 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 16 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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NBA Trades, Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 07: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after hitting a three-point shot against Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz during the second half of the NBA game at Phoenix Suns Arena on April 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Jazz 117-113 in overtime, NBA Trades: 3 targets for the Phoenix Suns not named Kevin Durant. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

From the moment Kevin Durant requested a trade earlier this offseason, the Phoenix Suns have been linked as a potential suitor. Yahoo! Sports’ insider Chris Haynes reported that the Suns are among Durant’s preferred landing spots if he were to be dealt, and Phoenix certainly feels strongly about the two-time Finals MVP as well.

However, following the recent Deandre Ayton move that saw the Suns match the largest offer sheet in NBA history to retain the former first-overall draft pick, they have made it far more difficult to acquire Durant this offseason, as they cannot trade Ayton for several months.

While it is still possible for Phoenix to acquire Durant, it will certainly be a tall order, given the reported monstrous asking price the Brooklyn Nets are demanding in a trade for the 12-time All-Star. If the Suns are unable to pull off a blockbuster for Durant, here are three trade targets they could make a run at instead to strengthen their roster.

NBA Trades: 3 potential targets for the Phoenix Suns not named Kevin Durant – Bojan Bogdanovic

After trading away two key starters in Royce O’Neale and Rudy Gobert, it looks like the Utah Jazz are preparing to trade Donovan Mitchell and begin a full-blown rebuild. According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Jazz have made their entire roster available in trade talks, and they have some interesting players that should be desirable for opposing contenders. For the Phoenix Suns, a player they should have on their radar via trade is Bojan Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic has become a lethal scorer over the past three years with the Jazz, having averaged a reputable 18.4 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from three-point territory.

Bringing in another stellar scorer like that could work wonders for Devin Booker and Chris Paul, as it would alleviate some of the workload off them offensively. Bogdanovic would be an immediate upgrade over Jae Crowder or Dario Saric at the power forward position due to his prolific scoring, and he would make the Suns more formidable on impact.

To acquire Bogdanovic, the Suns would have to put together a package that allows them to absorb the $19.5 million remaining on his deal. Phoenix could put together the aforementioned pairing of Crowder and Saric along with a first-round pick to possibly satisfy Utah as they hoard draft capital.

That future first-round pick would be the prize here, but Crowder and Saric are both on expiring deals, which could give the Jazz some added flexibility as they brace for a potential rebuild. It would be an all-in move by the Suns, and although he is not Kevin Durant, Bogdanovic can still score the ball at an incredibly high level and help this team make a run at an NBA Championship next season.