Suns general manager James Jones doesn’t believe the Nets were ever serious about moving Kevin Durant after his trade request in late June. In an interview with Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic, Jones said Brooklyn set its asking price on Durant so high that no team would be willing to meet it.
Durant reportedly named Phoenix and Miami as his preferred destinations when he first asked to be traded, and there was massive speculation that the Suns were the favorites to land him because they had what the Nets reportedly wanted: young talent and multiple first-round picks. However, Jones doubts that Brooklyn’s front office made a legitimate effort to part with its star.
“Cause Brooklyn wanted to keep Kevin Durant in Brooklyn,” Jones responded when asked why a trade didn’t happen. “And that’s why he’s in Brooklyn and not on some other team, but as far as with us, I get it. It’s always a great topic of discussion, but the one thing people forget is that when you’re talking about trades, or any player acquisition, the team that has the player has to be willing to move the player. And so if they’re not moving the player, which they didn’t, it’s just conversation and it’s great discussion. Great interest for the NBA fan base and the team fan base.”
Jones added that trade talks with the Nets never progressed past the initial stage. He said every team in the league probably made a call to Brooklyn to see what it would take to get Durant, but there was no “in-depth discussion” between the Suns and Nets.
Jones addressed a few other topics in the interview:
Dealing with Mikal Bridges after he was prominently mentioned in Durant trade rumors:
“Mikal’s watching and he’s watching reports and third parties report about him. I get it. Being a player on both sides of it, I truly understand it, but it’s a testament to Mikal’s ability. He’s a really good player. So I would assume any time someone is linked to us, a good player is linked to us, that our good players will be brought up by someone. It’s the nature of it, but I think speaking to Mikal, he understands the business. He understands he’s put himself in a position to be regarded as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Any discussion around great players, I would assume he’d be one of the first guy’s names that’s going to be thrown out there.”
The status of extension talks with Cameron Johnson:
“We’re having discussions. Cam is a big part of…