Yet among the gratin of the league, Kevin Durant was unable to find a taker after his transfer request at the beginning of the summer. Sometimes for quite WTF reasons… A cador in the West notably refused to include a specific player in a potential transaction, which is puzzling.
Without a doubt, we are talking about the biggest soap opera of the past off-season. While the free agency would officially open its doors in a few hours, Kevin Durant dropped a bomb within the NBA, asking to leave the Nets, after barely three years with the New York superteam. The winger even had a few destinations in mind (we will come back to this later), but unfortunately for him, it is indeed the colors of the Blacks and Whites that he will wear in 2022-23.
It must be said that his case is quite unique in the history of the league, since we had never before dealt with a superstar of this caliber available for a trade. However, who says big players also says big salary and with 195 million over four years to pay him, the competing franchises should have resolved to drop monstrous counterparties. Especially after Rudy Gobert’s trade, which completely disrupted the market according to some observers.
Cameron Johnson too valuable for the Suns
But in addition to the financial aspect to consider with the Slim Reaper, some teams were simply unwilling to part ways with certain players. One thinks in particular of Phoenix, which was nevertheless on the shortlist of the MVP 2014. However, as revealed by Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the leaders of Arizona ended up giving up because it was out of the question for them to let a specific player slip away. And it’s not a star!
As the team sought to land Kevin Durant this summer, the Suns’ front office remained firm that Johnson was off limits – although a source said Phoenix eventually included him in an offer. Johnson is eligible for a contract extension himself, and early indications suggest the Suns were hoping to re-sign the 26-year-old sniper for four years and $72 million.
As a reminder, Johnson is just over 12 points and 4 rebounds on average off the bench last year, at 42.5% behind the arc. A nice contribution for a replacement, but here it is, it is only a role player. There was the potential to field KD alongside Chris Paul and Devin Booker, but CJ was so popular with his bosses that they passed on the opportunity. A rather bewildering ending… and as far as the fans are concerned, it’s hard to understand:
—Pingo (@777pingo) October 13, 2022
Cameron Johnson is therefore the player who derailed the Kevin Durant saga on the Suns side during the offseason. Let’s hope for the winger that he unleashes a quality 2022-23 campaign as some fans may blame him for that…