Arizona has made massive trades in its sports history, but none may be as significant as the Kevin Durant trade. How this could be the greatest move ever made?
Arizona sports teams have had their fair share of amazing trades over the years, and they’ve all gone a long way in helping shape their respective franchises. While we can’t forget the likes of Charles Barkley (Suns), Curt Schilling (Diamondbacks), Carson Palmer (Cardinals), and Jeremy Roenick (Coyotes) to name just a few, it looks like the Phoenix Suns‘ trade for Kevin Durant may turn out to be the best trade in Arizona sports history.
Leading the Suns to its First NBA Championship
It has been a long time since Arizona has had a major sports championship, but that could all change if the Suns acquire Kevin Durant. While they’ve come close in the past, a championship title is something that has eluded them since the team’s inception in 1968.
For every Suns fan in Arizona, and basketball fans across the state more generally, one thing is for certain – if the Suns win it all this summer with KD on their side, it will almost certainly go down in history as one of the best trades in Arizona sports history. If not the best.
Kevin Durant is primarily seen by fans as the villain due to his decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016. They dominated the NBA for almost three years but injuries strike during the 2019 finals where Kahwi and the Raptors prevailed.
Durant may not have the leadership skills of LeBron or Steph, but the Suns don’t need that now with Chris Paul being the primary floor general. He also does not have much work to do in the paint as Ayton is having a great season. This lineup is already a contender even before KD joined them, but his presence could be the final piece for a championship-winning team.
They already have Devin Booker as the first option during crucial moments but the Slim Reaper is just on another moment. He has a killer mentality and could lift the Suns against their Western Conference Rivals like the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans.
Chris Paul is “not taking it for granted”
Paul is still in shock that the Phoenix Suns managed to pull off one of their biggest deals ever, bringing stellar forward Kevin Durant to the team. Even he can hardly believe that such an elite NBA player is now his teammate.
While the Suns suddenly become one of the favorites among several AZ sportsbooks to win in the west (+240 odds on FanDuel AZ Sportsbook), CP3 knows that all that can be taken away in an instant. He’s not taking this opportunity for granted and is putting all his effort into making this team a championship-winning side.
“It’s different. It’s taken some getting used to. I was telling (Booker) the other day, I played with a lot of great players… I got a chance to play with Blake, I got a chance to play with David West early in my career, I played with James (Harden)”Chris Paul
“…[but] probably never two guys of this caliber, as far as Devin and KD. … I know I’m not taking it for granted. I told [Booker] not to,” he added.
Other Big-Time Trades of Arizona
Jeremy Roenick (NHL)
The Arizona Coyotes made a big splash in 1996 when they brought Jeremy Roenick over from the Chicago Blackhawks. They exchanged Alexei Zhamnov, Craig Mills, and a first-round pick to get him, and the trade definitely paid off. During his six-season tenure with the team, he racked up 152 goals and 227 assists for an impressive 379 points.
This period was marked by some of their greatest successes as a franchise, and Roenick quickly gained cult status amongst their devoted fanbase. All in all, it’s one of the most memorable trades that Arizona has ever made.
Luis Gonzalez (MLB)
On December 28, 1998, the Tigers made a big-time trade — they traded Luis Gonzalez to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Karim Garcia. During his eight years in Arizona, Gonzalez saw huge success; he hit 224 home runs with 774 RBIs and had an enviable batting average of .298.
However, the most iconic was Gonzalez’s historic performance at the 2001 World Series when he belted out a game-winning hit for Arizona. It’s no surprise that this legendary athlete is still fondly remembered by Diamondback fans today.
Carson Palmer (NFL)
On April 2, 2013, the Raiders sent Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals in a shocking trade. In exchange for the 13-year veteran quarterback, the Cardinals traded a sixth-round and seventh-round draft selection – quite a steal for such an experienced player.
The Cardinals then showed their commitment to Palmer by signing him to a big deal and his five-season tenure with the team certainly paid off. With 16,782 passing yards, 105 touchdowns, and 57 interceptions over that time, it’s safe to say having Palmer as part of their franchise worked out pretty well for Arizona!