The Phoenix Suns Can Build An Unbeatable Team This Summer: Russell Westbrook Reunites With Kevin Durant

The Phoenix Suns have been in the spotlight ever since the trade deadline when they acquired 4-time scoring champion and NBA superstar Kevin Durant. The Suns already had Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton on board, but adding Durant has pushed them over the top in terms of roster talent and superstar power. No doubt, if Durant is healthy, Phoenix will be looking to win an NBA championship as they ended the Los Angeles Clippers’ run in the playoffs and are looking to make the NBA Finals. 

After all, there are no excuses for not winning since they have championship experience, a young and hungry center, and a terrific coach. However, losing in the postseason and not winning it all could actually spearhead some massive changes in the organization, as there will be questions about the franchise moving forward. Since Durant is 34 years old and Chris Paul is 37 years old, many have started wondering what the duo’s championship window looks like.

Not to mention, Deandre Ayton’s presence inside the paint comes and goes, and there will be significant question marks about the big man if the Suns do not win it all, with him being the primary big man in the paint. The team’s salary cap future is clear right now, but there could be a way for the Suns to actually bounce back next year if they don’t win it all and bring back some Oklahoma City Thunder action to the franchise. Kevin Durant played alongside Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Steven Adams, among others, with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, and there could be a reunion.

With Kevin Durant (and Chris Paul) recently coming out to speak in public support of Russell Westbrook, who is having a fantastic postseason with the Clippers, there might be some sparks that the point guard could join the Phoenix Suns and kick-start a new era. With Kevin Durant the best player for the Oklahoma City Thunder teams we reference, here is how the Phoenix Suns can form a reunion next year.

Serge Ibaka Signs In Free Agency

Serge Ibaka Phoenix Suns

Credit: Fadeaway World

Serge Ibaka had a terrific run with the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as the third-best starter on the team that made the NBA Finals in the 2011-12 NBA season. Ibaka led the NBA in blocks per game in the 2012 and 2013 seasons with 3.7 BPG and 3.0 BPG and made the All-Defensive First Teams between 2012 and 2014 as well. 

Thanks to his shot-blocking presence, Ibaka became known as “Iblaka” and was, without a doubt, one of the most popular players for the Thunder franchise. The big man was clearly a terrific defender but also became a go-to mid-range scorer as he developed an excellent jumper that could be used. As he has aged, he also developed a decent three-point shot as well and holds a career 35.9% 3-PT FG.

The first step to an Oklahoma City Thunder reunion is bringing Serge Ibaka on board for experience, defense, and chemistry. The Congolese big man was beloved in each locker room he went into and can still block shots and make open jumpers if surrounded by elite stars who can create for him. If the Suns do not win it all, they can start by adding more defense to the roster and encouraging Ibaka to sign a deal in free agency.

Trading For Steven Adams

Steven Adams Phoenix Suns

Credit: Fadeaway World

Trade Details: Deandre Ayton for Steven Adams, Xavier Tillman, 2024 First-Round Pick

Step number two would be to continue adding size and improving their defense. If the Suns don’t win it all this season, one of the biggest reasons will be that Deandre Ayton didn’t dominate like he was supposed to. Ayton can certainly score, but his job will be mainly to rebound and dominate the paint on the defensive end with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker by his side.

If Ayton doesn’t play well and continues to show disapproval of the way he is used in Phoenix, he could be traded, and the players that could come back in return are Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman, along with a first-round pick. Acquiring a pick could be useful because the Suns can recoup their massive package that was sent to the Brooklyn Nets (four first-round picks). Xavier Tillman is also a consistent big man who can rebound, run the floor, and defend.

However, the main asset in the trade package is Steven Adams, a big man who can rebound, block shots, and use his strength to defend the basket. Adams also returns to the paint for the “Thunder” group led by Kevin Durant, and he is always a terrific finisher at the basket in pick-and-roll situations. With Ibaka and Adams on the team, the final step is to acquire Oklahoma City’s greatest player in Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook Signs In Free Agency

Russell Westbrook Phoenix Suns

Credit: Fadeaway World

Russell Westbrook is having a terrific postseason with the Los Angeles Clippers so far, and he has silenced the majority of critics who are claiming he is washed and even praying for his downfall. The former MVP is the greatest player to have ever played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and had his best years with the franchise. With Kevin Durant beside him, Russ helped lead the Thunder to the Finals in 2012 and also formed a title-contender year after year.

Even after Durant left him stranded in Oklahoma City, Westbrook went on to have one of the most impressive MVP campaigns in NBA history when he won the regular-season MVP award by posting 31.6 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 10.4 APG while leading the league in scoring. That was also the first time a player won the MVP award since Oscar Robertson. No doubt, Russ is the first player that comes to mind when thinking about the Thunder franchise.

The reunion of Westbrook and Durant would be a massive storyline in terms of media attention, and the Thunder would be put back together. Westbrook has proven he can still play at a high level, and even if he doesn’t shoot a high percentage from the field, he is a terrific rebounder, passer, and high-energy star who will always play a high number of games.

The Oklahoma City Suns Reunion Finalized

Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams

Credit: Fadeaway World

The new Phoenix Suns starting lineup would become Russell Westbrook, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Xavier Tillman, and Steven Adams. If the Suns do not win it all this year, they can re-group and compete with Russ at point alongside two elite offensive stars in Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. Down low, with Ayton gone, the duo of Tillman and Adams provides a ton of size and defensive resistance.

That’s right, Russell Westbrook will replace Chris Paul in the starting lineup with the “Point God” acting as the league’s best 6th man. Westbrook is showing what he can do for a title contender, and just because his stint with the Lakers didn’t work doesn’t mean he can’t play for an elite franchise again. Westbrook will have the pick-and-roll with Adams again while also giving Durant a chance to dominate the offense.

Off the bench, Serge Ibaka can also engage in the pick-and-pop with Westbrook as he spots up for jumpers consistently while defending the basket on the other end. Chris Paul can also play off-the-ball enough, as he showed with the Houston Rockets alongside James Harden, and will be the NBA’s best 6th man. At age 38, Paul’s time to play backup makes sense for the sake of the team.

The Phoenix Suns have to regroup their team if they do not win an NBA title this year because the title window is closing. Durant is missing a ton of games as he ages, and Chris Paul will be 38 years old in just a few weeks. Meanwhile, Deandre Ayton has to be replaced with two defenders if it doesn’t work out, and getting back a first-round pick also doesn’t hurt. Perhaps most importantly, adding players with whom Durant played with already cuts back on developing team chemistry because it will be just like old times.

Giving Chris Paul a chance to be a 6th man and lead the second unit for a chance to win it all makes perfect sense in his advancing age, and Westbrook can return to his success as Kevin Durant’s primary point guard. By getting rid of chemistry-tearing assets and regrouping with some solid players, the Suns can win it all as soon as next year and also bring a feel-good story to the league with the reunion known as the “Oklahoma City” Suns. 

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