It feels like the Kevin Durant trade happened months ago, and yet the superstar has yet to make his home debut for the Phoenix Suns. And after Wednesday’s unfortunate happenings, that first game is going to have to wait.
It almost happened. The Suns were scheduled to take on Durant’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, on Wednesday night, a highly-anticipated game for Suns fans in order to see the new guy in person.
Can The Suns Survive In The West Without Kevin Durant?
But during pre-game warm-ups, Durant slipped on the floor at Footprint Center, and headed straight into the locker room, missing his debut entirely and putting his immediate future in question.
On Thursday, fears were confirmed as the Suns announced that Durant would be re-evaluated in three weeks. It was assumed to be so, as after he was seen leaving the arena in a walking boot post-injury, but the Suns were holding out hope that he’d avoided anything that would make him miss any extended periods.
It won’t be Durant’s first bout with injuries so far this year. He missed nearly two months beginning in mid-January, getting injured as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. By the time he recovered, he was a member of the Suns, and his new team had already played six games without him.
ESPN Sources: Suns’ Kevin Durant (left ankle) expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 9, 2023
Aside from during the playoffs, it couldn’t have come at a worse time for Phoenix. They are looking to make their move in the hotly contested Western Conference, just 2.5 games behind the Kings and Grizzlies for the 2-3 seeds. Memphis will be getting Ja Morant back soon, and Sacramento is one of the hottest teams in basketball. Without Durant, it could be tough for the Suns to surpass either one.
There are teams that will be breathing down their necks, too. The Clippers are currently 3 games back, which is a large gap in these particular conference standings, but there are still 15-20 games left to be played and plenty can happen. The Warriors, Wolves, and Mavericks are all just 3.5 back of the Suns.
Depending on how the re-evaluation goes in 3 weeks, it is assumed that we would see a healthy Kevin Durant in time for the playoffs. If he does, after the Suns falter a bit down the stretch without him, then they could become the 6-seed that no 3-seed wants to play.