How Durant’s Suns Start Stacked Up Against Other Post-Trade Debuts

How Durant’s Suns Start Stacked Up Against Other Post-Trade Debuts
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Wednesday night was an evening fans of the Phoenix Suns have dreamed of for much of the past year.

With superstar forward Kevin Durant making his long-awaited debut for the franchise on the road against Charlotte, the Suns finally trotted out the lineup fans had been cheering for since Phoenix acquired the 13-time All-Star from the Brooklyn Nets in February.

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Arizona sports betting sites listed Durant’s point total prop bet for the game at 20.5.

And he did his part to live up to the hype — and allow Suns fans to cash in at Arizona sports betting apps — in Phoenix’s 105-91 win over the Hornets.

Durant finished with 23 points on 10-of-15 from the field in 27 minutes. He added six rebounds, and combined seamlessly with Devin Booker, who had 37 points, and Chris Paul, who fed the two stars with 11 assists.

BetArizona.com, your home to valuable Arizona NBA betting information, wanted to contextualize Durant’s Suns debut compared to other leaguewide stars that were traded during their prime years.

Using ESPN’s trade database, we were able to determine how the 15-year veteran’s Suns start compares.

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Noteworthy NBA Player Debuts After Trades

  • James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers (2022): 27 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds, 8-14 FG (57.1%), 5-7 3PT (71.4%) in 133-102 win over Minnesota.
  • James Harden, Brooklyn Nets (2021): 32 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds, 8-18 FG (44.4%), 3-10 3PT (30%) in 122-115 win over Orlando.
  • Anthony Davis, L.A. Lakers (2019): 25 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 8-21 FG (38.1%) in 112-102 loss to L.A. Clippers.
  • Paul George, L.A. Clippers (2019): 27 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 9-23 FG (39.1%), 4-12 3PT (33.3%) in 108-100 loss to Golden State.
  • Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors (2019): 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 10-19 FG(52.6%), 1-5 3PT (20%) in 112-102 win over L.A. Lakers.
  • Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks (2011): 27 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 10-25 FG (40%), 1-2 3PT (50%) in 114-108 win over Milwaukee.
  • Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers (2011): 17 points, 16 assists, 4 rebounds, 6-11 FG (54.5%), 1-2 3PT (50%) in 95-91 win over Milwaukee.
  • Tracy McGrady, New York Knicks (2010): 26 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 10-17 FG (58.8%), 1-3 3PT (33.3%) in 121-118 OT loss to Oklahoma City.
  • Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets (2006): 22 points, 10 assists, 2 rebounds, 9-15 FG (60%), 2-3 3PT (66.7%) in 101-96 loss to Sacramento.
  • Charles Barkley, Phoenix Suns (1992): 37 points, 21 rebounds, 8 assists, 11-16 FG (68.8%) in 111-105 win over L.A. Clippers.

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Where Suns Stand With Durant In Rotation

Although impressive, Durant’s 23-point debut for the Suns in Charlotte on Wednesday didn’t quite live up to the first game of franchise favorite Charles Barkley in 1993.

Still, it appears oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona believe Durant is the missing piece the Suns need, as they’ve moved Phoenix to +450 to win the NBA Championship, ranking second in the league behind Boston (+300).

In his debut with the Suns, Barkley torched the L.A. Clippers, going for 37 points while pulling down 21 rebounds in a 111-105 victory.

Durant’s Phoenix debut allowed the Suns to notch a much-needed victory to move to 34-29 for the season and remain the fourth seed in the West, sitting 3.5 games behind the Kings and a game and a half ahead of the Warriors.

Durant will have a chance to show Suns fans in person what he’s capable of March 8, when he’ll make his home debut against his original team, Oklahoma City — after Phoenix wraps up its current road trip with games against Chicago and Dallas on Friday and Sunday.

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Author

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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