Suns GM Jones makes it clear: Team not trading Durant, Beal, Booker

Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns

After the Suns were swept out of the playoffs by the younger, more athletic Timberwolves, many of the offseason questions in Phoneix focused around their big three — would the Suns keep Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal together, or did that group need to be broken up in the name of adding needed depth and defense around the remaining stars?

Suns GM James Jones left no doubt the team is keeping its big three together, speaking on the “The Burns and Gambo Show” on Arizona Sports radio on Friday.

This echoes what the Suns have said all along.

Jones doesn't really have a choice (and not just because it is what owner Mat Ishbia wants). Booker and Durant played at nearly an All-NBA level this season and the Suns shouldn't want to trade them (it's not clear if both of them will make All-NBA, but they drew voter consideration). Bradley Beal has a no-trade clause from the contract the Wizards gave him (Beal waived it once to be traded to Phoneix but isn't likely to waive it again). Those three are not going anywhere.

That puts pressure on Mike Budenholzer to get more out of this team defensively, turn Jusuf Nurkic into Gobert-light, and better utilize the roster's depth. If he can coax Booker, Durant, and Beal to take a few more 3-pointers and not live in the midrange, it would help the math game, too.

However, the Suns will roll out many of the same players from their 49-win team in what promises to be a deeper and more challenging West next season. Phoenix is going to have to be better just to hold its position.