A new era in Phoenix is officially starting Wednesday night when the Hornets host the Suns.
NBA superstar Kevin Durant will play his first game in a Suns uniform since the league-altering trade from the Nets earlier this month.
Although Durant will be on a minutes restriction as he returns from a knee injury, according to Suns head coach Monty Williams, he still feels ready to go.
“I feel great,” Durant told reporters at practice Tuesday. “I haven’t felt pain in my knee in a couple of weeks but this is a matter of just ramping my body up and getting used to that bump and grind of playing against defenders again.”
Durant’s last appearance was a 102-101 win against the Heat on Jan. 8 with the Nets, in which he scored 17 points in 30 minutes.
Devin Booker is excited to being building chemistry with his fellow All-Star teammate.
“That’s the only way you can learn is actually being out there and thrown in the fire together,” Booker said. “It’s exciting. It’s what we’ve all been waiting on.
“We said we have 20 games to get everybody acquainted, but you know he’s one of those plug-in players that is good in any system. He knows the game, he’s up to speed on all of our sets and how we play.”
The hype surrounding Durant’s debut also comes with the lingering question of who will start alongside Durant, Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton.
Williams said depending on the matchup, it will either be Josh Okogie or Torrey Craig.
With the addition of an all-time great scoring weapon in Durant, Booker is excited about the effect his new teammate will have on creating open looks for himself, Paul, and the rest of the team.
“I know how much attention his game brings which is going to benefit everybody,” he said.
Suns players anticipate more open shots with Durant’s presence on the court.
“Yeah I think it will be,” Booker said. “And vice versa, and same with Chris.
“Teams that typically have one primary defender that they throw on the other teams’ best player, they’re going to have to figure it out. It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.”
Suns fans will have to wait until March 8 to see their new-look team play at home when they face the Thunder.