Damning report only heightens conjecture on blockbuster Warriors' trade possibility

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors
Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Kevin Durant's status at the Phoenix Suns has been a source of speculation since their first-round playoff exit, with the Golden State Warriors a potential destination should the 35-year-old be on the move again.

In the immediate aftermath of their sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves, The Athletic reported that Durant was unhappy with his role in Phoenix under head coach Frank Vogel.

Vogel has since been fired and replaced by former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, but uncertainty still reigns on what Phoenix will do with their big three of Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

Kevin Durant has been labelled a 'problem' for the Phoenix Suns amid conjecture of a reunion with the Golden State Warriors

In an explosive segment of First Take on Monday, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith went on a scathing attack of the Suns which included an extensive report of Durant's supposed unhappiness at the franchise.

"Kevin Durant in Phoenix is a problem. It is a problem. We don't see it because the stats are there... but they say Kevin Durant is never happy. They say he went more than a month without even talking to the head coach. They say that he doesn't look happy there."

Stephen A. Smith

Smith went onto compare Durant's current behaviour with his last season in the Bay, with the two-time Finals MVP having infamously got into a heated exchange with Draymond Green during a game against the LA Clippers in 2018.

Durant left Golden State for the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in the 2019 offseason, though his lack of success since that point has become a fountain of discussion. The veteran forward has failed to make it back to the conference finals and has won just two playoff series, while Budenholzer will be his seventh head coach across his time with the Nets and Suns.

Smith also suggested that the Suns should move on from Durant, stating the Los Angeles Lakers would make sense from a basketball standpoint. If the 14-time All-Star becomes available on the trade market in the coming months, expect the Warriors to be heavy in discussions after being recently identified as the best fit for Durant according to Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley.