Now under new ownership with Mat Ishbia, the Phoenix Suns have quickly become favorites to win the Western Conference and make a serious run at the NBA title.
Ishbia wasted no time after acquiring the Suns in late December by trading for 13-time All Star Kevin Durant.
The message was clear: Ishbia is here to win, and settling for just the playoffs is the last thing on his mind.
In an interview with Chris Mannax at Sports Illustrated, Mat Ishbia described exactly what his goal in the valley is.
“Well, like I said at the press conference, I loved our team. But I’m always trying to win and I’m trying to win now.”
A major concern with the Durant trade was that the Suns sacrificed too much of their future talent by giving up Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges.
However, Ishbia made it clear that his goal is to not just win one ring and call it good, but to build a sustainable, championship-built roster in Phoenix, per Mannax.
“It doesn’t mean I’m going to sacrifice the future. We’re going to make sure we do the right thing to win now and then again in the future to continue to win and be competitive.”
Ishbia also discussed the process that occurred to acquire KD just 12 hours before the trade deadline, per Mannax.
“It was not months. It was days and hours to put the deal together. I’m obviously a different variable and obviously I had to understand the luxury tax and understand what that is. And that was about four or five seconds of the conversation, because that was not a discussion. We were going to do what it takes to win and be successful. And I believe in business money follows success, not the other way around.”
And when asked about risk, well, according to Ishbia, this was a risk-free transaction, per Mannax.
“I think there is no risk.” “I don’t look at it as a risk at all. I look at it as a vision and a decision.”
Kevin Durant is expected to return from injury and take the court with the Suns for the first time this upcoming week.
The trade already has bolstered Phoenix’s odds to +235 to win the Western Conference and -140 to win the Pacific Division, odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.