How the Kevin Durant trade impacts the Dallas Mavericks

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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How the Kevin Durant trade impacts the Dallas Mavericks: 4. Suns join West’s elite

The Western Conference is wide open. The Nuggets sit comfortably atop the standings, but will they break through and get to the NBA Finals? Behind them, just four games separate second and sixth in the conference. Going further, fourth and 12th are just three games apart. There is not much gap between the top teams and two teams that will miss the play-in tournament entirely.

The Suns had the best regular season record in the NBA last year before being knocked out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. They are not looking forward to a rematch, but they are again two of the best teams in the conference.

The Lakers traded for D’Angelo Russell on Wednesday to try to push their way into the top ten, but the group seems otherwise decided. Dallas, Phoenix, Golden State, and the Clippers are trying to rise above Sacramento and Memphis to secure a place in the top six and avoid the play-in tournament. All four of those teams join the Nuggets and Grizzlies as feeling like they have a chance to win the West.

Who takes it? Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could decide that, which is why the two recent blockbusters felt so massive.