Durant expected to make his Suns debut during upcoming road trip

Getty Images

Kevin Durant was a full participant in the Phoenix Suns' intense workout on Thursday, signalling his debut in his new colours is just around the corner.

Head coach Monty Williams called Thursday's session the longest and most intense workout the Suns have had since training camp, as they shook off some cobwebs coming out of the All-Star break.

Durant has not played since suffering a knee injury on January 8, and while he was recovering, he was traded to Phoenix in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and four first-round draft picks.

He has already been ruled out of Friday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the two-time NBA Finals MVP is expected to return during the following four-game road trip, and ESPN is indicating it will likely be Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets.

Speaking to the media after seeing Durant in live action, Williams was inspired by the future Hall-of-Famer's work ethic.

"When guys watch him work, I think it's something that inspires people to get after it in their own workouts," he said. "Because they're not going to find anybody that goes as hard as Kevin. When he's doing his individual stuff it's amazing to watch."

Starting center Deandre Ayton agreed, highlighting that the level in practice has taken a leap.

"I think everybody's competitive level has risen a little bit," he said. "The atmosphere around the facility has, I won't say gotten intense, but it's definitely a little denser when it comes to business.

"Ain't no more playing games or, you know, less smiles, more seriousness and getting a job done."

Franchise player Devin Booker stayed back and played some one-on-one with Durant after their main session, and while he would not indicate who get the better of the duel, he said he is excited to see how other teams try to deal with the duo.

"It was hard to put into words, I can't wait until we do it against other teams," he said. "A lot of teams have one good defender or two good defenders, now you have to find who you're going to put them on."

The Suns came out of the All-Star break sitting fifth in the Western Conference at 32-28.