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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Suns reportedly hiring rival executive familiar to Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant on the court

Mar 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns may have had Kevin Durant partly in mind with their latest hire.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported on Friday that the Suns are closing in on the addition of Matt Tellem to their front office. Tellem is currently an executive with the Brooklyn Nets, Durant’s former team.

The 35-year-old Tellem has been with the Nets since 2011. During Durant’s time in Brooklyn from 2019-23, Tellem had a wide variety of roles, including director of strategic planning, senior director of cap and strategy (a.k.a lead capologist), and assistant GM for G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. During the 2023-24 season, Tellem was promoted to vice president of strategy for the Nets.

It is also worth noting that Tellem is the son of former superagent Arn Tellem, who is now the vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons. Arn Tellem used to help run Wasserman Media Group and had his own agency, Tellem and Associates, too. Ex-Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers, who brought Durant to the Warriors in 2016, used to work as an agent under Arn Tellem.

As for Durant specifically, he has recently been the subject of rumors that he is (surprise, surprise) unhappy in Phoenix. Durant is still under contract with the Suns through 2026 however, and the impending hire of Matt Tellem may help smooth things over some.

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