Getty Images

The obvious played out Wednesday night in Kevin Durant's glittering debut as a member of the Phoenix Suns, but the obvious doesn't always come to play with superteams, so let's embrace it.

This Suns team, with Durant at its helm, is going to be an absolute force by the time the playoffs roll around. They're Western Conference favorites. Finals contenders. A sure-thing top-three NBA team in the making, even if they're coming together at a weirdly late time in the regular season.

Yes, a 105-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets is far from a top-tier test. Charlotte was a bad basketball team even before LaMelo Ball fractured his ankle this week and saw his season come to an end. And even though Phoenix only gave us a 27-minute sample size of KD-as-Sun what we did see was scary for every other NBA team still aspiring to become NBA champions this year.

Durant, who'd been sidelined with an MCL sprain since Jan. 8, looked incredible. He was with Brooklyn then, he's with Phoenix now, but little else has changed. Rust and a new part of the country didn't scramble any of his basketball gifts.

Durant missed his first shot -- then the flashes of just how seamlessly he could integrate into this team unfurled.

There was Durant, with a driving layup off a pass from new teammate Chris Paul, for the first two points of his Suns career. There was Durant, blocking a shot on defense, then finding the ball on the other side of the floor and sinking a silky three, a sequence that -- the obvious again -- flashed just how great he is, and will be, with his new team.

Over the course of the game, Durant made 10 of his 15 shots. He scored 23 points. He pulled down six rebounds. He blocked two shots. He looked like he'd been playing without a hitch for months. All in just under 27 minutes on the floor. 

Beyond that, it was easy to peer into a rather bad basketball game and see how a rather transcendent player has already convinced rival general managers and Las Vegas that Phoenix is a contender, today. How-will-it-all-come-together concerns be damned.

If this feels like a master-of-the-obvious kind of moment, just remember what the league often holds as clearly a great idea often turns nebulous, perplexing, unfruitful and disastrous.

Ask the Brooklyn Nets. They've can give you several examples of this fact. Ask the Los Angeles Clippers in 2020, when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard came to town. And you can ask them again, right now, after they added Russell Westbrook, proving the axiom that it is very difficult to win in this league. 

Ditto the Mavericks, who are 2-5 since Kyrie Irving debuted in Dallas, and 1-4 in games that have featured Irving and Luka Doncic. Or the Lakers, who really thought the good days were going to return this season.

Ask the Atlanta Hawks, or a Memphis team suddenly dealing with enough off-the-court headlines about Ja Morant that they have to be a bit queasy.

There are many more examples of sure things being not-so-sure, but the Suns aren't going to be one of them. 

Well beyond Durant's individual stat line, the signs of that were everywhere Wednesday night. 

Devin Booker's 37 points are a sign of things to come. Yes, Booker has always been a prolific scorer capable of excellence in his own right, but Durant's presence on that team, as happened against Charlotte, will create so many easy shots and so much decreased defensive attention for the Suns young star.

As a comp, think what a healthy Steph Curry has done over the years for an in-form Klay Thompson.

The impact for Chirs Paul was there, too, in a very different way. Before KD, the idea of the Suns advancing deep without Paul playing well was farcical. But this game offered a glimpse of a new possible reality, one where a brutally struggling CP3, at least in terms of his shooting, does not doom the Suns chances.

Despite 11 assists, Paul was 1 of 8 from the field and scored just two points. Perhaps Durant's presence will ease things enough that Paul can reclaim some of his own greatness in the weeks ahead. But it's equally possible that if Paul can't get back to the level of play that's marked his career, Durant can be great enough for the both of them.

Durant will impact all of these things. He'll put players in much easier situations to allow them to tap into their talents. He'll help shift much of the pressure to his own shoulders. He can cover up for off days, or even off weeks. He should add a level of utter talent that's just too good when mixed with Booker, Paul and DeAndre Ayton to be anything other than a top team.

It was one game. It was against a bad team missing its best player and with no real floor general. It's early in the KD experiment.

But any and all overreactions are going to age just fine.

If the Suns stay healthy, the chances of every team that faces them come the postseason won't be. 

The buzz was spot on: KD to the Suns equals an automatic contender. The glimpse of that fact was too clear Wednesday to chalk up to anything other than inevitability.