The Brooklyn Nets reportedly agreed to trade superstar Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns in a monumental blockbuster hours before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Phoenix is sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029, and a 2028 pick swap to Brooklyn in return for Durant and T.J. Warren, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant reportedly eyed a move to the Suns, who were rumored to have made a run at the perennial MVP candidate last offseason. Durant asked for a trade in the summer, and at one point gave Brooklyn an ultimatum between keeping him or then-head coach Steve Nash, before rescinding the request in late August.
The trade comes just three days after the Nets dealt Durant’s disgruntled co-star, Kyrie Irving, to the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets have accumulated five first-round picks as a result of the two deals.
The 34-year-old Durant will head to the fourth franchise of his eventual Hall of Fame career. He’s racked up 13 All-Star appearances, two NBA championships, and the 2013-14 MVP award throughout stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and Nets.
Durant is fourth all-time in career points per game with 27.3. This season, he’s putting up 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on a career-best 55.9% shooting from the field.
For Phoenix, the gargantuan deal takes place in the same week that the NBA approved new owner Mat Ishbia’s $4-billion purchase of the team.
The Suns will add Durant to a contending team that possessed the league’s best record last season, featuring the dynamic duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the backcourt along with burgeoning big man Deandre Ayton down low.
Phoenix has been one of the hottest teams in the Association as of late, winning three straight and eight of its last 10, and now sits fifth in the Western Conference at 30-26.
Meanwhile, the 32-22 Nets get an immediate impact piece in Bridges. The 26-year-old has blossomed into one of the best two-way players in the league, averaging a career-high 17.2 points per game this season.
Once loaded with all-time scorers in Durant, Irving, and James Harden just over one year ago, the Nets now have one maximum-level player left on their roster in Ben Simmons.
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