Is Brooklyn in the house? Well, Kevin Durant is not.
At around 1:15 AM, the Brooklyn Nets shipped Durant and T.J. Warren to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected future first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029), and a 2028 pick swap, reports ESPN.
The trade comes just hours after Mat Ishbia, the Suns' new majority owner was introduced in Phoenix where he promised to make a big splash.
Pairing Durant with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton makes the Suns one of the most formidable teams in the league and a favorite to advance to the NBA Finals. Durant, a two-time Finals MVP, has been inactive with an MCL sprain in his right knee but is expected to return after the All-Star break.
The Suns and Durant were linked last summer when he listed Phoenix as one of his preferred destinations after requesting a trade from the Nets. The demand sent shockwaves throughout the NBA because he signed a four-year, $194 million extension with the Nets in August 2021 that would have kept him in a Brooklyn uniform through the 2025-26 season. In total, Durant played in 145 games as a Net.
With the Durant trade complete, some NBA analysts have said that the Brooklyn Nets experiment will go down as one of the greatest failures in the history of the league. In one year, Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday and James Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February 2022. Considered to be one of the most talented lineups ever assembled, the “Big 3’ would only play in 16 games together.
Speaking to the press after making his debut with the Mavericks on Wednesday, Irving said he was excited to hear about the Durant trade.
“I’m just glad that he got out of there,” Irving said.
“We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like,” he continued. “There was still a level of uncertainty but we just cared about seeing each other be places that we can thrive. Whether that be together or whether that be apart, there has never been one moment where I’ve felt like he’s been angry at me for the decisions I’ve made or I’ve been angry at him.”
Before his injury, Durant was having another stellar campaign with the Nets and was an MVP front-runner. He's averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 39 games this season.