Kevin Durant’s keep in Brooklyn ended Thursday when the Nets traded him to the Phoenix Suns in a four-team deal.
The Nets acquired Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, and a 2028 first-round choose commerce from the Suns, who additionally obtained TJ Warren from the Nets.
The Nets additionally acquired second-round picks in 2028 and 2029 from Milwaukee and the draft rights to maintain Juan Pablo Vaulet from Indiana as a part of the deal, whereas Jae Crowder was traded from Phoenix to the Bucks. by way of Brooklyn.
Durant, 34, nonetheless performs on the elite stage, averaging almost 30 factors per recreation this season. He requested for a commerce final summer season and the Suns had been , ultimately getting it earlier than Thursday’s commerce deadline.
The Nets, in the meantime, mentioned they consider the deal positions them greatest for future success.
“We stay steadfast in our dedication to construct the crew Brooklyn deserves,” basic supervisor Sean Marks mentioned in a press release. “We’re thrilled to welcome Mikal, Cam and their households to Brooklyn and thank Kevin for the moments and recollections he has delivered to our fanbase.”
Durant is recovering from a sprained knee ligament, and when he does return, will probably be in a Phoenix roster that would out of the blue be probably the greatest within the Western Convention.
He was moved simply days after the Nets traded Kyrie Irving from Dallas, an extremely fast finish to the famous person period in Brooklyn. James Harden was traded finally yr’s deadline, leaving the Nets with little to point out for the temporary time that they had the Massive Three collectively.
Now it is the Suns with a giant assortment of expertise, Durant becoming a member of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.
The commerce comes simply hours after the Suns’ new majority proprietor Mat Ishbia was launched to Phoenix. The self-proclaimed basketball nut, who was a walk-on at Michigan State below Tom Izzo, wasted no time shaking up the NBA.
Phoenix has by no means received a league championship. The Suns made the NBA Finals two seasons in the past however misplaced to the Milwaukee Bucks in six video games. In addition they made the finals in 1976 and 1993.
The Suns have suffered a number of accidents this season, however have received 9 of their final 11 video games and appear to be contenders once more. They moved to fifth within the Western Convention with a 30-26 file. Booker (groin) and Paul (hip) each not too long ago returned.
When Irving heard the information, he mentioned, “I am simply glad he obtained out of there.”
Irving scored 24 factors in his Mavs debut in opposition to the Clippers on Wednesday. The Nets refused to offer him a contract extension final summer season, across the identical time Durant was telling the crew he needed the deal.
Ultimately Irving left and Durant adopted.
“We had numerous conversations all year long about what our future would appear to be,” Irving mentioned. “There was nonetheless a stage of uncertainty, however we simply care about seeing one another as locations the place we will thrive. Whether or not it is collectively or whether or not it is aside, there has by no means been a time the place I’ve felt like he was mad at me for the choices I made or I used to be mad at him.
“I like the competitors now that we might be in the identical convention.”
Bridges was the runner-up to Boston’s Marcus Sensible for the Defensive Participant of the 12 months award final season and his offensive recreation continues to develop. The swingman scored 21 factors on Tuesday because the Suns beat the Nets 116-112 in Brooklyn.
His acquisition, together with Dorian Finney-Smith, who got here with Spencer Dinwiddie from Dallas, ought to make the Nets a a lot stronger defensive crew. However these gamers cannot exchange the firepower the Nets misplaced with Durant and Irving, two All-Star starters.
Durant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP with Golden State, was enjoying a number of the greatest basketball of his profession this season. He was averaging 29.7 factors and a career-high 55.9 % from the sector when he was injured Jan. 8 in Miami.
He had his knee checked once more this week and Nets coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned Durant was progressing effectively, however there was no replace on when he may begin absolutely collaborating in practices.
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