The Brooklyn Nets have traded Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“BREAKING: The Phoenix Suns are nearing a blockbuster trade to acquire Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, sources tell ESPN. Durant wanted move to Suns, and new owner Mat Ishbia pushing to get deal done tonight,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on more details, noting that the Nets will be receiving Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation in exchange for Durant.
“The Nets are trading Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a package including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania tweeted.
It was later added that the Nets would also be receiving Jae Crowder in the deal. Brooklyn is also sending TJ Warren to the Suns, where he began his career.
Wojnarowski also reported that the draft picks Brooklyn will receive in the deal are 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks — all unprotected.
In the span of less than a week, the Nets’ core has disbanded. Kyrie Irving requested a trade on February 3 and was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks two days later. That trade led to speculation about whether Durant would ask out, similar to the way he did last offseason. Initial reporting indicated that he would not.
Now, the Nets will restructure their entire future around a young core of players. Bridges and Johnson, both 26 years old, will get a lot more responsibility in Brooklyn, leading the way into the future. They will join Nicolas Claxton and Cam Thomas to form a new young core for the Nets.
Kevin Durant & Nets Worked Together on Trade
Following the reports of the trade, it was revealed that the move was a cooperative effort. According to Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report, Durant and the Nets worked together on the trade in an attempt to find a good landing spot for Durant and a good package for the Nets.
“It was a collaborative effort by the camp of Kevin Durant and Brooklyn Nets to find the right situation, sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport. Both sides were committed to pursuing that objective and part ways on good terms,” Haynes tweeted.
Now, Durant will get to compete for a championship in Phoenix alongside Chris Paul and Devin Booker, while the Nets will solidify their future with young players and draft picks.
Kyrie Irving Sends Message to Kevin Durant
Irving and Durant are close friends, but with Irving forcing his way out of Brooklyn, some questioned whether their friendship would be affected. Irving according to Irving, who spoke with Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, he and Durant are on good terms.
“It’s water under the bridge now,” Irving told Caplan. “I wish them well. I left them in fourth place. I did what I was supposed to do, took care of my teammates, was incredibly selfless in my approach to leading.”
And after his debut with the Mavericks on February 8, Irving told reporters: “I’m just glad he got out of there.”