Kevin Durant will head to the Phoenix Suns, with the Brooklyn Nets receiving Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round picks, and additional draft compensation, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski further gave details on the entire transaction. The Suns, in addition to Durant, will also gain T.J. Warren. Jae Crowder will join both Bridges and Johnson in Brooklyn, with a 2028 pick swap also included on the package.
The picks that Brooklyn will receive are all unprotected, gaining the draft rights of the Suns for 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029.
Per Wojnarowski, Durant wanted to be moved, and Suns owner Mat Ishbia gave his green light and pulled the trigger to go all in for the superstar forward.
The trade serves as a huge swing in the balance of power in the NBA, most significantly on the intensifying competition within the Western Conference. The Suns, though they gave up a massive haul of their core players and future assets, have fortified themselves to legitimately chase a title, with Durant set to play alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Chris Paul.
For the Nets, this officially closes the chapter of the most disappointing timeline of their franchise history. Durant, with Kyrie Irving, joined forces in 2019 and failed to lead the club in winning a title despite also having fellow superstar James Harden in the 2020-21 season. Irving was shipped last week to the Dallas Mavericks and James Harden is now with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Out of the Durant suitors, the Suns have been the most consistently engaged team looking to land the future Hall of Famer. Dating back from the offseason, they have been in pursuit of the star forward’s initial trade request.
They now stand as a formidable opponent that will look to conquer their Conference amid rising competition around them. The Suns for now are sitting at the fifth (30-26) of the West and can still possibly climb up higher until the third seed is occupied by the Sacramento Kings (31-23).
The Suns will enjoy the three seasons remaining in Durant’s contract – making it worth it for the franchise to take the blockbuster gamble. As such, the trade positions the Nets to drop from the standings as the current fifth seed of the East and fully enter a new era and start from scratch with potential next cornerstones in Bridges, Nic Claxton, and Cam Thomas.