Nets ship Kevin Durant to Phoenix in blockbuster deal

The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to trade 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and a 2028 draft pick, according to multiple reports. TJ Warren will also be headed to the Suns as part of the trade.

Durant named the Suns as his desired destination when he first requested a trade to the Nets in June 2022, but the Nets held on to both him and Kyrie Irving in hopes that they could contend in the campaign 2022-23. While the Nets are 32-22 and fifth in the Eastern Conference, Irving’s departure due to a contract dispute marked the near end of their championship quest. In the last year, the Nets have traded the big three of Irving, Durant and James Harden.

Durant’s arrival makes the Suns one of the favorites in the Western Conference. The 34-year-old forward averaged 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 39 appearances with the Nets this season. He joins a Suns team led by Chris Paul, Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.

The Suns reached the NBA Finals in 2021, but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension with the Nets through 2021. He will make $53 million in the final year of his contract (2025-26).

Bridges, Johnson and Crowder have served as the Suns’ wing core for most of the past few seasons. On the year, Bridges is averaging 17.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while Johnson is averaging 13.9 points and 3.8 rebounds.

Crowder hasn’t played this season as the Suns have looked to trade the previous one, but he averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds last season.

The Twitter world erupted once the trade was announced:

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