Suns Land Kevin Durant in Late Night Blockbuster Trade
The Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade early Thursday morning that will see former MVP and franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant land in Phoenix and join Devin Booker, DeAndre Ayton, and Chris Paul on a stacked Suns team.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant and forward T.J. Warren, who spent the first part of his career in Phoenix, head to the Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four unprotected first round draft picks.
The Nets haul of first-round draft picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) includes a 2028 pick swap, per the report.
The Suns had been talking with the Nets, but those discussions stalled leading Phoenix to pivot to a potential three-way trade that would have landed them Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, but new Suns owner Mat Ishbia wanted one final push for Durant.
Suns general manager James Jones texted Nets GM Sean Marks sometime after 11 p.m. ET, and later Ishbia and Nets owner Joe Tsai worked on the final details of the blockbuster deal that officially kicked off the Nets rebuild and vaulted the Suns to legit title contenders.
Durant, a two-time Finals MVP, has been sidelined by an MCL sprain in his right knee but there is optimism he will be ready to return after the All-Star break. Durant had long maintained his desire to land with the Suns, and business manager, Rich Kleiman, told Tsai and Marks that their preference was a deal to Phoenix, which Ishbia was aware of and was motivated to make happen.
Ishbia’s initial hope was to keep Bridges out of the trade, and that has been the Suns position for a long time, but the Nets considered it a non-starter.
Durant now lands in Phoenix, who likely aren’t done making moves ahead of the trade deadline Thursday, and joins a stacked lineup that may be the best in the Western Conference.