Never a dull moment. Trades like this help you to move forward after a dreadful Sixers week. Kevin Durant, one of the greatest players of all time and one who was atop the MVP conversation when last healthy before an MCL sprain, is heading to the West.
The Phoenix Suns are acquiring the superstar from the Brooklyn Nets. Shams Charania of The Athletic with the details:
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. https://t.co/fJoFHv3i7M— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
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.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
At 1:05 a.m., both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams must have heard the same thing.
BREAKING: The Phoenix Suns are closing in on a trade to acquire 13-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
Holy mackerel. So a player the Sixers once drafted in Mikal Bridges comes to the Atlantic Division. Bridges is literally the perfect player for this Sixers team. We’re still sad he’s not here. Nets fans will certainly enjoy watching him play, and Nets GM Sean Marks will get to splash around now with a pretty decent pick-haul, either at this deadline or come summer, as they reset their arsenal after depleting it for James Harden back in 2020.
The Nets now have a pick from the Sixers in 2027, protected 1-8. They have a Mavericks 2029 pick, and this incoming platter of Suns future capital.
Nets gets unprotected picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant will form one unbelievable and formidable trio, and Phoenix, currently fifth place in the West (30-26) didn’t even have to part with Deandre Ayton! Good luck stopping that team. They’re still behind the Celtics (+360) on DraftKings title odds. But not far behind (+500).
If I were a Nuggets fan, I’d probably cry right now and keep refreshing Twitter to see if my Nuggets were getting into this arm’s race. If I were a Celtics fan, I’d be burning sage hoping for more help via trade as well to beat the Suns in a possible Finals matchup.
The Suns are sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, a 2028 pick swap for Durant and TJ Warren, sources tell ESPN. Durant wanted move and new owner Mat Ishbia pushed to get deal done tonight. https://t.co/fqFUMIDllo— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2023
As for the Sixers, this is arguably good news. They opened the day at +900 on DraftKings and now, after their ugly loss to Boston, and this trade, they’re down to +950.
Still, even with a retooled version of the Nets, there’s just no topping Durant. After Kyrie Irving asked for a trade, it was pretty clear that he was the next massive domino; the question was more if he’d be dealt now or next summer. And maybe now that he’s sent packing, things will really pick up trade wise around the NBA. Teams holding out hope for him may now use assets on other players, like OG Anunoby perhaps?
So the path to the Finals in the East probably gets all that much easier... for now.
It’s possible the Suns look like a SuperTeam after a couple weeks together and we cry that it all happened during Joel Embiid’s prime. James Harden must be having some deja vu, envisioning/remembering a Kevin Durant-led juggernaut out West. But we can cross these (Mikal) Bridges when we get there.
This was 13 months ago but feels like 10 lifetimes since. https://t.co/NG4L8cEOkD— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) February 8, 2023
The Nets Big Three is long gone.