Kevin Durant Returns West In Blockbuster NBA Trade
SALT LAKE CITY – Kevin Durant is returning to the Western Conference as part of a blockbuster NBA Trade Deadline move.
The 13-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Champion Durant was dealt from the Brooklyn Nets to the Phoenix Suns. A blockbuster move that potentially reshapes the West in the final months of the season before the NBA Playoffs.
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
Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade
It also gives new Phoenix Suns Governor Mat Ishbia a superstar to pair up with Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Two players that led the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance in 2021.
According to multiple reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Stadium’s Shams Charania, the Suns are sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and a 2028 pick swap to land Kevin Durant and Nets forward T.J. Warren.
The four first-round picks are unprotected for 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029, per Wojnarowski.
Phoenix will now serve as the fourth different franchise in Kevin Durant’s storied career that began in 2007 as the No. 2 overall pick to the Seattle SuperSonics.
The 34-year-old forward is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game this season. Durant is again hovering around the 50-40-90 marks in shooting with averages of 55.9% from the field, 37.6% from three, and 93.4% at the free throw line.
NBA Trade Deadline has been busy
The Durant to Phoenix blockbuster trade caps off a night of busy activity around the NBA. Earlier on Wednesday, the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves completed a three-team trade that sent Russell Westbrook (expected to be bought out) to Utah, D’Angelo Russell back to his first NBA team in L.A., and Mike Conley to the Timberwolves.
BREAKING: Nets are trading Kevin Durant to the Suns, per @ChrisBHaynes pic.twitter.com/09hd9mbxfa
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2023
The Kevin Durant move also signals one of the more underachieving super teams in NBA history with the Brooklyn Nets. When Durant signed with the Nets in the summer of 2019, he was coming off a season-ending Achilles tendon injury that caused him to miss the 2019-20 season in Brooklyn. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.
The following season, Durant made his Nets debut with Kyrie Irving and later James Harden. Brooklyn’s Big three advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals before falling in seven games to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Last year, Brooklyn was swept by Boston in the first round of the Playoffs.
This season, the Nets were known more for their off-the-court antics, with Kyrie Irving causing headlines. Brooklyn dealt Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks earlier in the week. And now they have unloaded Durant for a massive haul of assets that signals a reset for the Nets. But now, a new beginning and a championship chase for the Suns.
The NBA Trade Deadline wraps up at 1 p.m. (MT).