The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to trade Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a package of players and first-round picks, according to a person familiar with the deal who was not authorised to discuss it publicly. The deal comes just days after the Nets traded star guard Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.
In exchange for Durant, the Nets will receive forwards Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and Jae Crowder, along with four first-round draft picks and the right to swap another first-round pick. The Suns will also receive Nets forward TJ Warren.
The agreement was first reported by The Athletic.
Irving heard the news of Durant’s trade deal as he finished getting dressed to address reporters after his first game with the Mavericks, against the Clippers in Los Angeles.
“We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like,” Irving said of Durant. “There was still a level of uncertainty, but we just cared about seeing each other be places where we can thrive. And whether that be together or that be apart, there’s never been one moment where I felt like he’s been angry at me for decisions I made or I’ve been angry at him.”
The Nets added Durant and Irving in the summer of 2019 expecting the two of them to lead the franchise to a championship – or maybe several championships with a little luck. The team acquired guard James Harden from the Houston Rockets in January 2021 to create a superteam so talented some wondered if it was the greatest team in NBA history.
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Instead, all three players requested trades from the organisation at different times. Harden’s request came first, and he was traded to Philadelphia last year. Durant asked to be traded over the summer, and Irving asked within the past few weeks.
The Nets never advanced past the Eastern Conference semi-finals during Irving and Durant’s time on the team. The Boston Celtics swept them out of the first round of the playoffs last season.
The deal to trade Durant came a day after the NBA board of governors approved the sale of the Suns to Mat Ishbia, a billionaire mortgage lender who purchased a majority stake in the team from Robert Sarver. Sarver sold the team after an NBA investigation found that he had engaged in workplace misconduct, including using racial slurs, demeaning women, and treating Black people and women unfairly during his tenure as team owner.
In Phoenix, Durant will join a talented young scorer in Devin Booker and an experienced point guard in Chris Paul. – This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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