Kevin Durant trade: Suns, Nets make blockbuster deal after…

Kevin Durant trade: Suns, Nets make blockbuster deal after Kyrie Irving to Mavericks.

Kevin Durant has been traded to the Phoenix Suns for a nearly unprecedented haul of assets according to multiple reports. The Brooklyn Nets have now dealt both of their former stars after trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Suns will receive Durant and T.J. Warren in exchange for Mikal BridgesCam JohnsonJae Crowder, four first-round draft picks and one additional pick swap. Durant will now team up with Devin BookerChris Paul and Deandre Ayton with the Suns.

Since bursting onto the scene as a prep player in Maryland, Durant has been one of the most talented players in the sport. Durant chose Texas as a 5-star recruit in the 2006 class and starred for the Longhorns for one season before the then-Seattle SuperSonics selected him No. 2 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft behind Greg Oden. Phoenix will be Durant’s fourth professional team after he spent stints with the SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and Nets. Durant has not played since Jan. 8 due to a knee injury but reportedly is expected to return this season.

In order to get Durant, the Suns sent out a massive haul. Bridges, a Villanova alum and former 4-star recruit in the 2014 class, is one of the league’s better defenders and is averaging a career-high 17.2 points per game. Johnson, a former star at North Carolina, has missed time this season due to injury but likewise has posted a career-high 13.9 points per game on 45.5% shooting from 3-point range.

Crowder attended Marquette and has not played this season amid a dispute with the Suns. Warren could add scoring punch for Phoenix off the bench, as the former NC State star and 5-star recruit has returned from a foot injury that forced him to miss all of last season. Warren has averaged 9.5 points per game in a reserve role for Brooklyn.

Durant, 34, has two rings, which he captured during his time with the Golden State Warriors. Initial reports suggested that Brooklyn did not want to trade Durant after dealing Irving to Dallas, but Phoenix and new owner Matt Ishbia — a well-known booster for Michigan State athletics — stepped up with a massive offer.

Durant and Irving joined forces in 2019 but played in just 74 games together throughout the last couple of seasons prior to the trade. Phoenix sits in fifth place in the Western Conference as of Thursday morning but has won eight of its last 10 games with Paul having returned from injury.

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