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Shortly after 1 a.m., it was announced former Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant had been traded to the Phoenix Suns after three controversy-filled years and a second trade request in only eight months.
Currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, the 30-26 Phoenix Suns have instantaneously catapulted themselves into title contention by landing the generational talent.
Kevin Durant was the best player on a toxic team
Though most of the Nets controversies were not of his own making, as the best player on the court, Durant was often tasked with carrying the weight of the Brooklyn squad and answering for embattled and under-performing high-profile teammates.
With his former co-star, Kyrie Irving, now hooping for the Dallas Mavericks, Durant has followed Irving’s lead and taken his talents to the NBA’s Western Conference.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Brooklyn Nets traded the All-NBA forward to the Phoenix Suns for a package that includes dynamic forward Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four unprotected future first-round picks, sources told ESPN on Wednesday night.
In a deal that landed in the late-night hours ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren were shuttled to the Suns for a massive haul of first-round draft picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) and a 2028 pick swap, sources said.
Durant will partner with Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton — and ends the great superstar experiment in Brooklyn.
Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden all arrived in Brooklyn to deliver a championship together, and one by one, all left via trade requests. They played a total of 16 games together.
The two-time Finals MVP has been sidelined by an MCL sprain in his right knee, but sources said there is optimism he will be ready to return after the All-Star break in two weeks.
Kevin Durant and his business manager, Rich Kleiman, told Tsai and Marks that their preference was a deal to Phoenix, sources said.
More a fan of J. Cole than Kendrick Lamar, the 18 shoe-sized big stepper can now envision an off-season adding to his championship ring collection.