JThe Brooklyn Nets traded superstar Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a package including young players and draft picks in a surprising move early Thursday morning.
The deal sends Durant and TJ Warren to the Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and an option to trade picks for the Nets, ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted.
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The move shocked the NBA world, who sensed a move could be imminent after Durant’s Brooklyn co-star Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks this week, but didn’t expect it to happen. what it materializes so quickly and ostensibly in favor of the Suns.
Durant, a consensus top 5 player in the league, had an MVP-caliber season before injuring his knee in early January, averaging 30 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game, per Basketball Reference, as well as shining on the defensive end of the floor. Because Durant is expected to return to action soon, the move immediately puts the Suns among the Western Conference favorites.
It also puts the Nets’ future in doubt. Although Bridges and Johnson are strong, young and athletic wings that any NBA team would have been delighted to acquire, they are not stars, nor do they plan to be, and the Nets already owe future first-round picks to other teams. based on the winning moves they have made in the past.
So the Nets are in a position where they have a strong roster but no realistic path to a championship, and their future remains uncertain as they don’t have many of their own draft picks in the years to come.
“Omygod lol,” Bridges tweeted shortly after the announcement of the exchange. His pinned tweet is a photo of himself being drafted by the Suns, which he retweeted and wrote, “I never wanna leave.”
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The Suns are now pairing Durant with future Hall of Famer Chris Paul and star guard Devin Booker, creating a deadly trio to try to get the team back to the NBA Finals where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks two seasons ago. The Nets face a host of question marks.
And the NBA, always as exciting for what happens off the court as what happens on it, will sit back and enjoy.