After trading away one superstar in Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets have now outdone themselves by trading away an even bigger star, Kevin Durant. Late Wednesday night into Thursday, shortly after news that Jakob Poeltl would be heading back north to Toronto, news broke that the Brooklyn Nets had reached an agreement with the Phoenix Suns on a blockbuster deal ahead of Thursday’s 3 PM Eastern trade deadline.
The complete trade details have Kevin Durant and TJ Warren heading to Phoenix while the Nets will, in turn, receive Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and a 2028 first-round pick swap. That is quite the haul, but then again, Kevin Durant is quite the player.
Suns’ center Deandre Ayton was noticeably absent from the deal, who had been tied to a Kevin Durant trade since last summer. The reasoning behind this is that Ben Simmons, or more accurately put, his contract, prevented the Nets from adding Ayton due to the NBA’s “designated rookie rule.”
Ayton signed his rookie-scale extension this past summer, while Ben Simmons signed his in July 2019. The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement allows teams to roster two players on rookie-scale extensions; however, only one can be acquired via trade. Brooklyn likely isn’t missing much sleep over the matter, though, thanks to the emergence of Nic Claxton.
Kevin Durant is set to begin his next chapter as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
As the Brooklyn Nets prepare for the next stage of their life, so does Kevin Durant with his new team, the Phoenix Suns. Durant joins Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and the aforementioned Ayton as they prepare to take the Western Conference from the clutches of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
The Western Conference was once looking to be losing its luster, but in just a few short days, they’ve been reinforced with the additions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The trade deadline excitement is just beginning, folks, so buckle up and stay tuned, as there is still much more to happen between now and 3 PM ET.