The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly agreed to a deal to trade away superstar Kevin Durant just days after the franchise agreed to send away fellow star Kyrie Irving, ending the franchise’s hopes of creating a dynasty with the two players.
Durant will be sent to the Phoenix Suns for a whopping four 1st-round picks as part of what would be one of the biggest blockbuster deals in NBA history, according to ESPN.
The deal includes the Nets receiving Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation. The Suns will acquire Durant and TJ Warren.
According to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the news just before 2 a.m. Thursday morning, Durant wanted to move to the Suns and new owner Mat Ishbia pushed to finalize the deal.
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The first-round picks are unprotected in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, Wojnarowski reported.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania also confirmed the trade.
The deal comes just days after the Nets sent Irving to the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, solidifying their plan to completely revamp the franchise.
The Suns were reported to be among teams who reached out to the Nets immediately after the Irving deal was announced Sunday, and Durant previously expressed interest in them this past offseason.
Irving and Durant both signed free agent deals with Brooklyn during the 2019 offseason, as the duo joined forces in an attempt to build a superteam.
The team later added (and eventually subtracted) James Harden and Blake Griffin, respectively, while replacing head coach Kenny Atkinson with Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash – who was fired for Jacque Vaughn.
Durant previously expressed optimism about the franchise’s direction, telling ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in April 2021 that he loved “what we’re building” in Brooklyn.
“I think the culture and the spirit around the game is something we’ve tried to cultivate from Day 1,” he said at the time. “And everybody brings their part to it. Everybody is valued. From the starting guy to the last guy on the bench, we all value each other’s input.”
But their struggles both on and off the court failed to net a title.
In the first round of the 2021-2022 playoffs, the 7th-ranked Nets were dismantled in four games by the 2nd-place Boston Celtics. The Suns, who led the West with a 64-18 record last year, defeated the No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs, but fell to the fourth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the seventh game of the Conference Semifinals.
The season prior, both the Nets and Suns finished second in their respective conferences.
Both teams were eliminated in the postseason that year by the Milwaukee Bucks, with the Nets falling in the Conference Semifinals and the Suns losing 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
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Despite only playing 35 regular season games in the 2020-2021 season, Durant signed a four-year, $194 million extension with the Nets in August 2021. He was locked in with the Nets until 2026.
In the 2022-2023 season, he led the Nets with 29.7 points per game and was ranked second on the team for rebounds (6.7), blocks (1.5), and assists (5.3). Durant ranks ahead of Irving in all of these categories but was tied on assists.
Durant will now play alongside the Suns’ Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Chris Paul.
Durant previously played with the Oklahoma City Thunder, from 2008 until the 2015-2016 season. He then joined the Golden State Warriors for the 2016-2017 season, winning two NBA titles with the team (2017 and 2018).
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The trade also comes not long after a mega, three-team deal was announced for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook. It also comes just hours before the 2023 NBA trade deadline is set to end on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Brooklyn currently has a 32-22 record, ranking them 5th in the Eastern Conference. Phoenix has a 30-26 record and is ranked 5th in the West.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.