NBA: Nets trade Kevin Durant to Phoenix Suns for 4 first round picks, 3 players
The Nets will receive Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first-round picks, as well as second-round draft compensation, as part of the early Thursday morning deal.
And just like that, it’s over.
Days after trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, the Nets have reportedly agreed to a deal that sends superstar forward Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.
The Nets will receive breakout forward Mikal Bridges, 3-and-D wing Cam Johnson, veteran forward Jae Crowder and four first-round picks, as well as additional second-round draft pick compensation as part of the deal. The first-round picks are unprotected in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, according to ESPN. The Nets also receive swap rights to Phoenix’s first-round pick in 2028.
The superstar days in Brooklyn are over. So are the days of competing for a championship.
And it’s unclear if the Nets will ever be able to sell another superstar-caliber talent on coming to Brooklyn in the near future.
Including James Harden, who forced a trade to Philadelphia last season, all three superstars to play for the Nets have requested a trade in the span of a year.
The Daily News was the first to report the eventuality of both Irving and Durant requesting trades.
Make no mistake: Championship aspirations in Brooklyn are up in smoke.
Without the superstar power both Irving and Durant brought to the floor, the Nets are now a tier below the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.
The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat each project to outperform the Nets in the second half of the season in the aftermath of the two seismic trades that have shifted the balance of power back out West.
Not to mention the Knicks, who are suddenly the better basketball team on paper and trail the Nets by just three games in the standings.
Durant requested a trade during the off-season frustrated with the direction of a franchise that had fallen short of expectations two seasons in a row. It became clear the Nets were ready to pivot in a direction opposite of championship contention after they traded Irving, who said in his introductory press conference in Dallas he felt disrespected by the way the organization treated a star of his caliber.
Durant had missed a month of action sidelined with an MCL sprain in his right knee. He averaged 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in Brooklyn this season.
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