A blockbuster trade that would send Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns sent shockwaves through the sports world early Thursday morning and closed the book on the failure of an era for the organization.
The Nets agreed to trade Durant and T.J. Warren to the Suns for Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation, according to multiple reports. The reported deal came days after Brooklyn sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.
Irving, who made his Mavericks debut on Saturday night, took one-last swipe at Brooklyn after he was asked about his thoughts on the reported deal.
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He explained he was happy for his former teammate, and he and Durant had conversations about the future and wanted to be in “places where we could thrive.”
“This business changes so quickly,” Irving said, via The Dallas Morning News. “He’s getting a little bit older; I’m getting a little bit older. I just love the competition now that we can be in the same conference and I welcome all of that. Will get to see him a little more, probably playing against Phoenix a lot more.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else in-between, I’m just glad that he got out of there.”
BROOKLYN NETS’ KEVIN DURANT REPORTEDLY TRADED TO PHOENIX SUNS
Brooklyn brought Durant in simultaneously with Irving in the summer of 2019. The Nets executed a sign-and-trade deal. However, Durant was recovering from a torn Achilles and missed the 2019-20 season. Not to mention, the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into his recovery and he wouldn’t make his Brooklyn debut until the middle of the 2020-21 season.
The Nets would make the playoffs in 2021 and 2022 but iterations of a “big three” with James Harden and Ben Simmons did not appear to help the team win any more games. Brooklyn only made it as far as the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the few seasons where their window to win was open.
Brooklyn and the eventual 2021 champion Milwaukee Bucks had a classic series, and if it was not for Durant’s foot on the line in the closing seconds of regulation in Game 7 – things may have turned out differently.
Instead, injuries plagued the team last season, and they were dominated by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Durant would request a trade in the offseason as the Nets would shop Irving around. No team bit the bait until the middle of the season.
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Now, Durant and Irving will get to compete in a tightly packed Western Conference while Brooklyn reloads for the future with a young and very talented roster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.