Report: Kevin Durant heads out West in overnight blockbuster trade

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Dec 12, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates with Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) against the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a wild week for the Brooklyn Nets, departing with Kyrie Irving first, and now superstar Kevin Durant is the final domino to fall as he was traded to the Phoenix Suns overnight Thursday in a blockbuster trade.

Phoenix acquired Durant and Nets’ backup forward TJ Warren in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and a pick swap.

The KD-Kyrie era is officially over in Brooklyn:

After Irving’s departure following a stunning trade request, many teams began to pivot towards the availability of Durant, who had requested a trade during the offseason but would later revoke it.

The Suns, currently fifth in a tightly packed western conference, went all in to acquire one of the league’s best players with less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, and have now formed a super team of Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton as they look to go back to the NBA Finals.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant has been out with an MCL sprain since Jan. 8 and is not expected to return to action until after the All-Star break.

However, when he returns, the Suns are sure to be a tough out every single game, as they also just welcomed back star shooting guard Devin Booker after a month’s long absence.

As for the Nets, they have now parted ways with their two superstars just days apart. Evidently, the organization’s focus shifted from title contention to building for the future after Kyrie asked out.

They got solid pieces to complement a really good squad in the future in return for Durant. Bridges is averaging just over 17 points per game and is shooting 38.7% from downtown while also being one of the league’s best perimeter defenders.

Johnson, a 6’8” forward, is a marksman shooter from outside the arc, averaging career-highs in both points (13.9/game) and three-point percentage (45.5%) despite only playing 17 games this season in Phoenix after missing time with an injury.

Crowder has not played this season after requesting a trade in the summer, and Brooklyn is expected to “explore trade scenarios” for the wing before the deadline, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

A tumultuous four seasons of Durant and Irving in Brooklyn has officially come to an end with just one playoff series win to show for. There are now lots of unknowns as to what direction the team will take both this season and in the future.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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