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Congratulations, Joe Tsai. Ben Simmons is now the face of your NBA franchise.
In a startling early morning trade on the day of the NBA trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to send 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a large sum of draft picks and a number of role players, though none of the caliber of KD.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Phoenix is sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap to Brooklyn … The picks, in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, are unprotected.”
Phoenix will also receive Nets swingman TJ Warren as part of the deal, who joined Brooklyn on a one-year deal.
Brooklyn Royally Fumbles Their Big 3
After trading Kyrie Irving and Durant, Brooklyn’s experimental Big 3 from 2021 has finally collapsed.
What started out as a hopeful gathering of Irving, Durant and James Harden turned into a colossal misfire, courtesy of the Nets (mis)management, which never put forward a solid coaching plan for its abundance of talent or supported its marquee players, namely Irving. Two seasons later, the Nets have unloaded their All-Stars and stockpiled draft picks for a “win-later” approach.
The writing was on the wall for Durant to leave Brooklyn once the Nets traded Irving to Dallas over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Suns are priming their 2023 squad for a deep playoff run with their acquisition of Durant.
Phoenix’s projected starting lineup will now feature Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, with Torrey Craig rounding out the starting group.
Durant has been sidelined since Jan. 9 due to an MCL sprain but is expected to return to action after the All-Star break.
The Suns are fifth in the Western Conference standings at 30-26 (8.5 games behind first).
After the trade, it’s hard to imagine a better team than Phoenix to come out of the West.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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