Kevin Durant Trade Makes Phoenix Suns the NBA's New Power Team
The Phoenix Suns made a big boy move on Wednesday night, acquiring Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets. New owner Mat Ishbia put his stamp on the team immediately and made the Suns the NBA's new power team.
The Suns are sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap to the Nets for Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren. It is a franchise-altering deal as Durant will team with Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton to form a foursome no one in the NBA can match on paper.
Make no mistake, the Suns are surrendering a lot in this trade. Bridges and Johnson are key role players, and four first-round picks is a lot for a 34-year-old Durant who has three years and more than $153 million left on his contract. Durant is averaging 29.7 points per game this season and remains a top-tier scorer in the league, but injuries have begun to creep up on him. It's clear the Suns are going all-in over the next few years with the Durant-Booker-Paul trio.
Phoenix now possesses more offensive firepower than anyone in the NBA and should be the title favorites right now. The Suns currently sit fifth in the Western Conference 8.5 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets, but they should climb up the standings over the next few weeks. The balance of power has shifted dramatically.
Credit Ishbia and his team for getting this deal done quickly. As stated, Phoenix is giving up a ton in this trade and getting considerably older as a result. But the Suns are getting an all-time great in return. It's reminiscent of the Los Angeles Lakers going all-in to get Anthony Davis in 2019. That move resulted in a champion. That's the model Phoenix is following.
The Suns pulled off a league-altering trade Wednesday night. If everyone stays healthy Phoenix is the new team to be feared in the NBA.