The Phoenix Suns are acquiring star forward Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Phoenix is sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and a 2028 pick swap to Brooklyn, according to sources. The picks, in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, are unprotected.
The Suns are also getting forward TJ Warren in the trade, sources said.
Durant wanted the move and new Suns majority owner Mat Ishbia pushed to get a deal done on the eve of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
The Nets are expected to explore trade scenarios for Crowder ahead of the 3 pm ET deadline, sources told ESPN.
After the Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks at the beginning of the week, Durant had been engaged in conversations with Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks on the direction of the franchise and its ability to be a championship contender, ESPN reported Tuesday.
Sources had told ESPN then that the Nets insisted on Durant and inquiring teams that the organization had no intention of moving him prior to the Thursday afternoon deadline.
Ishbia has been fully engaged in overseeing the Suns operation and aggressive in pursuing ways to make a major and immediate impact.
Durant — who asked out and later rescinded a trade demand in the offseason — holds a strong interest in an offseason trade to the Suns, sources said.
There is optimism that Durant, who is currently out with an MCL sprain in his right knee, will be ready to return to action after the mid-February All-Star break, according to sources.
Durant, 34, has three years and $153 million left on his contract after this season. The former league MVP attended the Nets’ loss to the LA Clippers on Monday night in Brooklyn but did not answer reporters’ questions on his way out of Barclays Center.
Irving, who scored 24 points against the Clippers in his debut with the Mavericks on Wednesday night, reacted to the trade after the game, saying he was praying for Durant’s “happiness and praying for his well-being.”
“This business changes so quickly. 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,” Irving said. “I welcome all that. Get to see him a little bit more, probably playing against Phoenix a lot more. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else and in between, I just, I’m glad that he got out of there.”
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, this marks the first time a team had two All-Stars on its roster to start a season, with both players changing teams later in the season. In the span of one year, the Nets traded Durant, Irving and James Harden. They played a total of 16 games together in Brooklyn.
The Suns have never won an NBA title and, entering the 2022-23 campaign, are at 54 consecutive seasons without a league championship. That is the third-longest active streak, behind only the Kings (71) and Hawks (64).
Durant will look to be the piece that gets the Suns over the hump, and his playoff career speaks volumes. Durant has the fourth-highest career playoff PPG (29.4) in NBA history, trailing only Michael Jordan (33.4), Luka Doncic (32.5) and Allen Iverson (29.7).
Durant will also be the first former MVP to play for the Suns since Steve Nash’s last season with the team in 2011-12.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.