Irving, cars parked on parking lot during daytime

Kevin Durant to be traded to the Phoenix Suns

Just when fans of the Brooklyn Nets thought it was all over, another blockbuster trade has occurred. This time, Kevin Durant and TJ Warren were traded to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday evening. 

Just three days ago, Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorrian Finney-Smith and three future draft picks. The Nets were not complete with their trades, as Durant was traded right as the deadline was over. The Brooklyn Nets have not only acquired Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Jae Crowder, but have also acquired four first-round unprotected draft picks. These picks are for the years 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, along with a 2028 pick swap. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant was reportedly wanting a trade to the Suns and to be out of Brooklyn. Durant ended his tenure with the Nets averaging 29 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game and 5.8 assists per game. Durant played for two and a half seasons with the Nets where he teamed up with Irving and James Harden in 2020.

Harden was the first player to leave the Nets last season after he requested a trade and currently plays for the 76ers. Irving was next to leave and is now playing for the Mavericks where he scored 24 points in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers without Luka Doncic in the lineup. 

With the newly acquired Suns players, Bridges spent his entire career with the Suns since 2018 where he was drafted by the 76ers but was then traded to the Suns. Bridges averaged 12.2 points per game, 4 rebounds per game and 2 assists per game during his time with the Suns. Johnson also spent his entire career so far with the Suns, who was first drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was also traded to the Suns. Johnson averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while on the Suns. Crowder was acquired in the trade but is expected to be moved by Brooklyn by the trade deadline at 3 PM ET on February 9th. Crowder averaged 9.7 points per game, 5 rebounds per game and 2 assists per game during his tenure with the Suns. 

Now that Durant is gone, it seems that the Nets are in full rebuilding mode. The likelihood of playoff chances for the Nets are slim, but they look to be building towards the future instead. They have a plethora of first-round picks who could end up being a future Nets core in the next decade but only time will tell how those picks pan out. Cam Thomas has been having an excellent run recently, averaging at least 40 points in the last three games, and it seems that Thomas may be the silver lining in the door that is being shut for the Nets’ playoff chances. 

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