The Phoenix Suns pulled off the blockbuster trade new owner Mat Ishbia wanted, landing Kevin Durant just after 1 a.m. ET Thursday. The Brooklyn Nets, who were reportedly adamant about not dealing Durant, ultimately caved and kickstarted their rebuild. The Nets have now traded both Durant and Kyrie Irving, once their star pairing poised to take them to a title. Meanwhile, the Suns have vaulted into the top of the West assuming Durant returns healthy. Here’s our trade grades for this deal.
The Nets are trading Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a package including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. https://t.co/fJoFHv3i7M— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
Sure, Phoenix gave up some wing depth with Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder all going back to Brooklyn. Keeping Deandre Ayton as part of the deal is awesome for the Suns. Assuming Durant comes back after the All-Star break, the Suns can now throw a lineup of him, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Ayton and Landry Shamet out there. That can take down any team in the league in the postseason. Only giving up four first-round picks outright is great considering what the Timberwolves gave up for Rudy Gobert. This was a big win for the new ownership group.
The Nets got a decent haul and are now stacked with draft picks and some promising young players. Not requesting Ayton in the deal, who was clearly available, might cost them down the line. They likely could’ve requested more draft picks as well, seeing as the Suns were desperate to get a deal done. Ultimately, Brooklyn didn’t get everything it possibly could’ve from Phoenix in this trade.