Phoenix Suns Land Superstar Kevin Durant in Blockbuster Trade

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) celebrates during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Chicago. Chicago won 121-112. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

By Robert Gundran

February 10, 2023

It happened. 

It finally happened. 

Kevin Durant is coming to Phoenix. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday that the Phoenix Suns traded for 2-time NBA champion, 2-time Finals MVP and 13-time All Star Kevin Durant. 

In exchange for Durant’s services, the Suns shipped off forwards Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and Jae Crowder to the Brooklyn Nets. They also sent the Nets four first-round picks and a pick swap. 

Bleacher Report and TNT’s Chris Haynes initially reported Durant was interested in a trade to the Suns on June 30 last year. The Suns and Nets couldn’t come to an agreement on a trade last year and 50 games into the season a KD-to-Phoenix deal seemed all but dead. 

Instead the Suns’ new owner Mat Ishbia and general manager pulled the trigger on one of the biggest trades in franchise and NBA history, landing one of the league’s premiere superstars. 

Phoenix has a history in superstar trades. Roughly 30 years ago, the Suns traded for Philadelphia 76ers star Charles Barkley. Barkley brought the Suns to their second-ever NBA Finals, eventually losing to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. 

The Suns traded away much of their depth and over half of their draft picks for the rest of the decade for Durant. 

Now, the pressure is on—the Suns made a huge gamble in trading for Durant. Now he and superstar guard Devin Booker look to make a deep playoff run and win the franchise’s first championship in a year where the Western Conference seems more wide open than in recent memory. 

Booker already had a taste of the Finals in 2021, when the Suns lost in 6 games to the Milwaukee Bucks. Now he has a running-mate who can be the best player in the world on any given night. 

The gamble was worth it, but can the Suns cash in? 

We’ll have the next four years of a Booker, Durant, and Deandre Ayton core to find out.

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Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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