Joe Paige | Sports Editor
The landscape of the NBA has just changed dramatically. Subsequently after The Brooklyn Nets traded their star guard Kyrie Irving this weekend, The Nets have agreed to send Kevin Durant and TJ Warren to The Pheonix Suns for Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, and a collection of future unprotected first round picks.
This closes the curtain on the Nets’ experiment assembling three generational talents in James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant in hopes to build a winning culture and bring a trophy to this franchise. Brooklyn never advanced past the Eastern Conference semifinals during Durant’s and Irving three seasons on the team. They finished the regular season as the 7th seed and eventually got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Phoenix finalized the deal adding the former MVP a day after the NBA board of governors approved the purchase of The Phoenix Suns and The Phoenix Mercury to Mat Ishbia, a billionaire who bought a majority stake in the teams from Robert Sarver. Ishbia, during his introductory news conference on Wednesday morning, said he wants to “think big", he added “I want to make it so that everyone looks at the Mercury and the Suns as the best.” Ishbia wasted no time to act on these words, in just 1 day, he elevated Phoenix from a casual playoff contender to a seriously dangerous championship treat.
This is certainly one of the best deals Brooklyn could have pulled off to move Durant, as they receive a ton of draft capital along with a young talented piece in Mikal Bridges. As for Phoenix, they improve tremendously by adding an offensive mercenary like Durant to an already formidable starting core in Chris Paul, DeAndre Ayton, and Devin Booker. The Suns did have to sacrifice quite a bit of depth, as they've lost their best defender in Bridges, as well as Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder two defensive minded forwards. But the Suns had to do whatever was necessary to take advantage of such a rare opportunity to pick up such a generational talent
The player on everybody's mind when witnessing this trade go through is Chris Paul. Fans may remember back in 2011 when David Stern vetoed a trade that would unite him with Laker legend Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Chris Paul came to Phoenix to hopefully finally add a championship to his hall of fame resume, they went as far as the NBA finals in 2021 but would fall to the Milwaukee Bucks in 6 games. Last year they reached the western conference semifinals but would lose to the against the Dallas Mavericks. This puts CP3 back in a position to make a deep run in the playoffs, not just for this season, but for the foreseeable future.