Kevin Durant shipped to Suns in middle of night by Nets

Kevin Durant is heading to the Phoenix Suns after the Brooklyn Nets made a blockbuster trade in the dead of night. NBA Trade Grades for the massive deal.

Getting sent to the desert in the middle of the night often carries a negative connotation. However, that’s apparently what Kevin Durant wanted, so the Brooklyn Nets obliged in a monster blockbuster trade that will send the former NBA MVP to the Phoenix Suns ahead of Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the full report of how massive this trade was. The Suns are set to acquire Durant and TJ Warren for a ludicrously big return package that includes Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, a 2028 pick swap with Phoenix, and four first-round draft picks.

You know, just something the Suns had lying around.

Kevin Durant trade details: Suns give Nets a king’s ransom in blockbuster deal

There are a lot of moving pieces, but here is the monster deal that the Suns and Nets made to send Durant to Phoenix in the midnight hour (quite literally).

Suns Get

FKevin Durant

F TJ Warren

Nets Get

G/F Mikal Bridges, G/F Cam Johnson

F Jae Crowder

4 First Round Picks

2028 Pick Swaps

In addition to Durant, given that Phoenix is ​​giving up three young, talented wings in the deal, it makes sense for them to also get TJ Warren back. As for the picks, it will be the first-rounders from the 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 drafts while the pick swap is obviously in the first round. All of the picks going to Brooklyn are unprotected.

NBA Trade Grades: Suns go all-in on Kevin Durant

Despite the record of 30-26 after Wednesday night’s victory (ironically over the Nets), the Suns are still the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. However, the team just got Devin Booker back from an injury that had kept him out since Christmas Day and is just 4.0 games out of second in the standings. And now they have Kevin Durant too.

This is the type of all-in move that many people have been waiting for from Phoenix in the past couple of years as they’ve become a legitimate contender. It’s the chips-on-the-table move that can win a team a championship.

Yes, the treasure trove of picks and young players that the Suns sent is truly massive. This is Durant, though. This is the type of player who, once he’s back healthy, can take a much worse team than Phoenix to the NBA Finals and perhaps to a title. Now a team with a championship ceiling just added one of the best players in the league.

Worth it.

Suns Grade: A

NBA Trade Grades: Nets get every bit of their money’s worth for Kevin Durant

For as much as I’m a fan of Phoenix going all-in on this, what the Nets did looks even better. Once the Kyrie Irving situation devolved at Usain Bolt-esque speed, it was Durant coming back to a team with a bevy of fun young players but a very limited ceiling right now. At his age, that situation was never something that Durant would want, especially with the Ben Simmons trade of last year looking disastrous.

Thus, it was no shock that Wojnarowski also reported that Durant wanted the move to the Suns, so the Brooklyn front office did so quickly and aggressively.

So to get four future first-round picks, two great young role players — and perhaps better than that in the case of Bridges — and another tradeable asset in Crowder in that situation, that’s vital to the future of the Nets. It’s a different strategy than the history of the team since the Brooklyn move, but it’s one that looks far more sustainable than what they’ve attempted recently.

Nets Grade: A+

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