One year ago today would mark the last day the Brooklyn Nets had Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. Today, they have none of them. They moved on from James Harden on February 10th, 2022. This past week, they moved Kyrie Irving to Dallas. Today, it’s a trade that sends Kevin Durant to the Suns. It’s the latest blockbuster move in the NBA. So, how does this affect the NBA?
Full Kevin Durant Trade
- Kevin Durant
- T.J. Warren
- Mikal Bridges
- Cam Johnson
- Jae Crowder
- Unprotected 2023, 2025, 2027, & 2029 1st round picks
- 2028 pick swap
Suns Become West Favorites
The Suns were in a weird spot prior to this move. It was noticeable that multiple NBA analysts were leaving them off their contender list. Many saw a decline coming after a 64-win season last year. However, they were still talked about as a great team. They were thought of as the pretenders in the West. This trade changes everything.
With the acquisition of Durant and Warren, they have a potential starting line-up of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, T.J. Warren, and Deandre Ayton. Bringing them back to being one of the favorites. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, they have the third best odds at the NBA Championship after this. Only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have better odds, both in the Eastern Conference.
Nets Officially Start Rebuild
Before the season, fans didn’t know what to expect from the controversial Nets. After multiple options involving trading James Harden a year ago, they opted to trade Kyrie a few days ago, leaving the Nets with Durant. This kept some hope for their fans that they would possibly try to win with Durant by building around him. Well, that’s not happening after acquiring four picks and two 26-year-olds for KD to officially start the Nets rebuild.
This leaves Brooklyn with a core of Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton, and Ben Simmons. Along with the draft picks, the Nets aren’t in horrible shape. They could decide to flip any of their newly acquired players, such as Mikal Bridges, if they choose to.
They could still finish the season as a playoff, or play-in, team. It’ll give them more time to test out line-ups and players, then decide where they want to go from there. It could’ve been worse. Regardless, it’s a disappointing end to the Irving, Harden, Durant era in Brooklyn.
Western Conference Gets More Talent
“Which conference is stronger?” is a question asked every year by NBA fans. For a while, most fans would say it’s been the Western Conference. This year was the first in a while that had people questioning that answer. Within the past week, that answer has been definitively answered.
First, Kyrie Irving goes from Brooklyn to Dallas to make it stronger. Now, Kevin Durant gets moved from the Brooklyn to Phoenix. The Kevin Durant trade creates a crowded Western Conference. With this addition, the Suns are now a legit contender for the Finals.
As mentioned, many fans of the game wrote them off this season, but with Durant in tow, they’re back.
In front of them in the West, they still have the Kings, who are looking to continue to prove themselves, the young and ferocious Grizzlies, 1st place Nuggets, and Dallas Mavericks with newly acquired Kyrie Irving. There are still three more teams right behind the Suns in that 6-8 spot in the standings. Oh, and the reigning champs are still there as the 9th seed.
When a superstar is moved there are many factors to consider. This ends a rough chapter for the Brooklyn Nets, and we’ll be waiting to see what their next chapter holds. On the other hand, this trade creates an exciting chapter for Kevin Durant and the Suns. Will they be able to be the last team standing? Only time will tell. Either way, this is a league-changing trade that will be talked about for a long time.