PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns pulled a midnight blockbuster on Wednesday, acquiring 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
The outlets, citing unnamed sources, said the Suns added Durant to a starting lineup that already includes an All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with center Deandre Ayton.
Phoenix sent Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation to the Nets.
The Suns also receive forward T.J. Warren in the deal.
The 34-year-old Durant is still playing at an elite level, averaging nearly 30 points per game this season. Durant and the Suns were linked to trade rumors over the past summer, but nothing materialized until Wednesday.
The trade comes just hours after new Suns majority owner Mat Ishbia was introduced in Phoenix. The self-described basketball nut, who was a walk-on at Michigan State under Tom Izzo, didn’t waste any time shaking up the NBA.
Phoenix has never won an NBA championship. The Suns made the Finals two seasons ago, but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. They also played in the Finals in 1976 and 1993.
The quartet of Durant, Paul, Booker and Ayton appears to immediately turn the franchise into title contenders again.
The Suns have had several injuries this season, but played better in recent weeks. They jumped to fifth in the Western Conference with a 30-26 record. Booker (groin) and Paul (hip) have both recently returned.
Durant is currently recovering from a ligament strain in his right knee, but is expected to return soon.
When former Nets teammate Kyrie Irving heard the news, he said: “I’m just glad that he got out of there.”
The Nets recently traded Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, where he’ll pair with Luka Doncic as another top team in the Western Conference. Irving scored 24 points in his Mavs debut against the Clippers on Wednesday.
“We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like,” Irving said. “There was still a level of uncertainty but we just cared about seeing each other be places that we can thrive. Whether that be together or whether that be apart, there has never been one moment where I’ve felt like he’s been angry at me for the decisions I’ve made or I’ve been angry at him.
“I just love the competition now that we can be in the same conference.”
FILE – Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant (7) looks to drive against Chicago Bulls’ Coby White (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Chicago. Chicago won 121-112. The Phoenix Suns pulled a midnight blockbuster on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2023, acquiring 13-time All-Star Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)