Kevin Durant traded to the Phoenix Suns to join Devin Booker and CP3

The Suns have a new big three: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul.

Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The Suns have a new big three: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul.

Jordan Tavares, Crier Staff

In leagues such as the NBA, one single transaction or trade can change the whole trajectory for a franchise. Sometimes these moves can change the trajectory for the good and sometimes for the bad. This past week the NBA had one of their most circled dates on the league calendar year, the trade deadline. 

In a deadline with middle of the pack level players such as Rui Hachimura getting sent from the Washington Wizards to the Los Angeles Lakers, there was a fair share of high end trades. For instance, the polarizing Kyrie Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks to be paired with MVP candidate Luka Doncic. 

However, that wasn’t the only mega trade the Brooklyn Nets made. Brooklyn traded away Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and a plethora of picks from Phoenix in what caps off one of the most disappointing runs by an NBA team ever. 

In a saga that began on July 19 2019 when the Brooklyn Nets signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to max contracts. The first season these two were in Brooklyn, Durant had to sit out the season due to an achilles injury, and Kyrie Irving refused to play in the NBA bubble in the summer of 2020. 

The following season, the Nets went even more in on Irving and Durant in trading for Shooting Guard and former MVP James Harden in a blockbuster three team trade which included Brooklyn trading young talent such as All-Star center Jarrett Allen, Caris LaVert and draft picks. 

While Harden and Durant were on the floor most of the time, Kyrie missed numerous games due to vaccination rules and refusing to get vaccinated which resulted in the trio only playing in 16 games together. The following season, James Harden demanded a trade from Brooklyn which resulted in him going to Philadelphia for the notorious Ben Simmons. Simmons hardly played in the 21-22 season, and when he was on the floor he was a nonfactor. 

Which now brings us to today, in one of the biggest “what-ifs” in sports, the Nets only have one playoff series win to show for it. And even at that Durant carried that specific run, with both Irving and Harden either out entirely or hurt. With KD going to Phoenix, he now joins the likes of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton. 

With a talented core around him, the only way we can determine whether this trade was successful for the Suns is playoff success. The Suns currently sit 5th in the Western Conference, with teams like the Clippers, Grizzlies, and Nuggets ahead of them. However, teams like the Mavericks and the Warriors are also creeping up behind them in the standings. 

While the Suns boosted their offense, they had to give up one of the best defenders in the league in Mikal Bridges and one of the best young three and D guys in Cam Johnson. 

While on paper this seems like a no brainer kind of deal, catapulting the Suns into title contention, only time will tell whether or not this trade (for debatably the NBA’s most lethal of scorers and the grim reaper of closers) will pay off in a title for Phoenix. 

One can expect such a conclusion to be drawn when the playoffs start and the Suns matchup against potential players such as Kawhi Leonard, Ja Morant, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Iring, Domantas Sabonis, Paul George, Brandon Ingram, Luka Doncic and of course two time reigning MVP and current MVP frontrunner… Nikola Jokic. All of which can give Phoenix a ton of trouble single handedly with or without Durant. 

However, expect to see Kevin Durant make an immediate impact in Phoenix and look for them to remain towards the top of the standings as the NBA regular season ends.