Juan Vaulet

Kevin Durant Trade Officially Completed As Four-Team Deal

Kevin Durant has officially been traded from Brooklyn to Phoenix, according to press releases from the Suns and Nets.

The blockbuster trade has been combined with the three-team trade agreement involving the Bucks, Nets, and Pacers that sends Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, turning the two deals into a single four-team transaction.

It breaks down as follows:

  • Suns acquire Durant and T.J. Warren.
  • Nets acquire Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, the Suns’ 2023 first-round pick (unprotected), the Suns’ 2025 first-round pick (unprotected), the Suns’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), the Suns’ 2029 first-round pick (unprotected), the right to swap first-round picks with the Suns in 2028, the Bucks’ 2028 second-round pick, the Bucks’ 2029 second-round pick, and the draft rights to Juan Pablo Vaulet (from Pacers).
  • Bucks acquire Crowder.
  • Pacers acquire Jordan Nwora, George Hill, Serge Ibaka, either the Bucks’ 2023 second-round pick or the least favorable of the Cavaliers’ and Warriors’ 2023 second-round picks (whichever is most favorable), the Bucks’ 2024 second-round pick, their own 2025 second-round pick (from Bucks; it was traded away in a prior deal), and cash (from Nets).

“Today is a transformative day for this organization,” new Suns owner Mat Ishbia said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome Kevin and T.J. to the Valley as we build a championship culture both on and off the court.

“Not only is Kevin one of the greatest and most accomplished players in the history of the sport, but his character also embodies the world class commitment to excellence we are instilling across every facet of this organization. T.J. is a natural leader whose work ethic and commitment to getting better every day make him an important addition to the team as he returns to the Valley. Phoenix will be one of the best organizations in all of sports and we are so excited to start our journey with this incredibly dynamic team.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks offered a statement of his own in Brooklyn’s press release:

“After thorough evaluation of the best path forward, we believe making this trade now positions the franchise for long-term success. Mikal and Cam are elite, ascending, versatile wings, plus the draft capital provides us additional avenues to continue to acquire talent. We remain steadfast in our commitment to building the team Brooklyn deserves. We are excited to welcome Mikal, Cam and their families to Brooklyn and thank Kevin for the moments and memories he delivered our fanbase.”

As expected, the Pacers waived Goga Bitadze and Terry Taylor to accommodate their new additions. The team also waived veteran forward James Johnson, per a press release. All three players will become unrestricted free agents if they clear waivers this weekend. Indiana will also cut Ibaka, as we previously relayed.

Because they no longer have to take on Crowder’s salary, the Nets will create a trade exception worth $18MM+ for Durant instead of $8MM, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

For more details on the trade, be sure to read our previous stories breaking down the Durant and Crowder trades.

Nets Trade Doumbouya To Rockets, Acquire Sumner From Pacers

OCTOBER 6: The Nets have now completed both trades, announcing in a press release that their deal with the Pacers is complete.

As we relayed earlier today, Brooklyn and Houston completed their trade on Wednesday morning, with the Rockets waiving Khyri Thomas in order to finalize the move.

OCTOBER 5: The Nets are making a pair of minor trades, according to reports. Brooklyn will send power forward Sekou Doumbouya (and his $3,613,680 salary) and an unprotected 2024 second-round draft pick to the Rockets in exchange for $110K, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) and Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). The Rockets will waive Doumbouya, sources inform MacMahon.

In their other deal, the Nets will receive guard Edmond Sumner and a 2025 Heat second-round draft selection from the Pacers, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (via Twitter). The Nets will subsequently waive Sumner, who is set to miss the entire 2021/22 season due to a torn left Achilles tendon. The Pacers will receive the draft rights to Juan Pablo Vaulet from Brooklyn in the deal, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Both of these transactions are essentially salary dumps. The Nets and Pacers are each attaching a second-round pick in order to avoid paying a player’s guaranteed salary. Both the Rockets and Nets have trade exceptions that will enable them to take on a new player without sending one out in a deal.

The Sumner deal creates extra breathing room below the tax line for the Pacers, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link). The Pacers will save $2.3MM, dipping them to $2.8MM below the luxury tax line.

Meanwhile, Marks adds (via Twitter) that the Nets will save a total of $8.1MM as a result of the two deals: $6.8MM in projected luxury tax payments and $1.29MM in salary. Marks notes that Brooklyn was able to compensate for the outgoing 2024 second-rounder owed to Houston by adding the 2025 second-rounder in the Pacers transaction. So ultimately, the star-studded Nets saved $8.1MM while not losing cumulative draft equity.

The 6’8″ Doumbouya, 20, was selected with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft. Last season, he averaged 5.1 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 56 games with Detroit, including 11 starts.

Marks adds (Twitter link) that Brooklyn now gains a $3.6MM trade exception via the Doumbouya deal, and will probably use the exception to add Sumner. The Pacers have gained a $2.3MM trade exception.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Atlantic Notes: Durant, Vaulet, Roberts

The Celtics, who are among many teams dreaming of signing Kevin Durant this summer, would have taken the Texas product first overall in the 2007 draft if the pingpong balls had bounced their way, writes Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Instead, Portland landed the top pick and selected Ohio State center Greg Oden, with Durant falling to the Thunder at No. 2. “I was in the draft room, and they would have taken Durant,” said Austin Ainge, son of Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “I did have some inside information there.” Team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has verified that claim, according to Forsberg.

Boston may be able to make its pitch to Durant more appealing by acquiring another high-level talent first. Forsberg suggested the Celtics may pursue Hawks free agent center/power forward Al Horford, who is also headed toward free agency and whom they reportedly targeted prior to last month’s trade deadline. Boston will have about $34MM in guaranteed salary for next season if it elects not to hang on to Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko. If the salary cap tops $90MM, as some estimates have suggested, the Celtics could have enough room for two elite free agents.

There’s more on the Atlantic Division:

  • Durant, who will face the Celtics in Boston tonight for the first time since 2012, had plenty of good things to say about the city, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe“I like the city a lot,” Durant told reporters this morning. “It’s cold, but they love sports here. It’s a family atmosphere I feel when I walk around the city, so yeah, I like it a lot.” 
  • The Nets are hoping they might have “the next Manu Ginobili” in second-round pick Juan Pablo Vaulet, according to NetsDaily. Playing in Argentina, Vaulet missed 19 games with an early-season stress fracture in his ankle, but he is starting to show why Brooklyn and other observers were so high on him during the draft. That includes new Nets GM Sean Marks, who was watching Vaulet closely when he was still with the Spurs’ front office.
  • The Raptors‘ D-League affiliate has announced that Ronald Roberts Jr. will miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury, tweets Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Three NBA teams had considered signing Roberts to a 10-day contract before the injury, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (Twitter link).

Atlantic Notes: Bradley, Wright, Nurse

Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley says switching agents from Mitchell Butler of the Vanguard Sports Group and Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports to Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports was a “private matter,” adding that it wasn’t about trying to improve his brand or add endorsements, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes. “At the time I just felt like it was best for me,” Bradley told Washburn. “I play because God blessed me to play this game and that’s what I enjoy doing. Hopefully I can continue to keep playing at this high level and hopefully I can continue to be a better basketball player.”

The 25-year-old also told Washburn that he’s trying to lead the team’s younger players by setting the right example and hopes that they are taking notice. “It’s a blessing to be here and part of an organization like this. I just try to come in every single day and be professional and work as hard as I can,” Bradley said. “I feel like you can’t replace that. I try to let everyone know we’re all a team together from the strength and conditioning [coach] to trainer, I try to respect everybody. When I do little things like that it helps them see the importance of a team. Not just the players, but everybody.

Here’s more regarding the Atlantic Division:

  • The two players on the Nets who can benefit the most by the addition of shooting coach David Nurse are Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Markel Brown, opines Reed Wallach of NetsDaily. Other players whose outside shooting Brooklyn hopes the addition of Nurse will improve in the future are Chris McCullough, Sergey Karasev and draft-and-stash prospect Juan Pablo Vaulet, Wallach adds.
  • The Raptors have recalled combo guard Delon Wright from their D-League affiliate, the team announced. In 12 games for the Raptors 905 this season Wright is averaging 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists while connecting on 52.7% of his field goal attempts.

Nets Notes: Free Agents, Brown, Wolf, Zanin

Thaddeus Young said he and Brook Lopez have already begun trying to recruit free agents to the Nets, hinting that they’re trying to get in the ear of some superstars, notes Andy Vasquez of The Record (Twitter link). It figures to be a tough sell, given Brooklyn’s poor on-court performance this season and lack of a 2016 first-round pick. The team was reportedly eyeing DeMar DeRozan and Nicolas Batum, both of whom appear in line for max deals, though those reports emerged before the Nets reassigned former GM Billy King. Young could also try to convince John Calipari to come to Brooklyn, since the power forward has a relationship with the college coach who made a strong push to recruit him before he went to Georgia Tech instead, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), though it’s unclear if Young will indeed make such an effort. Here’s more from Brooklyn:

  • Owner Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t see the Nets as being that far away from the top, touting Lopez, Young and the team’s developing players and saying “we need one or two players to make a championship contender” in a televised interview with YES Network’s Sarah Kustok (transcription via NetsDaily).
  • Prokhorov wants interim coach Tony Brown to “find out what we have,” Brown said to reporters, indicating that the young players will get plenty of chances to play, Vasquez tweets.
  • Assistant Joe Wolf will serve as Brown’s primary aide, notes Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin is a quiet type with close ties to King and was a strong advocate for acquiring the rights to draft-and-stash prospect Juan Vaulet, as NetsDaily writes in a profile of the man who’s in charge of the front office while the team searches for King’s replacement.
  • TNT’s David Aldridge, writing in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com, wouldn’t be surprised if King recommends former Cavs and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who was King’s teammate at Duke, for the GM job with the Nets. King will reportedly have input on his successor, though Prokhorov downplayed the idea.

Atlantic Notes: Smart, Carroll, Vaulet, Okafor

Celtics coach Brad Stevens admits that a return in two weeks for Marcus Smart from his lower left leg injury is the most optimistic timetable, and a doctor unaffiliated with the Celtics or Smart who spoke to Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com believes a more likely period of recovery is four to six weeks. The C’s have a deep stable of point guards, but none of them can defend the way Smart can, as Forsberg examines. The Celtics are one of a surprising 11 Eastern Conference teams with winning records thus far, so it would appear they face a more daunting path back to the playoffs than expected. See more from the Atlantic Division:

And-Ones: Fisher, Vaulet, Rasheed, Huestis

Derek Fisher admits to feeling more comfort as a coach this season, though Knicks team president Phil Jackson hasn’t been working more closely with Fisher, as Jackson said before the season that he would. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has the details.

“Maybe a couple times earlier in training camp, we had some kind of sat down and talked about some things visually at the same time. So far, it’s our typical mornings-after-the-game conversations or email exchanges,” Fisher said. “Sometimes before practice we’ll visit for a few minutes. But not really any hardcore film sessions together. Although when those opportunities do present themselves, I’ll definitely be happy to participate.”

The Knicks are 6-6, a significant improvement on last season’s 17-65 mark, though Fisher cautions that .500 isn’t the team’s goal. See more from around the NBA:

  • Draft-and-stash prospect Juan Vaulet is pleased that the Nets own his NBA rights, citing the way team doctors cared for the stress fracture in his leg, as he said in an interview with ESPN Argentina earlier this month (YouTube link), as NetsDaily relays. Still, the 6’6″, 19-year-old Argentian, who fashions himself a point guard, believes he’s a ways off from signing to play in the NBA.
  • Rasheed Wallace, Al Harrington and Keyon Dooling are among the 60 players who’ve so far committed to The Champions League, an upstart minor league circuit with plans to play in the summers beginning in 2016, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports. The league intends to pay annual player salaries that average around $200K, league chairman and CEO Carl George told Amick.
  • The Thunder have assigned Josh Huestis to the D-League, the team announced via press release. It’s the second trip to the D-League this season for the small forward, who averaged just 7.0 points in 28.4 minutes per game across two appearances in his first D-League stint this year.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Sloan, Vaulet

Carmelo Anthony has been bothered by the perception in the media that he was unhappy with the Knicks‘ offseason moves, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays in a series of tweets. The forward denied saying anything disparaging about team president Phil Jackson‘s machinations, and though he would have preferred that the team add another star player via free agency, Anthony said that the Knicks made some solid additions, Herring adds. Anthony also acknowledged that New York was put in a difficult spot in this year’s draft by selecting fourth, and that any player picked in that slot would have needed time to develop before being expected to contribute, including Kristaps Porzingis, who he praised for playing with a chip on his shoulder, notes the Wall Street Journal scribe.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  •  The Knicks are close to hiring Mike Miller, a former associate head coach at Kansas State, as coach of their D-League affiliate in Westchester, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets.
  • Donald Sloan‘s deal with the Nets will pay him $1,015,421 for the 2015/16 campaign, and includes a partial guarantee of $50k, with another $150k becoming guaranteed if he remains on the roster past November 1st, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (via Twitter).
  • Nets 2015 second-rounder Juan Pablo Vaulet will be out of action for four months following surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right ankle, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily relays. There is still no timetable for when Vaulet will make the jump to the NBA, and the 19-year-old is the first to admit that he isn’t ready for the league just yet, Windrem adds.They [Brooklyn] chose me for later,”  Vaulet told La Nueva, an Argentine newspaper.Everything requires a process. I now do not feel ready to play there. I do not want to rush the process. If one day I can get there, that’s welcome. I have to first recover and then yes. I do not know how long. Maybe I can play in the NBA. Everything depends on me.

Nets Rumors: Sale, Hollis-Jefferson, Brown, Vaulet

An August 12th deadline may speed the resolution of ownership of the Nets and Barclays Center, according to NetsDaily. Bruce Ratner’s parent company, Forest Center Enterprises, revealed last week that Ratner must repay his debts to MP Entities by that date or his ownership interests in the team “will be diluted from 20% to approximately 8%.” The other 92% would be owned by Mikhail Prokhorov. The website expects FCE to retain its 20% interest by paying the tens of millions it owes to Prokhorov, saying what would be lost is more valuable than the amount still owed. Negotiations for Ratner’s complete stake in the team have either started or will begin soon. The Nets’ cost-cutting moves have made the team a more attractive purchase, as the website speculates that the franchise could turn a profit next season.

There’s more news out of Brooklyn:

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could be the type of strong personality the Nets need, writes Tim Bontemps of The New York Post. He speculates the “effervescent” Hollis-Jefferson will be a welcome addition to a team sometimes accused of lacking emotion and passion. “He doesn’t hold anything back,” said Brandon Ashley, Hollis-Jefferson’s teammate at Arizona. “Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes that’s not the best [thing], but you always know what to expect from him.” Hollis-Jefferson was drafted 23rd overall by the Blazers last month, and his rights came to Brooklyn in a deal for Mason Plumlee.
  • Markel Brown, who was inserted into the starting lineup as a rookie this season, is happy to have Hollis-Jefferson on board, Bontemps writes in a separate story. Brown was made a starter as the Nets tried to improve their defense and athleticism, and he views Hollis-Jefferson as a similar player. “I see us locking down a lot of players in the future, and I see a lot of promise for both of us on the defensive end,” Brown said. “It’s just about going out there and contributing on offense for both of us.” Brown’s salary of $845,059 is only partially guaranteed for next season. He received $150K by staying on the roster through July 15th, and that figure increases to $200K September 1st. Brown’s contract will become fully guaranteed if he is not waived by September 29th, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates shows.
  • The Nets are coordinating Juan Pablo Vaulet‘s recovery from tibia surgery with his Argentinian team, according to NetsDaily. The Nets reportedly think Vaulet has a bright NBA future and are hoping to add him to the team next season. He was a drafted by the Hornets in the second round last month, and his rights were dealt to Brooklyn.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sullinger, Tokoto

Members of the Knicks’ front office were involved in trade discussions with the Magic, Suns, and Celtics in the hours leading up to Thursday night’s NBA Draft, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com writes. Boston discussed a package that included multiple draft picks and Jared Sullinger with New York, and Phoenix also spoke with members of the Knicks about a trade involving Eric Bledsoe in the hours leading up to the draft, Begley adds. Team president Phil Jackson said the Knicks had talked to teams about potential offers but all the offers were contingent on which players were selected ahead of them, the ESPN scribe notes. “Those things fell the way they did. We had what we wanted and we went with it,” Jackson said.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher indicated that finding frontcourt help will be a priority once the free agent signing period begins, Begley also relays. “I don’t think it’s any secret we need to get some size up front, and I think that’ll be a big focus for us,” Fisher said. Potential targets include DeAndre Jordan, David West, Omer Asik, Greg Monroe, and Marc Gasol, Begley adds.
  • In addition to a pair of second round draft picks, the Nets also sent $880K to the Hornets as part of the deal to acquire the rights to Argentinian small forward Juan Vaulet, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily tweets. Brooklyn doesn’t intend for Vaulet to play in the NBA next season, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter).
  • According to multiple sources, the Sixers nabbed North Carolina swingman J.P. Tokoto with the No. 58 overall pick with the understanding that he would either play in the D-League or overseas next season, Jake Fischer of LibertyBallers reports (Twitter links). Tokoto will have the chance to compete for a roster spot, but told Philly he would be open to being stashed during the 2015/16 campaign, Fischer adds.
  • The Greivis Vasquez trade allowed the Raptors to generate a $6.4MM trade exception, since they gave him up without taking back any salary in return, notes Pincus (on Twitter), though with Toronto possessing only about $42.4MM in guaranteed salary for next season, it seems there’s a fair chance they’ll dip under the cap after the July Moratorium and renounce the exception.
  • The Nets could have created a $1,357,080 trade exception for Mason Plumlee if they decided to use their $2,339,131 Kevin Garnett trade exception to absorb Steve Blake, as Pincus presumes they’ve done (Twitter link). That would knock the Garnett exception down to $982,051. Alternatively, they could have taken Blake into the $3,326,235 Andrei Kirilenko exception and reduced its value to $1,969,155, a move the Nets might have preferred because the Kirilenko exception expires more than two months sooner than the Garnett exception does. The trade meanwhile allowed the Blazers to create an exception worth the $719,920 difference between the salaries of Blake and Plumlee, though that exception would vanish if they go under the cap, as they may well do if LaMarcus Aldridge ends up elsewhere.
  • The tiny $355,016 leftover portion of the trade exception that the Knicks generated in last year’s Tyson Chandler trade has expired. New York used the bulk of what was once a $3,637,073 exception to acquire Alexey Shved at the trade deadline. The  Tim Hardaway Jr. trade afforded the Knicks the chance to create a new $1,250,640 exception for his salary, as we noted, though that will disappear if the Knicks dip below the cap next month, as expected.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.