T.J. Warren

Suns Notes: Booker, Durant, Ayton, Landale, Warren

With Chris Paul unavailable for Game 3 of the Suns‘ second round series vs. Denver, stars Devin Booker and Kevin Durant were asked to carry even more of the offensive load on Friday — it’s hard to imagine how they could have responded any better to that task.

As Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com writes, only five pairs of teammates in NBA history have combined to score more points in a single playoff game than the 86 Booker and Durant racked up last night. While Durant needed 31 shots from the floor to score his 39 points, Booker poured in a hyper-efficient 47 on just 25 field goals and two free throws.

“He doesn’t run from the tough stuff,” head coach Monty Williams said of his star guard. “I just think it’s his makeup. He understands not having Chris puts more on his plate, but I don’t think he forced it the way that you would think. I think he allowed the game to happen naturally and then when there were opportunities for him to push the issue. He was pretty efficient.”

Durant, who has only been a Sun since February, told reporters after Friday’s win that his co-star’s performance came as no surprise to him, suggesting that these sort of superstar performances are what he expected from Booker when he arrived in Phoenix.

“He’s just a leader of this team, this organization,” Durant said. “He brings it every single day. We just follow his imprint, and we rally around him.”

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Booker has a tendency to frequently revisit his own past, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst notes within a profile of the Suns’ star, which has made him all the more appreciative of the team’s present opportunity to fight for a championship. Phoenix didn’t win more than 24 games in a season until Booker’s fifth year in the NBA. “Just being from a young team to an established team now is just something totally different. But I wouldn’t change my journey for anybody else’s,” he said ahead of the second round. “… It’s tough taking them Ls early on. But I think I got to develop my game, and I had people that believed in me, the organization that believed in me and I just took it from there.”
  • While Booker and Durant came up big in Game 3, it was a disappointing night for big man Deandre Ayton, who had as many fouls as points (four) and was benched in favor of Jock Landale in crunch time. Ayton – whose 2021/22 season ended with a benching – was “visibly upset” when he was removed from the game with just under five minutes remaining, but he energetically supported Landale and his teammate down the stretch, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Although Ayton didn’t speak to the media after the win, Durant told reporters that he expects the center to have a big Game 4, Rankin adds.
  • The Suns’ reserves stepped up in a major way on Friday, writes Greg Moore of The Arizona Republic. After getting just four bench points in Game 2, Phoenix bumped that number to 22 in Game 5, with Landale and T.J. Warren giving the team a spark. Making his first appearance of the series, Warren logged 26 minutes of action and the Suns outscored Denver by 20 points while he was on the court.

Suns Notes: Paul, Payne, Ross, Warren, Irving, Ayton

Chris Paul didn’t participate in the Suns‘ practice on Wednesday and he’s not expected to play when their series with the Nuggets resumes Friday night in Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Although the team is listing Paul as day-to-day with a strained left groin, sources tell Rankin that he’s expected to miss at least a week, which lines up with another report from Tuesday night.

Paul suffered the injury midway through the third quarter of Game 2 while jumping for a defensive rebound. He grabbed at his groin area when he landed and was quickly replaced. Game 4 is Sunday, and it appears Paul’s next realistic chance to play will be next Tuesday in Game 5 if the Suns can extend the series without their veteran leader.

“Gratefully, he didn’t tear it or something like that where he’s done for the season,” coach Monty Williams said. “You always have to look at the bright side of a tough situation. We’re just grateful that it wasn’t worse than we thought.” 

There’s more from Phoenix:

  • Paul’s spot in the starting lineup is likely to go to Cameron Payne, Rankin adds. Payne, who replaced Paul after the Game 2 injury, started a career-high 15 games this season when Paul was unavailable. Payne recently returned from a lower back injury that limited him to four total minutes in the first-round series.
  • With the team needing more production from its bench, Williams indicated that Terrence Ross and T.J. Warren could have larger roles in Game 3, Rankin adds in another Arizona Republic story. Both players were acquired in February to boost the Suns’ offense, but they’ve seen limited action during the playoffs. “I can do a better job of putting more scorers on the floor and living with whatever warts may come with that just to free those guys up so they don’t have to do it every single time down the floor,” Williams said. “We’ll make those adjustments accordingly.”
  • Phoenix could try to land Kyrie Irving in a sign-and-trade deal this summer, speculates John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (audio link). His reasoning is that Kevin Durant enjoys having Irving as a teammate, even though things didn’t work out as planned in Brooklyn, and Irving faces a limited market in free agency. Gambadoro states that the deal could see Deandre Ayton shipped to the Mavericks, who need to find a reliable center.

Pacific Notes: Fox, Huerter, Warren, Poole, Warriors

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox exited Friday’s win over Phoenix in the third quarter and didn’t return, even though he wanted to keep playing, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. It’s unclear whether Fox, who was dealing with right hamstring soreness, will be forced to miss any additional contests, including Saturday’s against Utah.

“Until I get a quote-unquote official report, there’s always concern in situations like that,” head coach Mike Brown said after the game. “But we’ll wait and see what they say and then kind of go from there.”

While they lost Fox halfway through the game, the Kings got a boost on Friday when Kevin Huerter made his return following a three-game absence due to a leg injury. Huerter didn’t miss a beat upon rejoining the starting lineup, racking up 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting and chipping in nine rebounds and five assists in one of his best performances of the season.

“It’s great to get Kevin back on the floor,” Brown said. “His ability to create separation without the basketball is really — it’s up there with the elite guys in the league. I’ve been around some pretty good ones. He’s up there with that. Any time you have a player who is capable of that, who shoots it the way he does and draws as much attention as he does, it’s huge.”

Whether or not Fox is available on Saturday night, it has a chance to be a memorable evening in Sacramento. According to the NBA (Twitter link), the Kings would officially clinch their first playoff berth since 2006 if they win and both Phoenix and the Clippers lose.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Suns forward T.J. Warren said this week that he’s “slowly but surely” finding his footing in his second go-round with Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Warren, who was something of an afterthought in the Kevin Durant blockbuster, didn’t play more than 13 minutes in any of his first 15 games as a Sun and was a frequent DNP-CD, but has scored 21 points in 48 minutes across his last two outings. “It’s tough coming to a team that’s pretty established and trying to find a good rhythm along the way, but it’s been solid,” Warren said. “Just looking to bring some value on both ends of the floor.”
  • Jordan Poole‘s production for the Warriors this season has been up and down, but Friday’s performance was a reminder of how he played in the 2022 postseason and what the team hopes to get from him this spring, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 23-year-old had 33 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter. More importantly, he has turned it over just once in the last two games. “Just better decision making and more mindful play,” Kerr said of Poole’s play. “Understanding that the ball is everything for us.” Poole’s four-year, $123MM rookie scale extension will go into effect in 2023/24.
  • While the defending champion Warriors aren’t concerned about their exact playoff seed, they’re certainly making it a priority to end up in the top six in the West so they don’t have to worry about competing in the play-in tournament, where one bad night could end their season, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “That is dangerous,” Draymond Green said. “We’d much rather avoid that.” Golden State currently holds the No. 6 seed, with a 1.5-game lead on the top two play-in teams.

Trade Breakdown: Kevin Durant To The Suns (Four-Team Deal)

This is the ninth entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2022/23 season. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into the biggest blockbuster of the year, a four-team deal between the Suns, Nets, Bucks and Pacers.

Trade details

On February 9:

  • The Suns acquired Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren.
  • The Nets acquired 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).
  • The Bucks acquired Jae Crowder.
  • The Pacers acquired Jordan Nwora, George Hill, Serge Ibaka, a 2023 second-round pick (likely the Cavaliers’ second-rounder; from Bucks), the Bucks’ 2024 second-round pick, the Pacers’ 2025 second-round pick (from Bucks), and cash ($1.36MM; from Nets).
  • Note: The Bucks acquired the Pacers’ 2025 second-round pick in a prior trade.

The Suns’ perspective:

After posting a losing record for seven straight seasons – and missing the playoffs for 10 straight – the Suns had a remarkable turnaround in 2020/21, going 51-21 and reaching the NBA Finals, ultimately losing in six games to the Bucks. Last season, the Suns held the league’s top record at 64-18, but had a meltdown in their second-round loss to Dallas, getting blown out at home in Game 7.

Phoenix was reportedly high on Durant’s list of preferred destinations when he requested a trade this past offseason, but there were rumors of low-ball offers from rival teams and Brooklyn was said to be disinterested in obliging his request.

A few weeks later, there were questions about Deandre Ayton’s eagerness to be back in Phoenix after he signed a four-year, maximum-salary offer sheet from the Pacers over the summer amid tensions with head coach Monty Williams. The Suns quickly matched, however, signaling they still valued the former first overall pick, even if his role sometimes fluctuates.

In mid-September, former owner Robert Sarver was suspended by the NBA for a year and fined $10MM for workplace misconduct, including racist and misogynistic comments, following a lengthy investigation. He subsequently decided to sell his controlling stake in the franchise to Mat Ishbia, which was finalized shortly before last month’s deadline.

Finally, right before training camp opened, Crowder said he wasn’t going to participate, as he was reportedly unhappy with Williams after being told he would come off the bench (he had started the previous two years). The Suns then made an announcement saying the two sides would work together to find Crowder a new team.

Despite all the turmoil, ‘22/23 started out pretty well, with Phoenix going 15-6 over its first 21 games. Unfortunately, Johnson tore his meniscus during that span, and Chris Paul was sidelined by a foot injury until early December. The Suns lost five straight shortly thereafter, with star guard Devin Booker going down with a groin injury in mid-December.

Obviously, Crowder being away while Johnson was hurt didn’t help. Torrey Craig did an admirable job filling in, as did Ish Wainright, who was promoted to a standard deal from a two-way contract last month. But ideally, neither player would be logging heavy minutes on a championship-caliber team.

Paul is 37 years old (38 in May), and he is not the same player he was when the Suns made the Finals a couple years ago. He’s still good, just not on the same level, particularly from a scoring standpoint. That’s a huge deal, because he was Phoenix’s second-best player during the previous two seasons.

The Suns reportedly offered up Paul in an effort to land Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn shortly before Durant made his own request. I don’t know if those rumors are true, but either way, CP3 stayed put.

By mid-January, the Suns were just 21-24, and the season was slipping away. They recovered well leading up to the trade deadline, going 9-2 over that span to sit with a 30-26 record prior to February 9. Still, the damage had been done. I don’t think the Suns make this trade – specifically the way the deal was structured – if they still believed they were a real championship contender without acquiring Durant.

Ishbia played a major role in the deal. Even before he was officially approved by the league’s Board of Governors, a report came out saying the Suns were willing to make win-now moves, and he talked about being aggressive just before the deadline. He was also quickly willing to sign off on the extra $40MM the deal cost the Suns in salaries and tax penalties, a stark departure from the previous ownership group.

A report from ESPN indicated that president of basketball operations James Jones wanted to negotiate the inclusion of Bridges or add protections to the first-round picks, but the Nets held firm in their demands. The Suns also may have had another deal lined up for Crowder, but he ultimately was included in this trade as well.

Durant is in the first season of a four-year, $194MM extension. Booker, Durant and Ayton are all under contract through at least ’25/26. If healthy, those three alone make up a very strong (and expensive) core. It remains to be seen how long Paul will be around – his $30.8MM contract for next season is guaranteed for $15.8MM, and it is fully non-guaranteed in ‘24/25.

Durant is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He is a former league MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 13-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA member and four-time scoring champion.

In 981 career regular season games (36.7 MPG), he has averaged 27.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.1 BPG on .499/.384/.886 shooting. In 155 career playoff games (40.4 MPG), he has averaged 29.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.2 BPG on .476/.356/.866 shooting. He is the definition of a superstar.

Despite being 34 years old and tearing his Achilles tendon four years ago, he continues to play at an incredibly high level. In fact, when healthy, you could easily make a case for Durant being the best player in the league this season.

In 42 games (35.7 MPG), he has averaged 29.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.5 BPG on .566/.386/.931 shooting, good for an absurd .681 true shooting percentage. The FG%, FT% and TS% are all career highs. He is shooting 62.9% on twos, which is ridiculous considering the majority of his shots are mid-range jumpers.

Durant is also playing very motivated and strong defense in ‘22/23, which surprised me a bit because he had coasted on that end at times the past couple seasons. His teams have gone 29-13 this season when he has played, which is the equivalent of the second-best winning percentage (69.0%) in the league, only trailing the Bucks (71.8%).

Durant can do everything on the court at a high level. He’s 6’10” with a 7’5” wingspan, but he possesses guard-like skills, with elite shooting and excellent ball-handling. His passing has improved throughout his career, and when he tries, he is a top-tier defender. He is a matchup nightmare.

After playing in just four games from 2020-22 due to a couple of left foot surgeries, Warren finally returned to the court for the Nets in December, averaging 9.5 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .510/.333/.818 shooting in 26 games (18.8 MPG).

He clearly wasn’t at his best physically or from a production standpoint (he averaged a career-high 19.8 PPG on .536/.403/.819 shooting the season before getting injured), but he was still contributing off the bench. Warren has hardly played in his second stint with Phoenix, however, averaging just 6.4 MPG in eight games. He’s on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, so he might not be back next season.

A few weeks after the trade was completed, Ishbia claimed the move carried “no risk.” That, of course, isn’t true.

Durant has gone down with a sprained MCL a few seasons in a row. You could say that’s a fluke, since it has involved players falling into his knee. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s played 35, 55 and 42 games over the past three seasons after missing all of ‘19/20 with a torn Achilles.

His ankle sprain on a routine layup while warming up prior to his fourth game with Phoenix was concerning. I could very well be wrong, but to my eyes, it didn’t look like he slipped; it looked like his ankle just gave out and rolled.

Durant is in his 16th season, has made several long playoff runs, and has also played in the World Cup (once) and the Olympics (three times) for Team USA. He’s still incredible, but the tread on his tires are pretty worn.

Giving up Bridges and Johnson stings. They were key role players for Phoenix who both improved tremendously throughout their Suns tenures, which we’ll get into more shortly.

Anytime you give up an unprotected pick in a future season it’s a risk. The Suns gave up three beyond 2023 — four if you count the 2028 pick swap, which will only be exercised if Phoenix is worse than Brooklyn.

Those picks from 2027-29 in particular could be extremely valuable. Durant will be 37 when his contract expires after ’25/26. Will he still be playing at this level, and will the Suns want to keep him if he’s not?

The Suns knew the risks. But the West is seemingly up for grabs, and they had faltered in their quest to make it back to the Finals.

I can’t say adding Durant made Phoenix the favorite in the West, but he nearly carried the Nets to the Finals with both Irving and James Harden injured a couple years ago. If healthy, this team will be extremely dangerous.

The Nets’ perspective:

The Nets were literally an inch or two away from sending Milwaukee home in Game 7 of their second-round series in 2021, which saw the Bucks prevail in overtime after Durant’s foot was on the three-point line on a potential game-winning buzzer-beater. The Bucks went on to win the championship.

Read more

Suns Notes: Crowder, Okogie, Warren, Payne, Bridges

A rift with head coach Monty Williams over the loss of his starting spot led to the end of Jae Crowder‘s time with the Suns, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Williams informed Crowder during the offseason that Cameron Johnson would be replacing him in the starting lineup, sources told Fischer. While Crowder didn’t go into detail, he confirmed that a strained relationship with Williams prompted him to ask for a trade.

“Yeah, we had differences,” Crowder said. “They asked me to keep it in-house, I’ll keep it in-house. I’m now gone, same thing I’ve told everybody else: I’ve moved on from the situation. I wish them the best, I’m leaving that behind.”

Crowder was initially on track to be shipped to the Nets as part of the Kevin Durant trade, but he ultimately wound up with the Bucks, who had been attempting to acquire him from the Suns. Phoenix gave permission to Milwaukee to meet with Crowder, and several trade scenarios had been discussed that included players such as Grayson Allen, Serge Ibaka, George Hill and Jordan Nwora.

“I landed where I wanted to land at the end of the day,” Crowder said. “I think I gained just knowing myself as a player and my mental. I never wavered. Never wavered on the process. From a month, to two months … I stayed with the plan of what it was and what I wanted to accomplish. So I give kudos to my mental and me staying sane throughout the entire process, because I did want the process to end fairly sooner than when it did.”

There’s more on the Suns:

  • Phoenix will undergo a major lineup change tonight when Durant makes his debut with the team, and it appears Josh Okogie will be the fifth starter alongside Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Okogie has made five consecutive starts and is averaging 18.5 points and 5.8 rebounds over his last six games while shooting 53.4% from the field. “We’ve been looking forward to (Durant’s first game) since the trade, but we had to wait a little bit,” Okogie said. “We’re excited to finally get him in the mix of things, show him how we play. Show him the love that we play with, the passion and the unselfishness that we play with.”
  • T.J. Warren hasn’t played in the two games since the All-Star break, Rankin notes in another Arizona Republic article. Warren was productive in Brooklyn, but Williams points out that he’s already using a 10-man rotation and someone else will be bumped now that Durant is active.
  • Tania Ganguli of The New York Times looks at the long friendship between Cameron Payne and Mikal Bridges, who are no longer teammates since Bridges was sent to Brooklyn in the Durant deal.

Suns Notes: Durant, Warren, Payne, Shamet, Crowder, Wainright, Ayton

The Suns have confirmed that Kevin Durant, who is still recovering from an MCL sprain, won’t play until after the All-Star break, but the star forward “looked great” in his first practice with the team on Monday, teammate T.J. Warren said, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Durant, who wasn’t wearing a brace on his injured knee, played some 1-on-1 with assistant coach Jarrett Jack, Rankin writes.

Warren, who was sent from Brooklyn to Phoenix along with Durant, said it was a “surreal feeling” to return to the place where he spent the first five years of his career and to have a chance to play alongside superstars and contend for a title (Twitter video link via PHNX Sports).

During Warren’s first five seasons in Phoenix from 2014-19, the club posted a dismal 126-284 (.307) record. This time around, the Suns are the betting favorites to make it out of the West and play in the NBA Finals.

Warren and fellow Suns newcomer Darius Bazley aren’t on the injury report for Tuesday’s game vs. Sacramento, so they should be available to make their debuts for the team, tweets Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports.

Here’s more on the Suns:

  • Suns guards Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, who are both dealing with foot injuries, will remain sidelined through the All-Star break and will be reevaluated next week, tweets Rankin. Payne hasn’t played since January 4 due to a right foot sprain, while Shamet has been out since Jan. 16 as a result of right foot soreness.
  • Now a member of the Bucks, Jae Crowder declined to take any parting shots at the Suns when asked about the situation that led to him sitting out the first several months of the season. “Obviously I’ve been working with these guys for a trade partner for months now. I think, give or take, they did exactly what they said they were gonna do. Took longer than what we all expected, but it got done,” Crowder said (Twitter link via Eric Nehm of The Athletic). “… I’m thankful for the organization embracing me the past two years — we had a great run and we did some great things in Phoenix and we turned their culture around. So I’m happy for those guys. I wish them luck moving forward.”
  • Suns two-way player Ish Wainright can only be active for two more games before he reaches his limit for the season, tweets Bourguet. Given that Phoenix plays twice before the All-Star break and then is off for eight days, the club will likely have Wainright active for both of this week’s contests and then use the time off to decide whether to promote him to a standard contract, Bourguet observes. The Suns currently have two openings on their 15-man roster, though Terrence Ross is expected to fill one of them.
  • Deandre Ayton remained with the Suns through the trade deadline, then faced the Pacers on Friday, seven months after signing an offer sheet with Indiana that Phoenix quickly matched. Despite some speculation during the last year about whether Ayton really wanted to be with the Suns, he said he wasn’t thinking last week about what could have been, Rankin writes for The Arizona Republic. “I enjoyed playing against (Indiana) and being out there, but I’m happy with my Suns, though,” Ayton said. “Forget that. That’s behind me. I’m happy I’m with my Suns.”

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, Suns Agree On Kevin Durant Trade

The Suns will acquire Kevin Durant from the Nets in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, four first-round picks and more draft consideration, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Jae Crowder, who has been sitting out since training camp in hopes of being traded, will also go to Brooklyn in the deal, Charania adds (Twitter link).

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Nets forward T.J. Warren will be part of the trade as well, and the additional draft consideration is a first-round pick swap in 2028. According to Woj, Durant wanted to be dealt to Phoenix, and new Suns owner Mat Ishbia pushed to get the deal completed tonight.

Brooklyn will receive unprotected first-rounders in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029, a source tells Wojnarowski. The trade will help to replenish the Nets’ draft assets after they sent multiple picks and pick swaps to Houston to acquire James Harden in 2021.

The Suns were on Durant’s short list of preferred destinations when he issued a trade demand last summer. Although Phoenix was among the teams that submitted offers to Brooklyn, no progress was made at the time and Durant eventually rescinded the demand before the start of training camp.

At age 34, Durant remains among the league’s best players, averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while lifting the Nets into a tight race for the best record in the East before suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee last month. Durant is expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break, but Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said he received “a really good report” from doctors this week.

Durant still has three seasons remaining on the four-year extension he signed with the Nets in 2021, which led to speculation that the team didn’t feel any immediate pressure to trade him. Brooklyn had reportedly been telling teams that have called about Durant that he wasn’t being made available before the deadline.

A 13-time All-Star, Durant will earn $46.4MM, $49.9MM and $53.5MM over the next three seasons. He will team with Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, and the Suns’ remaining assets in hopes of bringing a title to Phoenix. Ironically, there was a report earlier this week that the Suns offered Paul to Brooklyn in hopes of landing Kyrie Irving.

The Durant-Irving pairing that seemed to make the Nets an instant contender when they both signed as free agents in 2019 will officially end with trades just a few days apart. Injuries limited their time on the court together, even when Harden was added to form a Big Three, and they managed to win just one playoff series as teammates, although they had a narrow loss to the eventual champion Bucks in 2021.

The Nets no longer have elite talent on their roster, but Bridges and Johnson have both been valuable during their time in Phoenix, and they join a team that has managed to remain competitive even with Durant and Irving in and out of the lineup.

Bridges, 26, is a strong defender and long-distance shooter and is under contract for three more years at a total of about $70MM. Johnson, also 26, is an elite three-point shooter who is headed for free agency this summer. The Nets can make him restricted with a qualifying offer worth around $8MM.

The trade ends Crowder’s long standoff with Phoenix, but Brooklyn may not be his final stop before the deadline. Wojnarowski tweets that the Nets plan to explore opportunities to move him to other teams.

The deal provides a homecoming for Warren, who spent his first five seasons with the Suns. He signed with Brooklyn in July and has managed to bounce back after missing most of the past two seasons with left foot issues.

Atlantic Notes: Simmons, Warren, Mazzulla, Celtics’ Targets, Barnes

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said Ben Simmons is “showing signs of progress” regarding his left knee soreness, according to Mark Sanchez of the New York Post. However, Simmons will miss his third consecutive game when the team faces Boston on Wednesday, ESPN’s Nick Friedell tweets. Forward T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) will also miss his third straight contest.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla, a little-known assistant when training camp approached, will now coach in the All-Star Game, the league’s PR department tweets. Boston’s interim head coach and his staff will coach Team Giannis, thanks to Boston’s Eastern Conference-leading record.
  • Could the Celtics target Mason Plumlee, P.J. Washington or even bring back Kelly Olynyk for a second stint? The Athletic’s Jay King examines some of the frontcourt trade options the franchise might explore.
  • While the Raptors may be sellers or buyers at the trade deadline, their star second-year forward Scottie Barnes — who isn’t going anywhere — continues to shine, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star notes. Warriors coach Steve Kerr compare Barnes to Draymond Green. “Guys like that have a feel for the game. They have a sense of what’s happening on the floor seemingly before the other nine people out there,” Kerr said. “That’s why I enjoy watching Barnes play. For a young guy, he has a great feel for the game.”

Injury Updates: Anunoby, Simmons, Warren, James, Doncic, Young, Butler

OG Anunoby is one of the bigger names churning through the trade rumor mill, so the latest injury news regarding the Raptors forward could complicate those discussions.

The team has ruled out Anunoby for the remainder of its road trip, a seven-game journey which concludes with stops in Utah, Houston and Memphis this week, Michael Grange of Sportnet.ca tweets. He sprained his left wrist against Golden State on Friday.

We have more notable injury updates:

  • The Nets’ Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) and T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) sat out Monday’s win over the Lakers, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Coach Jacque Vaughn is hopeful both will be “ready to go” for Wednesday’s matchup against Boston, Adam Zagoria tweets.
  • LeBron James sat out that game with what Lakers coach Darvin Ham describes as “some really significant soreness” in his left foot, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. The Lakers play against the Knicks on Tuesday.
  • Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic returned to action after a one-game absence due to an ankle sprain and continued his scoring rampage. He notched 53 points against Detroit, his league-best fourth 50-point game this season, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press notes (Twitter link).
  • Hawks guard Trae Young sat out Monday’s game against Portland due to right ankle soreness, Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. He had 31 points in 36 minutes against the Clippers on Saturday.
  • Heat forward Jimmy Butler (right quad contusion) is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against Cleveland, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Butler scored 28 points against Charlotte on Sunday.