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Durant Trade Grade

Suns get: Forwards Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren

Nets get: Forwards Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, 2028 pick swap

Suns: A

Durant is 34 years old and has a significant injury history. He misses a lot of games for maintenance, but when you look at how well LeBron is still playing at 38 years old, I believe this still makes sense. This should make the Suns one of the favorites with a duo of Booker and Durant. They are also still young enough long term with Booker and Ayton may keep some of those picks pretty marginal even regardless of how Durant ages. Mikal Bridge and Johnson are older than you might think. There isn’t much upside left to get out of them. They kind of what they are at this point. Solid players but not the kind I let hold up this trade.

Nets: D+

I’m sure this isn’t where the Nets wanted to be. They really should have blown it up over the summer or back after the Kyrie Irving drama first hit in retrospect. It seemed like they had saved the season for a time and everything was moving forward without the drama, but the indications were always there this was how it was likely going to end.

Before with Durant and minus Irving, I though they should have used Kyrie as an opportunity to shed themselves of Ben Simmons bad contract. Now this team is tanking and Simmons either helps the tank or possibly can regain some value with no pressure. I say they are tanking but it’s almost to late at this point. They likely could have tanked and had a chance to getting a high pick and starting the rebuild earlier if these moves were done months ago. They couldn’t get Wembanyama but with Houston being so bad and owning the swap this year, they could have likely gotten into the top 5 this seasons. They can still get a solid young player if they choose to tank. The issue is next year there is no reason to tank which is why they tried to hedge just this week with the Kyrie trade.

As it is these Nets have all these nice assets other teams want with 3 and D players on pretty good contracts but no stars. The team makes no sense and the direction is unclear. Their record will be harder to tank down to where they need certainly if they don’t move on from many or just completely sit them. We’ll know by the end of the day what the direction if they are rerouting players like Bridges, Dinwidde, Finney Smith and Johnson before the deadline ends. That’s the part that isn’t finished possibly. If they they can flip them for picks and expiring money and then try to rebuild like they did under Sean Marks before next year this looks much better.. I probably would have just played it out with Dinwidde and dealt with Durant in the summer. Durant wasn’t threatening to stay home. Now that hes been traded I think you have to maximize the pick this year and try to tank.

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving

These three players turned into.

Ben Simmons
Mikal Bridges
Cam Johnson
Jae Crowder
7 First-Round Draft Picks
1 Swap
2 Second-Round Picks

Also the ability not to have an incentive to tank yourself. Overall it should be an F for the entirety, but covid luck and Kyrie are much to blame. I don’t think you can completely put it at their feet even if their were signs before they ever took Irving.

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