Mat Ishbia, the New NBA Owner, and the Arizona Suns in a Four-Tale Deal with the Toronto Raptors
In a four-team deal that took place at the trade deadline, the Nets sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and a host of picks to the Warriors in exchange for Kevin Durant.
The Suns will send Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation to the Nets for the 13-time All-Star.
The Suns also receive forward T.J. Warren in the deal, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade is not yet official.
At an age when most guys are done playing, the 34 year old is playing at an elite level, scoring nearly 30 points per game. He asked for a trade last summer and the Suns were interested, and finally got him before Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline.
The team that he returns to will have a lineup that may be one of the best in the Western Conference.
Mat Ishbia, the new owner of the Suns, was introduced in Phoenix. The man who was a walking-on at Michigan State under Tom Izzo did not waste any time shaking up the NBA.
Phoenix has never won an NBA title. Two seasons ago, the Suns made the NBA Finals, but lost to Milwaukee. They also played in the finals in 1976 and 1993.
The Suns had several injuries this season, but played better recently and look like a contender again. They were fourth in the Western Conference with a record of 30-26. Booker (groin) and Paul (hip) have both recently returned.
The Brooklyn Nets Player of the Year: LeBron James Bridges – the NBA’s Best Player since the Nets Traded Kyrie Irving
Irving scored 24 points in his Mavs debut against the Clippers on Wednesday. The Nets didn’t extend his contract last summer, the same moment that KD told the team he wanted to be traded.
“We had many conversations about 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.
Last season, Bridges was runner-up to Boston’s Marcus Smart in the Defensive Player of the Year award, and his offensive game continues to grow. The Suns beat the Nets 116- 112 in Brooklyn on Tuesday, with the swingman scoring 21 points.
The news also comes days after the Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. The end of the Big Three’s tenure together was preceded by the Nets trading James Harden to Philadelphia last year.
“That is insane,” one fan, Joe Brooks, told NPR. “I can’t believe that they actually did it. You know, this is probably the best player that the Brooklyn Nets have ever had in their franchise history.”
Fans shared photos of the jerseys of the Nets while complaining on social media about Durant’s departure. Customers who purchase a jersey after a player changed teams will be given a free placement, according to the NBA store policy.
Athletes took to social media to react to the trade. NBA players like Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams, Nets forward Royce O’Neale and New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier expressed their disbelief.
The Mayor of Phoenix shared her approval of the trade. “It was offensive, but worth it,” he said, along with a photo of an awning.
Speaking to the assembled media for the first time since his blockbuster trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Suns, the 34-year-old lauded the fans for the reception he has received.
The Phoenix Suns Excitement (Spt) Intl: Kevin Durant’s First Game for the Suns at the Fermilab Tevatron
After the All-Star break, he is expected to make his debut for Phoenix after he recovers from his knee injury.
Many of the fans who gathered at the Suns’ Footprint Center for the press conference already had Kevin Durant’s No. 35 jersey.
“I truly don’t think I deserve all this because I know I’ve done a lot of good things in basketball, but I haven’t done them yet in a Suns jersey,” he told reporters. I want to go out there and do the best I can for you guys, so I am looking forward to it.
This is a great place for me to continue to get better as a player since they show love to both teams, but they always cheered their fans on. Is this true? I’m excited I’m here and looking forward to adding as much as I can to the group already.
“I see the culture started to change,” Durant said of his new team. The way they played on the floor started to change. I like playing here in Phoenix. The fans always showed love to good basketball in general.
“It was terrible how some stuff went down, but at the end of the day, I love the grind and we all love the grind there in Brooklyn and I wish them the best going forward. They have a bright future.
The trio in Brooklyn failed to notch a single game in 16 outings together, which will likely be viewed by fans as an enormous failure.
What they did for me, what they didn’t, and how they gave me the strength I needed to have in life, and what they’ve changed me about me
He said that they did their hardest every day, no matter what was going on in the media.
“So I love those guys, I get emotional talking about it, because that was a special four years of my career. They helped me recover after an injury.