*Note: I just woke up to this news and nearly creamed my jeans.
Something that that stood out following the Suns loss in the finals 2 years ago became very clear after the Mavs embarrassed them last year: They need another star. You can't win the big games without having at least a second, surefire scoring option to rely on. Enter #14 on the NBA's all time scoring list, Kevin Durant.
Here are the very basic pros and cons from a layman's perspective
- When healthy, Durant is a top-5 player in the league. A scoring machine that is good for 30/6/6 if you need it.
- He has been a part of a GOOD superteam before in Golden State. You never know how mega-stars will mesh until you see it with your own eyes. On top of that, Durant has been to the finals and won. An experience that this team could use.
- The West is still very open. The Suns are only 8.5 games back from the Nuggets.
- Jae Crowder is finally gone. Beyond sitting out this season while waiting for a trade, he is also maybe the single reason they lost the finals. Any time he touched the ball he would hoist the dumbest 3 you have ever seen in your life. He can defend every position, yes, but who cares if he is wasting away offensive possessions.
- Health. He has had a different leg injury in the last 4 years straight including an MCL sprain that's had him out the last month. Having a guy that can score 30PPG is great but if he never sees the court then we're fucked.
- Losing Bridges/Johnson: Bridges has been one of the best defensive players in the league the last few years and is also reliable on offense. Cam Johnson also developed from a guy i despised to a better all around player with one of the top-5 most efficient 3-point shooters. I'm more bent out of shape about Bridges but if Durant can stay healthy, its on. Also, they didn't lose Ayton in this deal which feels insane.
- Losing FOUR first round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 and a 2028 pick swap). Leveraging your future for a championship is fine. But this is a LOT to lose considering Durant's recent injury history. However, if this team is as good as they should be over the next few years, it isn't nearly as bad as it could be.
The Pros win. Time for the Valley to make history with THE SLIM REAPER
P.S. I also think this was a great trade for the Nets. They've made a competent roster and also have picks to build their future.