Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: This Was ‘Non-Starter’ For Nets In Talks

Phoenix's defense will suffer without Mikal Bridges


February 9

Kevin Durant and the Suns wanted to join forces, and the sides ultimately were able to make it happen with a blockbuster trade Thursday.

But the process of dealing Durant to the desert apparently wasn’t a slam dunk from the start, and it took a little extra effort from Phoenix to land the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

The highlight of the return for Brooklyn was the four future first-round draft picks, but the Nets also yielded a player to build around in the KD blockbuster. Mikal Bridges is having a career season — averaging 17.2 points per game — and he’s one of the better defensive wings in the entire league.

The Suns and new owner Mat Ishiba reportedly were hoping to keep Bridges in Phoenix as they negotiated a deal for Durant, but the organization ultimately realized the trade wasn’t going to happen unless the 26-year-old was included.

“Ishbia’s initial hope was to keep Bridges out of the trade, but that was a non-starter for the Nets,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote. “The Suns’ offers weren’t close to the Nets’ asking price on Monday and Tuesday, and (Sean) Marks kept working on possible trades to bolster the roster around Durant. The Nets pursued OG Anunoby in Toronto, and discussed possible deals for (John) Collins and Cleveland’s Caris LeVert, but Durant’s mood was unsettled and Brooklyn knew it had to push Phoenix to make the kind of offer it couldn’t refuse.”

The term on Durant’s deal probably made the Suns a bit more comfortable with moving off Bridges. The future Hall of Famer is under contract through the 2025-26 season.

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Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant and guard Devin Booker
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