The Nets are trading Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns for a package including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. https://t.co/fJoFHv3i7M
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2023
Phoenix Goes All In
Durant joins a Suns team that has limped to a 12-12 record since guard Devin Booker reinjured his groin during a Christmas Day game with the Denver Nuggets. Booker is expected to return to the lineup in the next few days, and the addition of Durant, veteran point guard Chris Paul, and the center Deandre Ayton will make Phoenix hard to beat.
Before a January 8 knee injury, Durant was playing MVP-caliber ball and is a +9000 favorite to win the regular season MVP Award. The future hall of Famer is set to return to action sometime after the February 19 All-Star game.
Durant averaged 29.7 points with 6.7 caroms and 5.3 assists over 39 games this season, and the “Slim Reaper” still possesses a deadly shot with exceptional playmaking skills. Durant won’t have to carry the entire scoring load as he did for most of the season in Brooklyn, and Phoenix can give him all the rest he needs to be ready for a deep playoff run.
Warren scored 17 points in 22 minutes Tuesday night in the Nets’ victory over Phoenix and will be relied upon to get buckets and defend. Warren has been plagued by injuries the last couple of seasons and is averaging 9.5 points with nearly three assists over 26 games.
Phoenix also acquired Darius Bazley from the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Dario Saric and a 2nd round pick. Bazley is a stretch-four player who can play the three and is knocking down 40% this season. He’ll fill the spot vacated in the Bridges trade and is a solid reserve once Durant returns.
Phoenix Suns Under 46.5 wins -115 (DraftKings)
Grabbing Durant and Bazley were great moves, but Phoenix doesn’t need to win 47 games. The Suns need to be healthy for the playoffs – Durant will miss at least four games before suiting up sometime after the All-Star break, and Phoenix won’t take any chances with him. Until Durant returns, the Suns will be a bit thin, and the bench will take a huge hit.
Chris Paul has missed 18 games and has struggled to score, and Phoenix could rest their point guard down the stretch. Booker is set to return, but he’s missed 26 games due to injury, and Phoenix won’t go far without him at 100%.
Phoenix Suns to Win Western Conference +230 (DraftKings)
This bet still has some value, but one month ago, Phoenix was +600, and the real value is long gone. I didn’t believe Phoenix would win the West, but with the addition of Durant and Bazley, the Suns now have enough to win the result.
As we’ve previously noted, Phoenix has injury issues, and that’s where the gamble lies–the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors all improved over the deadline. Phoenix is toast if Booker or Durant are hobbled for any time during the playoffs. +600 was a much better price, but if you believe Phoenix wins the West, you won’t get a better price than +230.
Phoenix Suns to Win the NBA Championship +425 (DraftKings)
Like the Western Conference Odds, the Suns went from +1400 to +425 favorites to win the NBA Championship. The Suns are 10-12 against the Eastern Conference, and the addition of Durant should put Phoenix in a much better position to defeat teams like the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
The actual value is gone, but if Phoenix can reach the NBA Finals, they will win it, and +425 is the best price available and likely won’t be there long.
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