The Brooklyn Nets have officially acquired Kevin Durant and the star has a new number.
The team on Sunday confirmed the news first reported on June 30.
🚨 OFFICIAL: We have acquired 10x All-Star and 2x NBA champion Kevin Durant! 🚨
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 8, 2019
As reported earlier, the Nets got Durant and a protected 2020 first round draft pick from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guards D’Angelo Russell and Shabazz Napier and forward Treveon Graham.
“Kevin is a champion, perennial All-Star and one of the great players of this, or any, generation,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “Adding a player of Kevin’s caliber to our organization elevates our ability to compete with the elite teams in this league. His tremendous abilities and dedication to his craft have made him as talented an offensive player our game has ever seen and we, as well as all of Brooklyn, are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family to the Nets.
Earlier in the day, Durant announced an unexpected change.
The Nets star has worn No. 35 for his entire 12-year NBA career, but he announced that he’ll don a No. 7 jersey when he hits the court for Brooklyn. Durant explained his decision via Instagram on one of his business pages, Thirty Five Ventures.
Durant credited his old number for allowing him to honor someone close to him, travel, gain new experiences and form important bonds, among other things. But he says the change signifies the next chapter in his basketball career.
The 30-year-old forward won back-to-back NBA titles with the Warriors in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season. He got off to a hot start in the playoffs but suffered a calf strain against the Rockets in the second round. Durant wouldn’t play again until Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors, where he ruptured his Achilles.
Durant declined his player option with Golden State to team up with his close friends Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn and is expected to miss most if not all of 2019-20. However, once he does return, he could make the team a serious contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets posted a 42-40 record in 2018-19 and were eliminated from the postseason by the 76ers in the first round. But their newfound star power could drive a surge to the top in the near future.