There was plenty of action ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but no team made a more impactful move than the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns acquired superstar Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder (later traded to Milwaukee), four first-round draft picks and a pick swap. A significant haul for Brooklyn, but the Suns position themselves to be the team to beat in the Western Conference going forward.
Forsberg: Celtics' path to finals is looking a lot less daunting
Our Eddie House says it's championship or bust in Phoenix for the next couple of years.
"If you don't do it this year or next year, you have mortgaged your whole future for this window. If you don't get it done, it will be an epic fail for the organization," House said on NBC Sports Boston's NBA Trade Deadline Special.
"But for right now, for the excitement in the Valley of the Sun where I live at -- Super Bowl weekend, Waste Management is going on. A whole lot of things is going on. Nobody's talking about any of that right now here in Phoenix. Everybody's talking about this trade and the fact that they feel like this has put them over the top to win the championship. And a lot of people are saying it's gonna be a Celtics-Suns (NBA Finals)."
Brian Scalabrine didn't hesitate to hype up the Suns as the top team in their conference following Durant's arrival.
"They have to be the favorites to come out of the West," Scalabrine said. "If Chris Paul can stay healthy. Devin Booker, obviously you know he's a bucket any time. You add another guy in Kevin Durant. I like what the Phoenix Suns did. ... They were ready, they took advantage of it, and they're going to be probably right now the best team in the West or at least the favorites to come out of the West with the additions. ...
"I'm all-in on the Phoenix Suns. I believe in Kevin Durant. I think he can be on any given night one of the best players in the NBA. I think that's the missing piece for Phoenix."
Durant hasn't played since Jan. 8 due to a sprained MCL, but the 34-year-old is still among the game's elite when healthy. Through 39 games this season, Durant is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while shooting 55.9 percent from the floor.
The Suns enter Thursday night fifth in the Western Conference standings with a 30-26 record.