Durant to the Desert


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy NBA Trade Deadline Day 

Gotta love this time of year… Just when I thought I was done with today’s letter, the Woj bomb dropped in the middle of the night. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Suns acquired Kevin Durant and lit the Twitterverse on fire (C’mon, Woj. It’s bedtime). The NBA trade deadline is today (3:00 pm ET) and more deals are coming. Let’s watch the dominos fall, shall we?

Letter Rip!



Suns Acquire Kevin Durant

The Phoenix Suns have acquired Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets early this morning (approximately 1:30 am ET). The deal sends Durant and T.J. Warren to Phoenix in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four 1st-round picks. The new Mavericks-Suns rivalry just got more intriguing. Read More


*The Sportsletter will have continued coverage of this story in tomorrow’s edition.



Deadline Day: 3-Way Point Guard Swap

Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images

Lakers Acquire D’Angelo Russell, Send Russell Westbrook to Jazz in 3-Team Trade


It’s the point guard carousel! The NBA Trade Deadline is fast approaching this afternoon (3:00 pm ET), and three more star point guards are on the move. After the Mavericks swung a deal to get Kyrie Irving from the Nets over the weekend, a three-team deal last night involved three veteran point guards in the Western Conference — Russell Westbrook (Lakers), D’Angelo Russell (Timberwolves), and Mike Conley (Jazz). The Lakers were the clear initiators of the deal, and Los Angeles might have just salvaged their playoff hopes. D’Angelo Russell is still 26 years old and shooting the highest percentage of his career. He provides an outside shooting threat for the Lakers that Westbrook didn’t have.


Meanwhile, Westbrook (34) and Conley (35) are aging veterans. The Jazz are expected to buy out Westbrook’s contract, and he should walk as a free agent. All three teams — Lakers (25-30), Timberwolves (29-28), and Jazz (27-28) — are neck-and-neck at the bottom of the West playoff picture.


Trade Details

Lakers Receive: D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley & Jarred Vanderbilt

Timberwolves Receive: Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker & Multiple Picks

Jazz Receive: Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones & Lakers’ 2027 1st-Round Pick


Other Trades

Knicks trade Cam Reddish to Blazers for Josh Hart


NBA Trade Deadline: Today (3:00 pm ET)

Follow Live: NBA Trade Tracker (Every Official Deal)


Additional Storylines

SI: Breaking Down the Teams to Watch at NBA Trade Deadline

B/R: Clippers & Bulls Interested in Russell Westbrook If Jazz Buy Out Contract

ESPN: Lakers Coach Darvin Ham & Russell Westbrook Reportedly Had Heated Exchange in Tuesday Night’s Game



Chiefs in Charge: The Next Dynasty?

Photo: Cooper Neill / Getty Images

With 3rd Super Bowl Appearance in 4 Years, the Chiefs Have Quickly Become the NFL’s Next Dynasty


Yesterday’s Super Bowl feature was focused on a historic repeat for Philadelphia. Today, we’ll aim the lens at the other team in Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs are making their third appearance in the big game in just four years. They’re doing it with an MVP quarterback who is only 27 years old, and he’s just getting started. Andy Reid may be approaching retirement, but Patrick Mahomes could have a decade of dominance to go. Are the Chiefs the NFL’s next great dynasty? Let’s crunch the numbers.


Since the Super Bowl era began (1967), the Chiefs are just the seventh franchise to reach three-or-more Super Bowls in a four-year span. Mahomes’ greatness only points to more in the future, but they’re already on an elite list of the most dynastic NFL runs. The Patriots are the only other franchise to accomplish that feat since the early 90s.


Teams With 3 SB Trips in 4 Years

  • Miami Dolphins (1972-1974)
  • Minnesota Vikings (1974-1977)
  • Dallas Cowboys (1976-1979, 1993-1996)
  • Denver Broncos (1987-1990)
  • Buffalo Bills (1991-1994)
  • New England Patriots (2002-2005, 2015-2019)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (2020-2023)

One thing that makes the NFL so great is the parity year in and year out, but Kansas City has made parity almost nonexistent in the AFC. The Chiefs may only have one Lombardi Trophy in the Mahomes-Reid era, but they’re already in dynasty mode. Each of the last five AFC title games was played at Arrowhead Stadium. And if Mahomes plays at this level for another five to ten years, we’ll be in for another Patriot-like AFC dynasty.


With a win on Sunday, Mahomes would join an exclusive list of only a dozen quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls.


QBs With Multiple Super Bowls

  • 7 — Tom Brady
  • 4 — Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw
  • 3 — Troy Aikman
  • 2 — Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, Roger Staubach, Bob Griese, Bart Starr, Jim Plunkett

Guys like Brett Favre, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers aren’t on that list. Some of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game can attest to how hard it is to reach the Super Bowl numerous times, let alone win it. Somehow, we’ve normalized Mahomes and the Chiefs being in this position. And it won’t be the last time. A win on Sunday will cement dynasty status if it’s not already etched in stone.


Additional Storylines

ESPN: ‘We’re Wired To Go After It Every Year’ — Mahomes & Chiefs Are Built to Last

CBS Sports: Mahomes Could Become First Player Since 1999 to Win NFL MVP & Super Bowl in Same Season

The Ringer: Patrick Mahomes Took the Next Step In His Development — By Getting More Boring



🏀 NBA: Kyrie Irving Shines in Mavs Debut

Kyrie Irving made his Mavericks debut last night and scored a team-high 24 points in a win over the Clippers (110-104). Irving filled the stat sheet with a 24-5-4 night and four 3s while Luka Doncic is still recovery from injury.


🏒 NHL: Rangers Keep Rolling to 3rd Straight

The chaotic Metropolitan race is getting more interesting with the Rangers rolling in 2023. New York topped the Canucks (4-3), and they’re now 10-2-2 since the start of the calendar year. They’ve suffered just one loss by multiple goals in that stint, and it came against the league-leading Bruins.


🏀 NCAAM: Vandy Game-Winner Stuns #6 Tennessee

Vandy snaps the losing streak! The in-state rivalry between Vanderbilt and Tennessee had seen 11 straight games go in favor of the Volunteers, until last night. The Commodores took down the 6th-ranked Vols (66-65) thanks to Tyrin Lawrence’s buzzer-beater 3 on a wild final play.


🏀 NCAAW: UConn Women On Wrong End Of History

A bad night for UConn and Geno Auriemma… After falling to No. 1 South Carolina over the weekend, No. 4 UConn suffered a stunning loss to Marquette last night (59-52). It’s the first time the Huskies have suffered back-to-back losses in 30 years (1993).



🏈 Predicting the NFL Awards

NFL Honors will take place tonight at 9:00 pm ET on NBC and NFL Network. Over a dozen awards will be presented, including MVP, Coach of the year, Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year. (CBS Sports)


🏀 LeBron’s Path to the Scoring Crown

A picturesque fade away, a moment with Kareem, and (ahem) a loss to the Thunder. James’s historic night might not have been perfect, but it told us a lot about LeBron, this season, and his path to this point. (The Ringer)


🏒 NHL Awards Watch

As we do every month, we’ve polled a wide selection of Professional Hockey Writers Association voters anonymously to get a sense of where the wind is blowing for the current leaders. Here are the results of our NHL Awards Watch. (ESPN+)