Kevin Durant rumors have failed to pick up much traction over the past couple of weeks, with some reports even suggesting that trade talks have “slowed to a trickle.” However, early Monday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided NBA fans with a new storyline to follow … and it’s a big one.
The Boston Celtics have entered the mix for Kevin Durant. While Wojnarowski stressed that Boston is currently no closer to adding Durant than any other suitor, he did state that their willingness to potentially include young All-Star Jaylen Brown in a deal could make them a “formidable” contender.
“The Celtics consider All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum off limits in any trade talks, but Boston is able to construct a package for Durant that could include Brown and as many as three unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) — and two pick swaps (2024 and 2026). Brown, 25, has two years and $56 million left on his current contract,” Woj wrote.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania elaborated on this report hours later. He shared that the Celtics have made an offer for Durant, which includes Brown, Derrick White, and a draft pick. However, unsurprisingly, the Nets turned down that proposal and requested more draft capital, as well as Marcus Smart, in return.
Charania wrote that Boston is “less-inclined” to include Smart in the deal alongside a player of Brown’s caliber, but they are still considering how to proceed.
“As of right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant,” Charania wrote. “They have tremendous interest in bringing him in and view him as a piece that could take them over that final hurdle. Although there is work to be done, there is a deal to be had that would suffice the Nets’ overwhelming ask.”
For the Boston Celtics, a Durant marriage could make sense for both parties. The organization showed they were ready to take the next step this past season with a convincing run to the NBA title. Not only did they have the NBA’s best defense in the second half of the season, but the superstar potential of Jayson Tatum became that much more convincing. If Durant landed in Boston, there is little question the team would be a Finals favorite over the next couple of seasons.
But could the Celtics stretch that window out further with Jaylen Brown? In an era dominated by strong wing play, the 25-year-old gives the Celtics two of the best young players at the position. While I’m not saying Durant wouldn’t be an immediate improvement, we also saw this Celtics team sweep his Nets squad in the first round a couple of months back. Building around Tatum-Brown gives this team a seemingly dominant duo for years to come. In other words, Durant would immediately raise the Celtics’ ceiling but potentially hurt their chances of more long-term contention.
This is a win-now league, though. If you have a good chance to land Durant – one of the best scoring forward in NBA history – you could look extremely silly for not doing just that.
If I know one thing for sure, it’s that I hope Boston doesn’t get this deal done. We’re already talking about a potential Eastern Conference powerhouse, and Durant would only move them further up the totem pole in the short term. With the Bulls also trying to stay competitive, this would make finding success that much more difficult over the next couple of seasons.