The Boston Celtics once again find themselves linked with a potential trade for Kevin Durant.
Following the February 5 trade of Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, it’s rumored that Durant would be open to being traded before the February 9 trade deadline, and according to ESPN’S Stephen A. Smith, the Celtics have already been making calls to gauge his availability.
“I’m hearing that he’s on the verge of potentially being moved. Obviously, we’ve all been speculating about that, that he may be moved. They’re on the phone, I’m hearing Boston is making some calls. Keep your eye on that. Jaylen Brown. Keep your eye on that,” Smith said during a February 6 episode of ESPN’S First Take.
During the off-season, Jaylen Brown was widely expected to be Boston’s primary trade chip in a move for Durant, and now, it would seem things have come full circle, and Brown could find himself back on the trade block should Brad Stevens decide to firm up his interest in the two-time NBA Champion.
Celtics Still A Potential Kevin Durant Landing Spot
According to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype, the Celtics will continue to be a prime trade candidate in regard to Durant due to their willingness to part ways with Jaylen Brown – who is an All-Star caliber talent. However, Gozlan did note that Ime Udoka no longer being the Celtics’ head coach could make Boston less desirable for Durant.
“Boston was the big surprise team to be seriously interested in Durant given they just went to the NBA Finals…Their willingness to trade Jaylen Brown made them the leaders in the Durant sweepstakes since he was by far the best player known to be on the table…It’s unclear if the Celtics are still interested in pursuing Durant now that they have the best record in the league and great chemistry. It’s also possible the promotion of Joe Mazulla could impact things since pairing Durant with Ime Udoka could’ve been part of the equation given their time together in Brooklyn,” Gozlan wrote.
Durant has been exceptional when healthy this season, providing the Nets with averages of 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while shooting 55.9% from the field and 37.6% from deep.
Acquiring Kevin Durant Could Be Smart Business
In a February 6 episode of CLNS Media’s Vitamin C’s podcast, we discuss the potential upside of acquiring Durant – assuming the trade is centered around Jaylen Brown plus salary filler.
“If I was Boston, I would seriously be considering that (a trade for Durant). I know Jaylen Brown is having a really good year, but is this as high as his value is ever going to be? This is a question you need to ask. If JB is at his current peak in terms of trade value, and you know, he’s in his prime at this point, this is who he is as a player. There’s gonna be improvements, but they’re not going to be drastic at this point. If this is the prime, and his trade value is this high, and you can get a return of Kevin Durant and a two-year, maybe three-year title window? You have to do that,” I said.
Brown will enter the final year of his current contract next season and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024, which could give the Celtics another reason to explore potentially trading him for a superstar of Durant’s caliber.