Celtics Expected to ‘Have Best Package’ For Kevin Durant

Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics currently find themselves linked with one of the best players on the planet in the form of Kevin Durant.

As things stand, there is no reason to believe Durant will be on the move this summer, but a lot depends on the evolving Kyrie Irving saga after news broke that he and the Brooklyn Nets had reached an impasse regarding a contract extension.

However, that hasn’t stopped the media wheel from turning, or analysts from postulating potential trade scenarios that see Durant moving to another contender. On June 26, Celtics fan favorite, Brian Scalabrine weighed into the Durant discussion, noting how he believes no team in the league can match what Boston would have to offer in trade discussions.

“Jaylen Brown, three picks, two rights to swap, and Daniel Theis, the money works,” said Scalabrine regarding a potential Celtics package for Durant. You’re getting the All-Star caliber player, and you’re getting picks moving forward, and you have to understand that there is a connection. The Al Horford connection with Kevin Durant, they were kind of linked during that free agency when he went to Golden State.

He loves Marcus Smart as a player, the Hamptons visit, all that stuff. Ime Udoka, he coached him, and he’s always chatting it up with Udoka on the sideline during the game, and you get a chance to play with Jayson Tatum, a guy he’s played on the Olympic team with him, where they worked out together and stuff like that. So, there is a connection. It’s not crazy to think that something like that could happen if, if and only if, Kevin Durant decides, ‘Alright, I want to be out of here,” Scalabrine said during a spot on NBA Radio. 

While Jayson Tatum and the Celtics knocked the Nets out of the playoffs courtesy of a first-round sweep, Durant is still widely considered to be one of the best players in the world. So, if Boston has an opportunity to acquire him via trade, and not give up Tatum in the process, they have to at least explore their options.

Durant is ‘Weighing His Options’

Durant and Irving joined the Nets at the same time, as they had long wanted to play alongside each other. Although, their time as teammates hasn’t gone to plan. During their first season together, Durant was unavailable, as he continued to recover from an ACL injury he sustained while with the Golden State Warriors.

The second season saw the Nets fall to eventual champions the Milwaukee Bucks, while this past season, Irving was unavailable for selection for large stretches due to his vaccination status, and James Harden forced his way to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now, with Irving a potential flight risk, Durant is reportedly keeping an open mind about his next move – and it’s likely he won’t come to any decision until the Irving saga has reached its conclusion.

Jayson Tatum is ‘Out of The Question’

When one of the league’s best players is rumored to be disgruntled in their current situation, every team in the league begins to come under the microscope. Some teams are at the start of their rebuilding process and are quickly ruled out of the running. Others, have been stockpiling assets, and are deemed to be potential threats in any sweepstakes. And the final group is already contenders and would have to trade away one of their stars to get the deal over the line.

Boston falls somewhere in between the latter two sections of teams. Sure, the Celtics are bona fide contenders, having made it to the NBA Finals this past season, but they’re still young enough to have a multitude of desirable assets during trade discussions.

However, according to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, regardless of Durant’s clear talent, the front office would never consider trading Tatum, and as such, Brown is the most logical player to headline any potential deal.

“Jayson Tatum is out of the question for Boston. He just outplayed Durant in a four-game sweep. But Jaylen Brown’s ball-handling led to some of the turnover problems that doomed the Celtics in the playoffs. That’s not an issue for Durant. Boston could pair its league-best defense with an offense suddenly employing a second elite shot-maker. Boston might have won it all with Durant in Brown’s place, but somehow I doubt Irving has given Boston a particularly glowing review in private to Durant. Even if the Celtics would make this swap, who knows how interested Durant would be,” Quinn wrote. 

Things are very fluid right now, and Irving could very well wind up staying in Brooklyn. But, for as long as there’s the hint of discontentment from Durant, Boston, and a string of other contending teams will continue to find themselves linked to a trade. It just so happens, that not many other teams can offer somebody with the talent level of Jaylen Brown in return.

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