The NBA trade deadline is here, and Kevin Durant is not headed to Boston. According to multiple published reports, the Brooklyn Nets have agreed on a deal sending the former MVP to the Phoenix Suns for a package including three players and four future first-round draft picks.
The Durant-to-Phoenix blockbuster removes from the table the possibility that Durant will end up in Boston.
Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes had floated the idea that Boston could package Jaylen Brown with Derrick White and future draft picks to entice the Brooklyn Nets to part ways with their veteran superstar before the deadline closed at 3 p.m. Eastern time on February 9.
The proposed trade from Hughes looked like this:
Celtics get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2027 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick and a 2026 first-round pick swap.
“The Celtics add a true second superstar alongside Jayson Tatum and lean as far as humanly possible into this season’s title chase. Having come within two wins of a championship in 2022, Boston knows it’s only a marginal improvement away from the promised land. Durant, if healthy, would put the Celtics over the top,” Hughes wrote.
Durant, 34, knows what it takes to win a championship, having won two with the Golden State Warriors, and from a talent standpoint would have been seen as an upgrade over Jaylen Brown, who has been having a strong season thus far.
Nets Changing Stance on Trading Kevin Durant
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who spoke on the February 8 episode of “The Hoop Collective,” Brooklyn might have changed their stance in regard to trading Durant following the deal which saw Kyrie Irving head out West to join the Dallas Mavericks.
“Now that Kyrie has been traded, maybe the Nets’ position on not trading Durant — as it really was kind of last summer — may change,” Windhorst said, “That is an interesting development that has happened over the last 48 hours since the Kyrie trade from people that I’ve talked to.”
Judging by the Nets’ decision to move Durant to the Suns on February 8, we can now feel pretty confident that Windhorst was correct, and Joe Tsai has decided to rebuild the roster around young, defensive-minded talent for the team’s new path.
Celtics Are Not Keen on Trading Derrick White
On February 7, CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith reported that a league source had discussed Derrick White’s availability in trade talks around the deadline, noting how the Celtics had set a seemingly unattainable price for any interested party.
“White has a ton of value, because he can play both guard spots, on- and off-ball and he can defend most small forwards too. And, for Boston, he fills in for (Marcus) Smart and (Malcolm) Brogdon, who both get hurt a lot. They’ve set a price no one is going to meet,” The source told Smith.
Whether Boston would change their stance if the return were someone of Kevin Durant levels would remain to be seen, but given the Celtics’ embarrassment of riches at the guard position, it is plausible that they would be willing to part ways with the former San Antonio Spurs guard – especially as part of a blockbuster deal.
The Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on February 8, and will now solely focus on the deadline.