Acquiring Kevin Durant is going to be anything but plain sailing for the Boston Celtics.
Beyond the Brooklyn Nets’ asking price, there is a very real risk of reducing the team’s depth, and more importantly, hindering the chemistry the Celtics developed throughout last season. After all, adding a superstar of Durant’s caliber will undoubtedly create a powershift within the locker room.
More importantly, adding Durant would require sacrifice and buy-in from budding superstar Jayson Tatum, as the Celtics would have to re-design their offense to utilize the two forwards – with the St. Louis native likely to see his on-ball duties reduced as a result.
According to a July 31 edition of A Sherrod Blakely’s Full Court Press Newsletter, Boston would need to be patient with a new star duo of Tatum and Durant, as developing on-court chemistry can be a slow and arduous process.
“Tatum has grown accustomed to being Boston’s go-to guy, and not having any real competition for the crown. Bring in Durant and Tatum no longer holds the keys to the kingdom. Instead, he becomes a Prince-in-Waiting. We saw what that looked like when Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Kemba Walker were around,” Blakely wrote.
Blakely has a point – we’ve all witnessed Tatum’s growth over the last 18 months, and have raved about his ever-improving ability to generate offense for his teammates. Adding Durant into the mix could usher in a period of regression for the 24-year-old wing, and that’s not good for anybody.
Durant Could Take Tatum to New Heights
However, as with any viewpoint, there is a counterargument to be made. And of course, that is how Durant could be the ideal role model for Tatum, allowing the three-time All-Star to find a new gear and take his game to new heights.
You see, there’s is a legitimate chance that Durant has a similar impact on Tatum to what Al Horford did on Grant and Robert Williams this season – where both budding big men raved about the opportunity to learn from Horford’s daily routine, and how he takes care of his body during the summer months.
“When you’re around a guy like Al, he just does a lot of things that you see on film, that not many people normally do. Through watching him – how his approach is everything single day, and how he moves in every single practice. He may not be the fastest in the world, he may not be the most athletic right now, but he knows the game and sees it really well,” Williams said during an October 10 press conference.
For a player like Tatum, having another superstar forward to learn from could be the missing piece to his developmental puzzle.
Kendrick Perkins Urges Boston to Trade Jaylen Brown
So far, everything we’ve heard about the Celtics showing interest in Durant has been nothing more than a rumor – even if those rumors did come from two of the most reliable NBA insiders around.
And for Brown, these rumors aren’t the first time that his name has been thrown around in trade rumors for another superstar, in fact, it’s happened on multiple occasions, most notably during the Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard trade sagas. That’s why former Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins believes Boston has to trade the Georgia native, as they’ve continually broken his trust.
“They’re gonna trade Jaylen Brown, because I feel like, as of right now, the trust has been broken. And we have to remember this, Danny Ainge drafted Brown, not Brad Stevens…My thing is, I don’t know how the Celtics are going to bounce back from this, I don’t know if they can bounce back from this – I don’t think they can,” Perkins said during a July 29 episode of Swagu and Perk.
Brown has two years remaining on his current contract, so if Brad Stevens does believe the 25-year-old wing is a potential flight risk at the end of his current deal, we should expect to see a trade in the short to mid-term, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be for Durant – and given the 34-year-old’s injury history, that’s perfectly understandable.