Some believe that a couple of high-level role players should be enough to pry the disgruntled star away from Brooklyn, while others are certain that it’s going to take a package headlined by a young star capable of improving in the future. If we’re being honest, Brooklyn is unlikely to budge on their asking price, and that means that any interested team will have to forgo one of their best players to entice Brooklyn to the negotiating table.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Celtics set that market value in terms of what Brooklyn is asking for, from the moment they offered up Jaylen Brown as part of a trade package.
“Among the executives with whom I spoke, a Boston deal with Jaylen Brown as the centerpiece appears to be the unofficial front-runner here. In general terms, sources say the Nets are using the fact that the Celtics (and perhaps other teams) have made their second-best player available as a baseline of sorts in negotiations.
Translation: If you’re still trying to discuss a Durant deal without putting your second-best talent on the table, then just stop wasting everyone’s time and bow out of this race,” Amick wrote in his August 16 article.
However, even if the asking price is set at a young and talented star, there are still multiple teams around the NBA that can meet that demand, should they choose to enter their name into the sweepstakes.
Celtics Adding Durant Would Make Them Favorites
There’s no denying that a duo of Jayson Tatum and Durant would be an elite offensive weapon without too much of a defensive drop-off. Both of the stars are gifted talents, capable of dominating games on a nightly basis, and both provide playmaking and defense as secondary and tertiary skills.
Perhaps that’s why Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey believes that should the Celtics acquire Durant, they would instantly become the favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy next season.
“Earlier this summer, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Boston had offered a package that included Jaylen Brown for KD. Those talks haven’t led to a trade yet, but Charania dropped another nugget in his report on Durant issuing an ultimatum to Brooklyn’s front office this week…Whether such a trade makes long-term sense for the Celtics is a topic for another day, but adding him to Tatum now would only solidify Boston’s position as a title front-runner,” Bailey wrote on August 15.
Of course, it’s hard to definitively say whether the Celtics would become championship favorites without knowing what else they gave up in a trade for Durant, but assuming the team keeps Marcus Smart and Robert Williams, it’s hard to envision them falling short of their ultimate goal.
Celtics Need to be Aware of the Risks in Trading For Durant
Let’s get real for a moment – any deal for Durant is a risk.
The six-foot-ten forward will be entering his age 34 season, is tied down until he is thirty-seven, has a history of major injuries, and is currently kicking up a stink in Brooklyn to force his way out. Durant may be one of the best players in the NBA, but his current actions have certainly hurt his reputation with front offices around the league.
So, what if Durant gets his wish, lands in Boston, and becomes disgruntled 18 months down the line? That is a question Brad Stevens will need an answer to before committing multiple assets on a potential trade.
So, with all of the baggage attached to Durant right now, the Celtics, or any other interested team, will need to be confident they can keep him happy for the duration of his contract, otherwise, they could find themselves in Brooklyn’s shoes sooner rather than later.