The Boston Celtics are fully engulfed in the sweepstakes for Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Reports initially came out a few weeks ago that Boston was interested in acquiring the forward, and since then, a multitude of different rumors have dominated the headlines.
Jaylen Brown is regarded as one of, if not the top potential offering for Durant, making the Celtics a prime landing spot. But with the other offers hypothetically on the table, what if there was a way for Boston to land Durant without giving up Brown?
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the other teams interested in Durant are the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. The Phoenix Suns have also been brought up in the past as a potential landing spot as well. So, what packages could they offer?
It’s been made clear that Scottie Barnes is off the table, as is Bam Adebayo. And since Deandre Ayton just signed an extension, he can’t be traded either. So that leaves these as the potential best-possible packages from each team (not including picks):
Heat: Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus
Raptors: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa
Suns: Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson
Brown is easily the best player that could be made available in talks if those players are the best ones on the table, but if Boston refused to include Brown, their offer could still be the best available.
Celtics’ Best Offer Without Including Brown
The one downside to not including brown in a deal is that Boston would undoubtedly have to part ways with other young assets. But if they got to form a Big 3 of Brown, Durant, and Jayson Tatum, that would all be worth it. They would be one of the best teams in the league for years to come.
Here’s what that potential trade could look like:
Celtics receive: Durant
Nets receive: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Robert Williams, Grant Williams, 2025 1st-Round Pick, 2024 1st-Round Pick (Swap), 2026 1st-Round Pick (Swap), 2029 1st-Round Pick (Swap)
So now the question is, would that be the best offer on the table for Brooklyn? Without Brown, that becomes a serious question, but since the Nets will still be trying to win, rather than taking on a full rebuild, this would still be a solid deal for them.
Robert Williams would become the centerpiece of the trade package. At just 24 years old, Williams had already shown Defensive Player of the Year potential and looks like he could turn into a perennial All-Defense guy.
The same goes for Smart, who just won the DPOY award this past season. Getting him and White in the deal would give the Nets their new backcourt. And past that, Grant Williams would be a great young player for them to take on, as he could improve even more if handed a larger role.
The one downside would be that they only get one unprotected first, but they would also get three pick swaps in the deal. But is it better than other packages being offered?
Comparing Offer to Other Teams’
This deal would likely outdo anything the Raptors can offer unless they were willing to include Pascal Siakam in a trade. The same goes for the Suns unless the Nets value Bridges super highly, which could potentially be possible. But they can’t offer the same volume of players as Boston can.
That leaves Miami, who would be offering a package centered around Herro. Most believe the Sixth Man of the Year winner would have the most potential, but what about Robert Williams? Herro definitely has the All-Star upside, but Williams could be a generational defender.
In reality, it’s highly unlikely that the Nets accept any deal from Boston that doesn’t include Brown, but that’s the beauty of it – the Celtics don’t have to offer Brown. They could put this deal on the table. If the Nets want it, they can take it. And if not, the Celtics should be more than happy running it back with their current squad.
It’s a win-win for the Celtics.