In a July 2 article by Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto, the Celtics are noted as a potential destination for the superstar forward, in a deal that would see Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and draft compensation heading to the Brooklyn Nets in return.
“If Boston wanted to make a run at Durant, the Celtics could theoretically try and entice the Nets with a package around Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart,” Scotto wrote.
While Durant is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA right now, giving up both Brown and Smart will likely be considered too steep of a price by the front office, especially when you factor in Durant’s injury history, and the fact his current contract sees him earning north of $50 million during his age-37 season.
John Tomase Warns Boston Against Adding Durant
Adding a second All-NBA talent alongside Tatum would clearly enhance the Celtics’ overall talent level, but Durant’s age and questionable durability are two important factors to look at before signing off on any potential trade.
According to Tomase, Boston would be better continuing on their current path, and building a contending roster around the duo of Brown and Tatum, especially after they come within two games of an NBA championship last season before succumbing to the Golden State Warriors.
“Durant turns 34 in September, and he hasn’t exactly been a model of reliability the last three years. He missed the 2020 Bubble season while recovering from a torn Achilles. He returned and promptly missed 23 games with a hamstring strain. He spent two months last year on the shelf with an MCL sprain…If there’s a magic number for players of Durant’s skill level, it’s 34. That’s how old Michael Jordan was when he won his last title. It’s when Kobe Bryant blew out his Achilles, Paul Pierce made his final All-Star team, and Dwyane Wade won his last playoff series. (To be fair, it’s also when Durant’s former teammate, Steph Curry, lit up the Celtics en route to Finals MVP just a couple of weeks ago.),” Tomase wrote in his NBC Sports Boston column on July 1.
Durant is coming off an impressive year for the Nets, where he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 38.3% from the perimeter and 51.8% from the field.
Scalabrine Believes Boston Has ‘Best Package’ For Durant
When it comes to actual trade packages, not many teams in the league could beat Boston if they made both Brown and Smart available in trade discussions. And according to former Celtics fan-favorite Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics should already be on the phone, looking to strike a deal to bring Durant to the TD Garden.
“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…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,” Scalabrine said during a June 26 appearance on NBA radio.
However, it’s worth remembering that every team in the league will be registering their interest in Durant, and given Boston’s current roster depth, it’s unlikely they will be willing to gut their rotation in order to add the aging superstar.