Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant requested a trade from the franchise on June 30 following a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Many teams wanted his services, but Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks vowed not to trade Durant unless they got a trade haul substantial enough for a player of his caliber. Ironically, it was the Celtics, the team that eliminated the Nets from the playoffs, that got the closest to acquiring Durant.
In the end, no team was willing to pay the Nets’ asking price for the 12-time All-Star, and Durant ultimately agreed to return to the franchise. But despite the Celtics’ reported interest in Durant, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe says he’s happy that the Celtics did not trade for him.
“I don’t need him. I’m happy. I don’t want to win with him,” Ryan said on the latest episode of his podcast with Jeff Goodman.
“I want to root for this group right here that we have seen assembled and grow. Now that we’ve added [Malcolm] Brogdon. I love this team. I don’t want to win with that s— head, and I think he is one, frankly… I don’t want to win with this guy. Screw him. No.”
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Celtics Offered Nets Jaylen Brown Package for Durant
The Celtics are fresh off their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. And for what it’s worth, they held the lead in that series on two separate occasions, giving the defending champion Golden State Warriors everything they could handle.
Boston could easily find themselves playing June basketball again next year with the addition of former Indiana Pacers star Malcolm Brogdon to a team that has already proven to be a title contender. Adding Durant to that roster would have made them that much more lethal.
NBA insider Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reported in July that the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics offered the Nets a substantial package for Durant centered around All-Star Jaylen Brown, to which Brooklyn vehemently declined.
“The Celtics offered Brown, guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected, “Charania said.
“Brooklyn has asked Boston — in any proposal — to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks, and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added.”
Marcus Smart Sounds off on Celtics Trade Rumors
As much of a stinger as it may be to the players, being a part of trade conversations is just the nature of the business. Though it is a tough pill to swallow, Marcus Smart says that Jaylen Brown is handling the aftermath of being included in trade talks for Durant, ‘with a smile on his face.’
“(Brown’s) handled it great. He walks around with a smile on his face. We haven’t even mentioned it when we were together. We were just talking about the upcoming season and getting ourselves ready, but he’s great. He’s handling it as professionally as he can and my advice is, to anybody, don’t forget it’s a business first,” Smart said to Bobby Manning of CLNS Media.
“When you’re doing business, personal stuff has to go out the window and can’t be the issue, so you can’t look at it like that. If your name is up there in trade talks, I look at it as a compliment. It means teams want you. That’s a good thing. The problem is if your name is not (in rumors), nobody wants you. So that’s how I’m looking at it and that’s how people should look at it. It’s tough, I understand it, but just because it’s going on, you never know. Anything can happen.”
The Nets and Celtics could very well meet again in the playoffs this season. You can bet Brooklyn will be looking for revenge.