Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets just before the official opening of NBA free agency on June 30. After just three seasons with the franchise and two consecutive disappointing playoff exits, the Nets star has decided to call it quits.
NBA insider Shams Charania of “The Athletic” says 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.”
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Shams: Nets Have ‘Tremendous’ Interest in 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 all they could handle.
Boston could easily find themselves playing June basketball again next year with the key additions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danillo Gallinari to a team that has already proven to be a title contender. Adding Durant would make them that much more lethal. Charania says that the Celtics’ interest in adding the 12-time All-Star is ‘tremendous’
“Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with multiple other players or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling over next steps on how to approach discussions,” Charania added.
“As of right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. They have tremendous interest in bringing him in and view him as a piece that could take them over that final hurdle.”
Woj: Celtics ‘No Closer’ Than Durant’s Other Suitors
The Nets tug of war with rival teams on a potential deal for their franchise player has hit an apparent standstill. As good as Durant is, he is approaching the latter years of his 30s and has been bitten by the injury bug in each of the last two seasons. Pair that with the fact that he hasn’t had much playoff success outside of his years with the Warriors, and it is easy to see why Rival teams would be wary of how much they want to surrender to acquire him.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that despite the Nets and Celtics engaging in trade talks, they are no closer to landing him than any of the other teams in the field.
“As Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant’s trade request approaches the fourth week, the Boston Celtics have emerged among teams engaged in talks on a possible deal, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski writes.
“The Celtics appear no closer to acquiring Durant than others in discussions with the Nets, but Boston’s ability to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown as a centerpiece in offers does help make the team formidable in its pursuit, sources said.”
It has been nearly a month since Durant’s gargantuan trade request to the Nets, and no traction has been made to this point. The closer we get to training camp, the more likely it seems he will be on Brooklyn’s roster moving forward.