What could have been? The Brooklyn Nets have been looking for a deal for Kevin Durant for over a month, and in one of the latest reports from the Boston Globe, the Nets proposed a truly historic trade with the Boston Celtics.
“Brooklyn initially tried to pry both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown from Boston. That proposal went nowhere, of course. The source confirmed recent reports that Brooklyn later shifted its focus to a potential deal centered on Brown, Marcus Smart, and a massive haul of future first-round draft picks. But the Celtics were not interested,” Reported Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
While those trade discussions are weeks old, the Boston Celtics remain in the mix to land Durant, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who included Boston among the top three potential landing spots for Durant.
Boston Celtics Continued Pursuit of Kevin Durant
“The Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain the most significant candidates to acquire Durant, sources said, with Boston’s package centering around All-Star forward Jaylen Brown seen as a viable deal,” Charania wrote.
However, all along the line the Nets have emphasized that they are looking for a historic trade package in return for Durant. The Celtics previously offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and draft picks for Durant and the Nets countered and would require Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to be included in the trade negotiations.
The recent reporting states that Durant could see himself playing for either the Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers after being traded.
“Durant sees Boston as a desired landing spot, per people familiar with the matter. Durant also would like to play with Boston’s Marcus Smart if he is traded to the Celtics, per people familiar with the matter,” SNY’s Ian Begley wrote.
The likelihood of the Celtics not having to include Smart in a deal is slim. Brooklyn has made it clear what they want in negotiations, and if Brad Stevens can talk them out of that it would be astounding. Another reason that Durant has been linked to Boston is his ties with Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.
“Durant has grown close with Boston coach Ime Udoka in recent years after Udoka spent a year with Durant as an assistant in Brooklyn and later with Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Charania continued.
Perhaps the Celtics can overtake other potential suitors in a Durant deal.
Most Recent Celtics and Nets Proposal
One proposal that gained momentum for the Nets and Celtics was included in a Bleacher Report article written by Andy Bailey.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2027 first-round pick swap, and a 2029 first-round pick swap.
Boston Celtics Receive: Kevin Durant
Also, after the acquisition of Danilo Gallinari, they could include a player like Grant Williams, who the Nets are known to have interest in. Trading for Malcolm Brogdon helped the possibility that they include Smart to be in a deal for Durant. Will they choose to full-out pursue Durant or run it back with their squad that made the NBA Finals? We should find out in the ensuing weeks before training camp.