It’s never too late/early for a Woj bomb.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Nets and Celtics have engaged in trade talks that would send Kevin Durant from Brooklyn to Boston, but the wording is very specific:
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 to make the team formidable in its pursuit, sources said.
The key word here is “ability.” Yes, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens could include Brown in a package to net the twelve-time All-Star, but it doesn’t sound like that’s been discussed...yet. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes, there are several shapes that this deal could form:
Remove Jayson Tatum and Boston has 7 tradable contracts available:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 25, 2022
J. Brown- $28.7M
A. Horford- $26.5M ($19.5M GTY)
M. Smart- $17.2M
D. White- $16.9M
R. Williams- $10.9M
G. Williams- $4.3M
P. Pritchard- $2.2M https://t.co/XRadeC4GEJ
KD is set to make nearly $44 million dollars next season in the first year of a four-year max extension. Wojnarowski is reporting that Jayson Tatum is off limits and there are many ways to cobble together contracts to match salaries. For example, Al Horford and Derrick White (without Brown) gets you to KD’s salary and Boston could include a bevy of draft picks, too.
As previously reported, Phoenix, Miami, and Toronto are also in the mix for Durant after the former MVP asked for a trade on the eve of free agency, but none including Boston has reached Brooklyn’s asking price.
For what it’s worth, in the past, Stevens has acted swiftly as an executive with little precursor or warning. That’s not to suggest that if the Celtics were really interested in bringing in KD, it would have happened already. However, it’s possible that they have offered something and the ball is in Brooklyn’s court to make a decision.