After Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request with Nets owner Joseph Tsai this week, it was widely considered that the Celtics were KD’s most likely destination and that the ball was in President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens’ court to make the next move. Boston had Jaylen Brown, regarded as the best available player in the most recent round of rumors, and a cache of role players and draft picks to put together a trade package that would satisfy Brooklyn’s demands.
But it takes two to tango.
According to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the two teams might be farther apart — if not very unlikely — in making a blockbuster swap:
According to the source, 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.
There is usually posturing in trade discussions, and demands tend to soften. But as of this week, when Durant reportedly reiterated his desire to be traded during a meeting with team owner Joe Tsai, the Celtics and Nets were not close to a deal.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown?!? Posturing indeed. The key points in Himmelsbach reporting is that 1) it was Nets GM Sean Marks, not Stevens, that floated the idea of Brown, Marcus Smart, and picks and 2) with the Celtics balking at both offers, the teams are at a stalemate.
Himmelsbach also goes on to say that Boston’s brain trust of Stevens of head coach Ime Udoka have been in constant contact with with Brown and that everybody understands that this is the business of basketball.
Love and Trust pic.twitter.com/uPru0dmEsH— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 9, 2022
And here’s another little wrinkle into the Durant saga from Sportsnet New York’s Ian Begley:
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.
It’s the first time we’ve heard of Durant’s interest in the Celtics and obviously, who doesn’t want to play with Smarty, right?
For now, KD-to-Boston seems dead, but with about six weeks before training camp, anything is possible.