And now for the latest in the Kevin Durant trade request drama. He still wants to be traded. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic he’s given Nets ownership an ultimatum.
In a face-to-face meeting with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend, All-NBA star Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request and informed Tsai that he needs to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, sources tell The Athletic.
This isn’t necessarily surprising, though it does shed some light on the reason for Kevin Durant’s request. It would seem unlikely that the owner would acquiesce to this pressure and fire both Marks and Nash, but I guess stranger things have happened.
What is more locally interesting is the latest list of teams seen as frontrunners to trade for him.
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. Tsai and the Nets have made clear privately that they will take every last asset from a team that trades for Durant, sources said.
The Suns not being named is interesting. The Miami Heat still have several hurdles to leap before realistically acquiring Durant (and still having a roster that he wants to be part of). Which really leaves the Raptors and Celtics as the presumed favorites. Shams’ article even points out specifically that Durant and Ime Udoka have “grown close” after pairing up in Brooklyn and the Olympics recently.
Regardless of what you believe was offered in the past, the Celtics could still outbid a lot of teams with a starting point of Jaylen Brown, another salary piece, and draft compensation. The Raptors can counter by including Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, but it remains to be seen if they’ve in fact made him available yet.
A reminder that negotiations take time, especially when there’s no deadline or urgent timetable. This is likely an attempt by Durant’s camp to push a deal along. We’ll see if there’s any movement now or not. Stay tuned on CelticsBlog for updates.