A new contender has emerged in the Kevin Durant trade sweepstakes and that team is the Boston Celtics. Like every other team that has been involved in trade talks centered around the two-time NBA Finals MVP, the Celtics’ offer hasn’t reached the level that the Brooklyn Nets are hoping that it would.
According to The Athletic, the Celtics have made a trade offer, but it was declined. Boston offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and picks in exchange for Durant. Based on the reports of what Brooklyn is looking for, it is no surprise that was declined.
Brooklyn is looking for multiple blue-chip, All-Star level players and Brown would certainly suffice for that. However, the lack of draft capital needs to be offset somewhere else and White, on his own, likely isn’t enough to do that.
With their 2023 first-round pick already being traded to the Indiana Pacers from the Malcolm Brogdon trade earlier this offseason, the Celtics don’t have much draft capital to trade. 2025 or 2026 are their only tradable selections, as the Stepien Rule prevents teams from going multiple years without a first-round pick. Pick swaps in 2024, 2027 and 2029 is about the best that Boston can do from a draft capital perspective.
Their willingness to include Brown in trade proposals could give the Celtics a leg up on their competition. The other teams that have been involved in trade talks with the Nets either don’t possess a player of that ability or are unwilling to include them yet in packages.
After coming so close to winning the 18th championship in franchise history, it would make sense for the Celtics to view Durant as a player that can push them over the top, leading to their first championship since 2008. But, given how strong the team is, they aren’t going to just give the Nets everything that they want.
At the end of the day, Boston will be contenders as currently constituted. Just ask Durant and the Nets, who got swept out of the first round by them in this year’s postseason.
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