Boston Celtics

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) takes a three point shot over Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports


Rich: There was a slight Woj bomb that happened overnight. He tweeted about Kevin Durant and the Celtics, their being talks among the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets on a possible Kevin Durant deal. So the article reads, “As Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant’s trade request approaches a fourth week, the Celtics have emerged among teams engaged in talks on a possible deal. 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 make the team formidable in its pursuit.”

Toucher: They also have a bunch a picks they can give [the Nets].

Rich: It gets into that, it says, “The Miami Heat, Phenix Suns, that the Raptors have been well known to have varying degrees of interest, but the Celtics have been in regular contact with the Nets as well. There are no deals believed to have traction for Durant and no team has yet to reach the significant threshold that the Nets have set to trade one of the league’s most talented players.” They said, “The Celtics considered All-Star forward Jayson Tatum off limits in trade talks. But Boston is able to construct a package for Durant that can include Brown and as many as three unprotected first round picks 2025, 2027 and 2029 and two pick swaps.” They say they talk about Brown and how much he’s got left and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Okay. So I know by reading this, a lot of people are going to dismiss this as a non-story. As a matter of fact, the first thing that I thought when I read this is, first of all, Adrian Wojnarowski doesn’t just throw stuff out there just to throw stuff out there. He doesn’t do that. It seems to me almost like the Nets leaked this out in order to leverage one of these other teams that I mentioned, like Phenix or Miami. And if they know that, hey, that’s the Celtics could legitimately steal this guy from underneath you and maybe they’re pissed at these teams all, you know, everyone dragging their feet and not offering what the Nets want. That’s probably number one, what I think. But this isn’t a non-story. It’s not a non-story that the Celtics are actually active in talking to them about giving up Jaylen Brown and all of those picks in order to get Kevin Durant. I wouldn’t dismiss this as being a nothing story as many people are, but I do think that it’s more about leverage with the Nets and they’re the ones who put this out there.

Wallach: I agree. And this all comes down to whether or not Brad Stevens wants to do this. He has the most attractive package that Brooklyn could ask for. You have a young superstar who is the next tier down and Jaylen Brown, maybe he evolves into that top level, maybe he doesn’t. And you get a bunch of picks and you can get some bench players too. Phenix is hamstrung because DeAndre Ayton was going to be part of a package back to Brooklyn for Durant and Ayton just signed an offer sheet and you know, he’s locked up but he’s on a deal combined with his rookie deal. And remember the Rose Rule, which essentially means you can’t have two players on the same team with on their second contracts after being a rookie with the same team. So, you know, for instance, Ayton and Simmons can’t play together the same thing with Bam Adebayo for for Miami and Simmons can’t be on the same team together. And Adebayo would be a major piece that Brooklyn would want coming back the other way. Jaylen Brown fits all the criteria for a possible deal Brooklyn wants. It’s just whether or not Brad Stevens wants to do it. And if I’m Brad Stevens, I do that deal.

Rich: But if that was if it was just what we mentioned, it was a Jaylen Brown and picks. Sure. Who wouldn’t do that deal? You do that deal. Durant’s a better player than than Jaylen Brown. And you don’t know if Jaylen Brown is going to stay.

Wallach: You’re gonna have him for longer. Absolutely.

Rich: But that can’t be it. To make the salaries match, you’re going to have to throw in another player and it depends on who player number two is. That’s a big deal. Now, Jon, let me ask you if since they signed Brogdon, do you think that Marcus Smart is now expendable in a trade for Kevin Durant? Would you be willing to trade Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown in order to get Kevin Durant?

Wallach: Yes. Yes, I would. Getting a guy like Durant is like watching Halley’s Comet. You don’t get an opportunity to do that and you don’t get an opportunity to do that where you have a soft landing. You get Durant to replace Brown and you have Brogdon already to replace Smart. I got to be honest with you. Yes, you’re a little thin on the bench, but you get a guy like that. I would do it in a second.