Boston Celtics

Apr 17, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives the ball against the Boston Celtics in the second quarter during game one of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Remember those ‘Kevin Durant to the Celtics’ trade rumors? Well, they’re back.

When Durant’s trade request first became public in late June, the Celtics were tabbed as front-runners. That talk headed up after multiple reports suggesting the Celtics would include Jaylen Brown in a package to land Durant.

The Celtics weren’t the only team rumored to be in on Durant, and speculation built over the following month. However, things had quieted down recently leading some to wonder if Durant’s trade request was real and if so, if the Nets would honor it.

Now Durant’s request and the Celtics’ potential pursuit of the 33-year-old forward are back at the forefront. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant met with Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend and reaffirmed his trade request unless Tsai fires general manager Sean Marks – who received a contract extension earlier this offseason – and head coach Steve Nash.

Charania added that the Nets have had conversations with “almost every team in the league” regarding Durant, although the asking price remains high. That may be what held up any initial deal.

With Durant’s status back at the forefront, Charania writes that the Celtics, along with the Raptors and Heat, “remain the most significant candidates to acquire Durant.” He adds that “Boston’s package centering around All-Star forward Jaylen Brown [is] seen as a viable deal.”

Two weeks ago, Charania reported that the Celtics had initially offered a package of Brown, Derrick White, and an undefined draft pick to the Nets. Brooklyn reportedly turned that deal down and countered with Brown, Marcus Smart, multiple draft picks, and “potentially one more rotation player.” Ensuing reports indicated these conversations were very early on in the process.

Time will tell if Durant’s increased pressure on the Nets makes it any more likely he’ll get dealt – to Boston or elsewhere. But the speculation surrounding the 10-time All-Star clearly isn’t going anywhere.