Toucher & Rich

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  • NBC Sports Boston Celtics reporter Chris Forsberg joined Toucher & Rich Wednesday morning to share his thoughts on Kevin Durant deciding to “move forward” with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant will now stay with the Nets after meeting with governors Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.

    “We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.

  • Fred Toucher: So, is this over?

    Chris Forsberg: Until the trade deadline. Probably, right? Like this stuff will bubble back up, but at least you get to get into the season and figure out how you look. Was last year some sort of, you know, bottled up, you know, on its own thing or is this thing sustainable?

    I understand why every team in the league has to be interested. It is Kevin Durant, but I just never thought the Celtics would get anywhere near a price that the Nets would command. And especially after you saw Rudy Gobert go for five 1st round picks. I just never thought they could match the price. They weren’t going to give up all the necessary assets, but they were certainly in the conversation, which just annoying because every team in the league had those conversations, and you know now the Celtics have to going to make it right with Jaylen and make sure I hear Brad Stevens say he was open and communicating with him throughout, and I hope that’s true because you know, players do get ruffled by these sorts of things. 

    From a selfish perspective, I’m excited to see what happens next with the Jays [Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum] and getting this kind of see this thing through. 

  • Rich Shertenlieb: Did you see the other players calling out Kevin Durant? Patrick Beverley was saying, you know, this guy’s screwing with all of us being able to get signed somewhere else, even Isaiah Thomas, but something like, “Hey, can I sign to a team now that this is over with?”. 

    How much of a wrench was thrown into all of the movement around the NBA because of this Kevin Durant situation?

    Chris Forsberg: I mean, everything. Right? I was actually surprised when I mean, Phoenix got good press because of the situation in the offer sheet, so they had to move but not like every team that was even on the periphery of this thing had to just be patient because you didn’t want to spoil your chance if it came along. 

    But yeah, it feels like it’s sort of been stuck in the mud. Now, you know, you think back to that, like help us get all their stuff done like Brogdon and Gallinari. It wasn’t that they just put the brakes on everything. If you’re one of the lower level, probably free agents, and it was probably a little bit frustrating to have to wait until everyone figures out their roster.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 20: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets disputes a call during the second quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 20, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 20: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets disputes a call during the second quarter of Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 20, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Jon Wallach: So now that Brooklyn has decided to run it back, or they’ve told Kevin Durant to sit down and shut up and they’re we’re going to run it back, are the Nets a threat talent-wise? It seems that way, but there’s a lot of dysfunction there.

    Chris Forsberg: I was talking about this last night. When you ranked the teams in the Eastern Conference right now, I probably still have the Nets. Now, do they have the talent to be number one? Absolutely, but we got to see it and I think it starts with just the awkwardness of Kevin Durant and Steve Nash walking into that first huddle and, you know, looking at each other and knowing that he wanted you gone and so you got to work through that. 

    And then there’s always the Kyrie stuff that hovers over everything, and we’ll even see if he’s still there when training camp opens and as they get this thing going. And Ben Simmons, like, there’s just so many variables, but it’s undeniable even when you watch that playoff series last year, you’re thinking that Joe Harris was healthy, and they have the other spare pieces. Like, how would this look? And so you can’t rule out the fact that they will find some sort of motivation from this calamity and be pretty good.

    But I need to see it first, which is why I would still put you know, if you’re a Celtic fan, you should still be more worried about Milwaukee, Miami, and Philadelphia of the world. And then look, if we look up in January and this thing has resurfaced and Durant isn’t trying to force his way to another team yet again, then maybe you got to take him a little bit more seriously.