Nearly a month after Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Nets, a new team has emerged as a potential landing spot for the 12-time All-Star.
The Celtics are among the teams engaged in trade talks to potentially acquire Durant, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As it currently stands, the Celtics are “no closer” to acquiring Durant than other teams in discussions with the Nets, but Boston’s ability to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown in a potential deal has helped the Celtics become more formidable in their pursuit, according to Wojnarowski.
Boston has made Jayson Tatum off limits in trade talks, but would be able to construct a package centered around Brown that could include as many as three unprotected first round picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) and two pick swaps (2024 and 2026). A deal structured like this could potentially meet Brooklyn’s asking price of multiple first-round picks, pick swaps and established NBA players.
In a separate report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Celtics reportedly offered the Nets a package that included Jaylen Brown, reserve guard Derrick White and a draft pick. The Nets rejected that trade, and asked that any Celtics proposal include Brown, point guard Marcus Smart, multiple picks and potentially one more rotation player.
Durant, 33, has four years and nearly $200 million left on his contract. Brown has two years and $56 million left on his current contract with the Celtics.
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Boston now reportedly joins a handful of teams who can be considered serious suitors for Durant. The Heat, Suns and Raptors have also reportedly been in contract with the Nets on a potential deal for the future Hall of Fame forward.
Durant’s trade request came on the heels of the team’s unwillingness to sign All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to a supermax contract. There was potential for Irving to opt out of his $36 million player option this season to test free agency, but he instead opted into his contract with Brooklyn.
The only path for the Nets to move on from Kyrie now would be to trade him.
The Celtics swept the Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in the spring, sparking an offseason of questions regarding the path forward for Brooklyn.
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