Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Boston Celtics — the team that eliminated the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals — have engaged the Brooklyn Nets on a Kevin Durant trade. A few hours later, Shams Charania reported that the Nets had rejected an offer of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick.
Sources: The Boston Celtics have offered a Jaylen Brown package to the Nets for Kevin Durant, which Brooklyn turned down and countered.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 25, 2022
Full details on a potential Celtics-Nets mega-deal to be had, latest on Donovan Mitchell and more at the Inside Pass: https://t.co/Gkyfkhg5A1
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said that the Heat had initial conversations about including Bam Adebayo in a trade for Durant, but an “influential member” of the organization “shot down the notion.” The Celtics’ willingness to offer Brown, though, may push that influential member to reconsider.
Boston could, of course, rebuff the Nets and say that Brown, White and a draft pick is their last, best and final offer. Or they could add more draft picks but decline to include someone like Marcus Smart in the trade. But if the Celtics’ talks with the Nets pick up steam, teams interested in trading for Durant will have to beat that offer.
And what about Durant — does he want to play in Boston? Going to Boston would mark the second time in Durant’s career that he joined the team that eliminated his team in the previous year’s playoffs. Does he want more people saying he can’t win as the “bus driver” of a team?
NBA fans may remember when Anthony Davis’ father said that he would “never want” his son to play for the Celtics when the New Orleans Pelicans had a disgruntled star asking for a trade.
And the plot thickens ... pic.twitter.com/FTkmkTtePY— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) February 2, 2019
Boston didn’t trade for Davis, who at the time had just one year left on his contract. When the Heat traded for Shaquille O’Neal in 2004, the 7-foot-1 center also had one year left on his contract. Does the fact that Durant has four years left on his deal give him less leverage to choose his destination? (While Kawhi Leonard didn’t want to go to the Toronto Raptors in 2018, he was coming off an injury-plagued year.)
Regardless of what Durant wants, the Celtics’ entry into the conversation signals that the Nets aren’t going to lower their asking price.