Kevin Durant trade rumours: Celtics emerge as threat after offering Jaylen Brown package, report says

When Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and his list of preferred destinations surfaced, the Boston Celtics weren’t considered the most likely landing spots. But they still made sense as a possible destination…if they were willing to part ways with Jaylen Brown. It was a big if, but it looks like the Celtics are indeed heading for what would be a blockbuster trade for Durant.

The Celtics “emerged as a real threat to acquire Durant” after offering a Brown-based package to the Nets, who turned down the offer and retaliated by asking for more, according to Shams Charania.

From Sharania:

The Celtics have offered Brown, guard Derrick White and a Nets draft pick for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected and Brooklyn asked Boston – in any proposal – to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially another rotation player, the sources added. Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with several other players or pick assets, but the franchise is considering next steps on how to approach discussions.

Right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. They have a huge stake in bringing him in and see him as a piece that could get them past that final hurdle. While there’s work to be done, there’s a deal to be done that would be enough for the Nets’ overwhelming demand.

Even though Durant is one of the best players in the world, you can understand Boston’s reluctance to add even more to an offer that already includes an All-Star in Brown. Including Smart in an outgoing package would remove two elite defensemen from a defense that just took the Celtics to the NBA Finals. That said, Boston’s acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon clearly makes Smart more consumable.

Acquiring Durant would put the Celtics on a title or bust clock. With Brown turning 26 in October and emerging MVP contender Jayson Tatum just 24, the timeline for Boston to compete and hopefully win titles is basically open. Durant, meanwhile, will be 34 at the start of the season.

Brown added to the speculation hours after Charania’s report, tweeting simply, “Smh.”

Again, Durant remains at the top of his game, and we see superstars like LeBron James and Chris Paul stretching their bounties far beyond the realistic thresholds of the past. Still, trading a 25-year-old All-Star who has All-NBA potential over the next half-decade, plus a Defensive Player of the Year, more future draft equity, is the definition of pushing all your chips in the middle.

It’s always going to give you pause. We’ll see if the Celtics are willing to accept Brooklyn’s terms. But the train has at least started moving in that direction. Including Brown in an offer was a big hurdle for the Celtics to clear. If that were to happen, there will likely be plenty of Boston fans — Durant’s greatness notwithstanding — unsure, even unhappy, about the deal.

Again, the championship window for a Brown-Tatum will simply be open longer, and the defense would suffer a lot without Brown and Smart, let alone if Derrick White is out as well. But in the end, it’s Kevin Durant we’re talking about. It will take a huge package to get it, and Boston has the parts to make it happen. Stay tuned.

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