According to reports from ESPN and The Athletic on Monday, the Boston Celtics have emerged as a potential landing point for Kevin Durant. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. According to an article that appeared in Sports Illustrated a few weeks ago, Durant’s eventual destination of choice was always going to be in Boston. The Boston Celtics are not only the kind of competitive team that would make a run at Kevin Durant if they were to pursue him, given they were finalists for the first time in more than a decade last season, but they also have the assets necessary to get him. Jaylen Brown is a 25-year-old All-Star player whose current deal has two more years to run. Boston might be willing to add one or more role players in the trade (such as Derrick White or Grant Williams), as well as a couple more years’ worth of draught picks and/or the right to make a swap.
I’d even go so far as to say that, at this point in time, Boston ought to be considered the favourite to land Durant as a free agent. Consider the situation: Phoenix was unable to make anything work while Deandre Ayton was a free agent, and now that he has signed a four-year, max-level extension—one that makes trading him anywhere impossible until January 15, after which the Suns would need his permission in the first year—options Phoenix’s are limited. Consider the situation: Phoenix was unable to make anything work while Deandre Ayton was a free agent. Because of the salary rules of the NBA, the Miami Heat are unable to trade Bam Adebayo to the Brooklyn Nets so long as Ben Simmons is still a member of the Nets’ roster. There are some people in the NBA who don’t believe the Heat would trade Bam for Kevin Durant anyway, and a package led by Tyler Herro isn’t enough. The general manager of the Warriors, Bob Myers, has stated that re-signing Kevin Durant is not an option for the team. And according to what I’ve been told, there has been no progress made with Toronto, as the Raptors have shown no interest in trading Scottie Barnes. There has also been some speculation that Utah could be involved, with Donovan Mitchell going to the Brooklyn Nets and a large number of lottery picks falling into the laps of the Utah Jazz; however, there is no concrete evidence to support this speculation.
That brings us to… Boston.
Why would the Celtics be interested in signing Durant? Skeptics will point out that oddsmakers have made Boston the favourite to win the championship despite the fact that Durant is not participating. The Celtics strengthened their roster throughout the offseason by acquiring Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, but they are still looking to add another backup centre to their roster. After the All-Star break, Brown and the Celtics both improved their health, which resulted in a greater shooting percentage from the field (50.6 percent) and from three-point range (37.3 percent) after the break. Brown finished the season averaging nearly 24 points per game. There is a good likelihood that Brown would have been named Finals Most Valuable Player if Boston had come back and defeated Golden State.
But here’s the thing: try to convince the higher-ups in Boston that the Celtics will definitely be making it back to the championship series. They are aware that the Celtics’ season would have most likely been over in the second round of the playoffs a year ago if the Bucks’ Khris Middleton had been healthy. And if Jimmy Butler had been able to play even a little bit in Game 7 of the conference finals versus Boston, Miami would have defeated the Celtics. In the meantime, Philadelphia has strengthened their roster, and both Atlanta and Cleveland are expected to improve.
Despite the fact that the Celtics had a very successful regular season, it is possible that this group will be eliminated from the playoffs at an early stage in the next year.
That will change after Durant. The combination of Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum would make the Boston Celtics’ offence one of the most potent in the NBA. Do you remember all of the difficulties the Celtics had in the Finals in terms of establishing offence? Gone. And despite the fact that Durant will turn 34 in September, he still appeared to be one of the league’s top players when he was healthy last year, which suggests that his game will hold up well as he gets older. Durant’s injury history also raises serious worries. If it happens, Boston will have an opportunity to win a championship within the next four years, which is the length of Durant’s deal.
What would entice Kevin Durant to sign with the Boston Celtics? The Celtics are not on Kevin Durant’s preferred team list, to the best of our knowledge; nevertheless, we have very little information regarding this circumstance, including the exact reasons why Durant wants to be traded. However, in 2016, when Durant was still a free agency, the Boston Celtics were one of the teams that Durant met with. He has a solid friendship with Al Horford, who, had Kevin Durant decided to remain with Oklahoma City in 2016, would have given serious thought to signing with the Thunder. It is likely that he has met Ime Udoka, who served as an assistant coach for Brooklyn during the 2020–2021 season. And Durant’s goal is to come out on top. The Celtics appear to present him with the best opportunity, at least on paper.
So, what steps follow this? Probably not very much at all. According to a report by The Athletic, the Nets and the Celtics have reportedly traded offers with one another. If this is true, both teams are likely to wait a time before acting on them. It is important for Boston and the rest of the NBA to determine whether or not Brooklyn is truly willing to bring Kevin Durant to their upcoming training camp. If the Nets are not interested, and it is possible that we won’t hear the answer to that question until late August or early September, the asking price of the team may go down. If that is the case, the Celtics could need to increase the value of their offer if they want to convince Durant to join them.
This takes us to the conclusion of our discussion. It’s possible that Boston will have to boost its offer. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Celtics have shown interest in signing Durant after hearing that they have done so. However, there is no way that this could have improved the connection that the team has with Brown, who has been the subject of trade speculations for a number of years. Dedicated to Kawhi Leonard. Dedicated to Anthony Davis. Finally, Durant. After only having participated in the Finals a few short months ago, it is easy to see why Brown would be frustrated by the fact that he appears to once again be considered expendable. Brown sent out the tweet “Smh” on Monday, just after news leaked that Boston was considering making an offer for Durant.
Throughout his stay in Boston, Brown has conducted himself in the utmost professional manner. However, he will not be eligible for free agency for another two years. Because the amount he agreed to pay for the deal was less than what was available on the market at the time, it is extremely improbable that he will extend it before 2024, when he will become a free agent without any restrictions. The Celtics have the potential to make the most lucrative offer to Brown, which, as we have seen with Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard, is a significant benefit; yet, it is still conceivable that Brown will sign with another team.
It’s possible that this is the best opportunity Boston has to make a major move. It is easy to understand why the Celtics would prefer not to trade Marcus Smart together with Kevin Durant. And it’s quite unlikely that Robert Williams III will be discussed. However, they do have choices. They are also aware that there is a possibility, and it is even possible that Brown will end up being the best centrepiece of any trade that Brooklyn publicly offers. This might turn into a game of chicken for a considerable amount of time. The Celtics will have to wait to see whether the Nets make a mistake.