Report: New team emerges as ‘real threat’ in Kevin Durant sweepstakes
The Brooklyn Nets do not appear to be anywhere close to trading Kevin Durant, but a new team may have emerged as the favorite to land the 12-time All-Star if he is moved this summer.
The Boston Celtics are viewed as a “real threat” to acquire Durant, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. They recently offered the Nets a package centered around Jaylen Brown.
According to Charania, the Celtics offered Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick. The Nets turned it down and have countered by asking for Brown, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, multiple draft picks and at least one rotation player. While Boston is said to be reluctant to include Smart in addition to multiple other picks and players, Charania notes that “there is a deal to be had” even with Brooklyn’s steep asking price.
Durant flirted with the Celtics in 2016 before he signed with the Golden State Warriors. Boston pulled out all the stops and even arranged for a meeting between Durant and Tom Brady. It was believed at the time that the Celtics were the runner-up after Durant chose the Warriors.
Brad Stevens has already made several savvy moves since he transitioned from head coach to president of basketball operations in Boston. It is unclear if he would be willing to give up the assets needed to acquire Durant, but he is considering it.
We know of at least one team that does not seem to have pieces the Nets are interested in. The same is not true of the Celtics, but the question is whether they will be willing to part with those pieces.