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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Report: Celtics make surprising player off-limits in Kevin Durant talks

Kevin Durant with a hood on

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are viewed as one of the favorites to land Kevin Durant if the Brooklyn Nets trade the 12-time All-Star, but you may be surprised by their unwillingness to include one player in any potential deal.

According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, the Celtics have made it known that big man Robert Williams is not available in trade talks. A previous report claimed Boston offered the Nets a package that included star swingman Jaylen Brown and several draft picks. Brooklyn countered by asking the Celtics to add reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to the deal.

There was no talk of Williams being included, though it would not be a surprise if Brooklyn wanted him. The 24-year-old big man is an outstanding interior defender and played a big role in Boston’s deep playoff run. He averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 0.9 steals per game during the regular season.

For what it’s worth, Durant reportedly wants to play with Smart. It is unclear if the Nets would accept any deal from the Celtics that does not include Smart or Williams.

The Nets have attached an extremely high asking price to Durant. They may not have much leverage after Durant recently gave them an ultimatum.

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