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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Boston Celtics

Report: 1 team viewed as ‘unofficial front-runner’ for Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly not shown any willingness to lower their incredibly high asking price for Kevin Durant, but it sounds like there was at least one offer that intrigued them.

Sam Amick of The Athletic describes the Boston Celtics as the “unofficial front-runner” to land Durant in a trade. The Celtics are said to have offered the Nets a package centered around Jaylen Brown and draft picks. Brooklyn turned it down and asked reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to also be included in the deal.

Sources told Amick that the Nets are using Boston’s offer as the starting point in negotiations with other teams. The message is essentially that any team that wants to outbid the Celtics had better be willing to part with their second-best player and then some. Brown is viewed as the second-most valuable player for the Eastern Conference champions behind Jayson Tatum.

Durant recently tried to turn up the pressure on the Nets by giving team owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum. Despite that, Brooklyn has shown no real sense of urgency to grant the 12-time All-Star’s request. If they do eventually lower their asking price, their first call may be to the Celtics.

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.

Report: Kevin Durant has 2 preferred landing spots

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Kevin Durant ramps up his efforts to force a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, he may be eyeing two particular teams as potential landing spots.

The Boston Celtics are a “desired landing spot” of Durant’s, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Durant would also be interested in the Philadelphia 76ers, Begley says. Some members of the 76ers have pushed for the team to engage in trade talks, though no serious discussions have occurred.

The problem with a trade becomes the same one that has plagued Durant trade talks since the Nets star’s initial request. It would be very difficult for these teams to acquire Durant without trading away some of the players that make them appealing to Durant in the first place. Begley notes that Durant would like to play with Boston’s Marcus Smart, but some reports have suggested that the Nets have targeted Smart as part of a package in exchange for Durant.

On paper, the Nets and Celtics would seem to have the pieces and mutual interest in making a trade work. Such a trade might have to involve Jaylen Brown and Smart, which may ultimately be more than Boston is willing to do. If the price Brooklyn sets is too steep, it will not matter how badly Durant wants to play for the Celtics.

Report: 3 teams considered most likely Kevin Durant suitors

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

Kevin Durant still wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and there are at least three teams that remain interested in acquiring the 12-time All-Star.

Durant met with Nets team owner Joe Tsai in London over the weekend and essentially gave him an ultimatum, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The choice that he gave Tsai is to either keep Durant and get rid of GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, or fulfill the trade request.

One of the primary reasons Durant has not been traded is the asking price. The Nets are said to have engaged with almost every team in the NBA, but no one is willing to meet their lofty demands. However, Charania notes that three teams are viewed as the “most significant candidates” to land Durant. Those teams are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

The Celtics reportedly offered Brooklyn a package centered around Jaylen Brown. The Nets turned it down and asked for Brown, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and multiple draft picks. The belief is that the Nets are interested in what the Celtics could potentially offer. That may not be true for one of the other teams that is pursuing Durant.

The Nets added Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren this offseason. They also had Kyrie Irving opt into his contract and have yet to see how Ben Simmons will fit alongside Durant and Irving. Their preference would almost certainly be to keep Durant, so they may choose him over Nash and Marks.

Former lottery pick signs with Celtics

Noah Vonleh talks

A former NBA Draft lottery pick is trying to make it back in the league.

Noah Vonleh agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.

Vonleh last played in the NBA for four games in the 2020-2021 season. After that, he spent time in China playing for the Shanghai Sharks.

Vonleh entered the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick by Charlotte in 2014. The Indiana product was traded to Portland in 2015 in the Nicolas Batum deal.

The 26-year-old big man averaged 25.3 minutes per game during the 2018-2019 season with the Knicks. He averaged 8.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during that season, which was when he had his greatest amount of playing time ever in the league.

Now Vonleh will try to put together a good showing during training camp and land a roster spot with the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Celtics adding former first-round pick

Ime Udoka looking on

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After reaching the Finals last season with a starting lineup that featured five former first-round picks, the Boston Celtics are bringing in another one.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that the Celtics have agreed to a training camp deal with veteran forward Bruno Caboclo. He will get a chance to compete for a roster spot, Charania adds.

Caboclo, who is still only 26, was taken by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft (No. 20 overall). He is coming off a successful season playing in Brazil, as he was named MVP of the Novo Basquete Brasil league (NBB) and won the 2021-22 BCL Americas title with Sao Paulo FC.

When Caboclo last played in the NBA in 2020-21, he posted 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in a mere 6.0 minutes per game for the Houston Rockets. But Caboclo’s sublime performance in Brazil has earned him another shot, and he becomes one of several notable additions Boston has made this summer.

Paul Pierce has interesting prediction for Celtics

Paul Pierce at an event

Jul 10, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former basketball player Paul Pierce arrives on the red carpet at Microsoft Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Truth is speaking some truth about his former team.

Retired Boston Celtics icon Paul Pierce made an appearance this week at the premiere of Showtime’s new “NYC Point Gods” documentary. Pierce was interviewed and offered an interesting (and blunt) prediction about the Celtics, specifically on their rumored pursuit of Kevin Durant.

“They’re not doing that,” said Pierce of the Celtics potentially trading for the Brooklyn Nets star Durant, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

With Durant now nearly a month into his trade request, the reigning East champion Celtics recently emerged as a possible suitor for him. They are even reportedly dangling one surprising player in talks for Durant.

But when you zoom out to get a lay of the land, it does not really make sense for Boston to sell the entire store for Durant when they just came two wins away from an NBA title. They also recently added two quality veterans in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari to fortify their current core.

As for Pierce, his perspective may be colored by some personal experience. After all, he knows what it is like to be on the wrong end of a Celtics-Nets blockbuster trade.

Jayson Tatum addresses Kevin Durant rumors

Jayson Tatum puts his hand in the air

May 15, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates during the second half of their win over the Milwaukee Bucks in game seven of the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have been linked to a Kevin Durant trade, which put star Jayson Tatum in the awkward position of having to give his thoughts on it.

Tatum was asked at an event how he feels about the rumors linking the Celtics to Durant, and whether he would like the trade to happen. Tatum mostly deflected, though he did say he was happy with how the team’s roster is right now.

“I don’t know anything about it. I just play basketball,” Tatum said. “I love our team. I love the guys that we’ve got.”

Tatum added that he was not even sure how true the reports about Durant were, and that he doesn’t necessarily believe everything he hears.

The Celtics would certainly be taking a risk by trading for Durant. They took the Golden State Warriors to six games in the NBA Finals and have made key moves to get even better. Even the rumors risk disrupting things based on Jaylen Brown’s recent social media activity. Tatum is probably right to avoid adding any fuel to the fire.

Al Horford’s brother has strong response to big Celtics report

Al Horford during warmups

Jan 28, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are said to be squarely in the mix to trade for Kevin Durant this offseason, but the brother of one of the team’s star players says we should not believe any of the reports that are swirling.

Both Shams Charania of The Athletic and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday morning that the Celtics are one of the teams that have engaged with the Brooklyn Nets in discussions about a potential Durant trade. Charania was told by sources that the Celtics are a “real threat” to land Durant and have made a formal offer.

Al Horford’s brother Josh is calling BS. First he had a “cap” emoji to the tweet about the report, which is slang for a lie.

Then Josh added more.

Josh Horford also said that Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has made Brown “untouchable.” Most people who are in the know say Jayson Tatum is the only untouchable player on Boston’s roster, not Brown.

The report Josh referred to was likely the one from Wojnarowski in November that claimed the Celtics held a players-only meeting after Marcus Smart complained about Brown and Tatum not passing enough.

We doubt that both Woj and Charania are wrong about Boston’s interest in Durant. Brown did send an interesting cryptic tweet not long after the reports were published, but it seems like the Celtics have at least reached out to the Nets.

Jaylen Brown sends cryptic tweet in wake of bombshell trade rumor

Jaylen Brown in his Celtics uniform

May 19, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) brings the ball up court during the first half of game two of the 2022 eastern conference finals against the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Brown has once again found his name at the center of trade rumors, and the Boston Celtics star seems a bit annoyed.

A report on Monday morning claimed the Celtics have emerged as a legitimate threat to acquire Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade. Any deal between Boston and the Brooklyn Nets would likely be centered around Brown, and the Celtics have apparently made one formal offer involving the star swingman. Not long after the trade report surfaced, Brown sent a cryptic tweet.

We doubt the timing was a coincidence. Brown is coming off another great season. He elevated his game in the playoffs and was Boston’s most consistent player in the NBA Finals. The former No. 3 overall pick averaged 23.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game during the postseason. Of course, that is the reason he is the Celtics’ most valuable asset in a trade, especially since they are unwilling to deal Jayson Tatum.

If the Celtics are serious about trying to acquire Durant, it is highly unlikely they can do so while keeping Brown. That is nothing personal, but it would not be a surprise if Brown views it that way. The 25-year-old has not always felt appreciated in Boston and has subtly expressed displeasure with Celtics fans. This also is not the first time his name has come up in trade rumors.