Why the Celtics Are the Favorite to Land Kevin Durant

When Kevin Durant asked the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and his list of preferred destinations became public, the Boston Celtics were not considered to be among the likely destinations on that list. However, it made perfect sense to consider them as a potential destination… provided that they were willing to part ways with Jaylen Brown. That was a big if, but it appears the Celtics are moving in the direction of what would be a blockbuster trade for Durant. If it goes through, it would be a huge coup for the Celtics.

Why the Celtics Are the Favorite to Land Kevin Durant

Why the Celtics Are the Favorite to Land Kevin Durant

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 23: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics during Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 23, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).

According to Shams Charania, the Celtics have “emerged as a real threat to acquire Durant” after making an offer to the Nets that consisted primarily of Brown in exchange for other players. The Nets declined the offer and countered by asking for more.

From Charania:

According to our sources, the Celtics made the Nets an offer that included Brown, guard Derrick White, and a draught pick in exchange for Durant. The proposal was turned down, and according to those sources, Brooklyn has asked Boston to include Marcus Smart, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, Brown, draught picks, and possibly one more player who rotates into the rotation in any new proposal. The Celtics are currently leaning away from including Smart in a trade involving a number of other players or draught picks, but the team is considering its options for the next step in the process of how to engage in negotiations.

As of right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. This possibility has emerged because of the Celtics’ recent success. They have a significant amount of interest in recruiting him and see him as a potential game-changing piece who could help them get past the last obstacle. There is still a lot of work to be done, but there is a possible agreement that would be enough to satisfy the Nets’ overwhelming ask.

You can understand why Boston would be hesitant to add even more to an offer that already includes an All-Star in Brown, despite the fact that Durant is widely considered to be one of the very best players in the world. If Smart were to be included in a trade, it would mean the Celtics would have to let go of two of their elite defenders from the unit that just got them to the NBA Finals. Having said that, the fact that Boston has now acquired Malcolm Brogdon makes it abundantly clear that Smart is no longer necessary.

The Celtics would be on a race against the clock to win a championship if they were to acquire Durant. As a result of the presence of Jayson Tatum, who is just 24 years old, and Jaylen Brown, who will turn 26 years old in October, the window of opportunity for Boston to compete for and hopefully win championships is virtually unbounded. On the other hand, Durant will be 34 years old when the season gets underway.

Again, Durant continues to be at the top of his game, and superstars like LeBron James and Chris Paul are extending their primes well beyond the realistic thresholds that existed in the past. Still, trading a 25-year-old All-Star who has the potential to be named to the All-NBA over the next half decade, along with a Defensive Player of the Year, as well as future draught equity, is the definition of putting all of your chips in the middle of the table.

That should always give you cause for reflection. We’ll find out soon enough whether or not the Celtics are willing to meet Brooklyn’s conditions. However, there is at least some evidence that the train is heading in that direction. The Celtics had to overcome a significant obstacle in order to make an offer that included Brown. Even taking into account Durant’s stellar career, it is likely that a significant number of Boston supporters will view the trade with scepticism, if not outright animosity, if it comes to pass.

Again, the championship window for a Brown-Tatum combination will simply be open for a longer period of time, and the defence would suffer greatly without Brown and Smart, let alone if Derrick White were to become injured as well. But when it comes down to it, we’re talking about Kevin Durant here. To acquire him will require a significant offer, and Boston possesses the necessary components to make it a reality. Keep an eye out.

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