Kevin Durant’s trade request to the Brooklyn Nets threw the NBA world off its axis on Thursday afternoon. The fact that it happened mere hours before free agency commenced was just icing on the cake.
Durant is coming off a season where he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. In addition, he previously signed a four-year contract extension that starts this week. It ensures that any squad that acquires him will have him for four years.
For obvious reasons, multiple franchises are now clamoring for the opportunity to make an offer for the former two-time champ, two-time Finals MVP and one-time league MVP.
While the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are Durant’s two preferred destinations, it seems as though he is open to other places as well. One name that has popped up over the past 24 hours has been the Boston Celtics.
Understandably, when it comes to Boston, the obvious question is: what can the Celtics offer Brooklyn for someone of Durant’s caliber?
As it turns out – quite a lot. The front office could put up the likes of Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard, first-rounders in 2023 and 2025, as well as a pick swap in 2024. Plus the usual cash considerations.
That is hefty. Especially when you consider what the Los Angeles Lakers’ best offer for Durant is.
Now, it would certainly be fair to wonder whether Boston would even want to blow up their team like this. After all – they did just make it to the NBA Finals. And they did just dominate Durant in a 4-0 sweep en route to getting there.
But Durant is a generational talent. Brown is not. There is a reason why he was subject to trade talks in the first half of last season when the Celtics were openly discussing taking a sledgehammer to the entire roster.
With Durant and Tatum, Boston would have a one-two punch few in the league could match. With Brown, Ben Simmons and whoever they flip Kyrie Irving for – the Nets would have foundational pieces to build around. Brown is still just 25 years old.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 1, 2022
The Celtics are an organization that has traditionally been unafraid to make big, bold moves. Nothing would be bigger and bolder than nabbing Durant right now – particularly when Miami is a legitimate contender to get him.
Will Brad Stevens be able to secure his legacy in franchise lore and get this move done?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.