A new team has entered the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes. The Boston Celtics have made a trade offer to the Brooklyn Nets that includes Jaylen Brown, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported.
The Celtics are not close to acquiring Durant, according to Wojnarowski, but Boston’s inclusion of Brown in a trade proposal makes it a legitimate contender to acquire Brooklyn’s best player. Boston is reportedly unwilling to trade Jayson Tatum.
The Nets rejected the Celtics’ trade package of Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Brooklyn wants Marcus Smart, more draft picks and potentially another rotation player added to Boston’s proposal, Charania reports.
Even though the two sides remain far apart on a deal, trade talks could intensify. The Celtics reportedly believe that acquiring Durant could be the key to Boston winning a championship. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Celtics in six games in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Boston has the ability to trade three first-round draft picks and a pair of draft swaps to Brooklyn. The Nets are looking for a massive haul in exchange for the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
If the Nets are serious about acquiescing to Durant’s trade request, the Celtics might be their most ideal trade partner. Brown is potentially the best, young NBA star Brooklyn could realistically acquire in a deal for Durant.
Brown, 25, was the second-best player on a team that nearly won the championship last season. He averaged 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Brown is a 37.3% three-point shooter for his career and an above-average defensive player.
Brown has made an All-Star team, unlike Deandre Ayton, who was thought to be the centerpiece of the most likely Durant trade. Ayton has since signed a four-year contract with the Phoenix Suns and can’t be traded until Jan. 15.
The Toronto Raptors have been viewed as a realistic destination for Durant, but Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes could be off the table in trade talks. The Miami Heat, who are also pursuing Durant, can’t trade Bam Adebayo to the Nets as long as Ben Simmons remains on Brooklyn’s roster.
Prior to rumors of Boston trying to trade for Durant, the Celtics were named the betting favorites to win next year’s title.