The Brooklyn Nets have yet to find a team that meets their lofty asking price in a Kevin Durant trade. According to multiple media reports, this has opened the door for the reigning Eastern Conference champions to get in on the Durant sweepstakes, although their offer for the two-time NBA Finals MVP has likewise been turned down.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Boston Celtics contacted the Nets to gauge their interest in a deal for Durant that revolves around sending Jaylen Brown to Brooklyn. Wojnarowski wrote that “Brown as a centerpiece in offers does help make the team formidable in its pursuit.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed that there is interest and added that the Celtics offered a deal involving Brown, reserve guard Derrick White, and one draft pick, which does not clear the bar that the Nets have set. Brooklyn did, apparently, lay out what they would want back for Durant.
The proposal was rejected, and Brooklyn has asked Boston — in any proposal — to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added. Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with multiple other player or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling over next steps on how to approach discussions.
Boston, which swept Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs on its run to the Finals this past year, has done some reshaping of its roster this summer by acquiring Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with the Indiana Pacers and Danilo Gallinari after he was bought out by the San Antonio Spurs. The team is in the unique position of owning most of their draft future — outside of a pick swap that is owed to the Spurs in 2028 from the White trade last season, the Celtics possess all of their future first-round picks.
Charania reported that there is no imminent deal for Durant in the league right now, while Wojnarowski said that “the Celtics appear no closer to acquiring Durant than others in discussions with the Nets.”