Celtics

Celtics reportedly ’emerge’ as serious Kevin Durant suitor in trade talks

The Celtics can offer Jaylen Brown as a centerpiece in a deal.

Jaylen Brown Kevin Durant
The Celtics have reportedly engaged with the Nets on a potential trade for Kevin Durant. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Celtics have emerged as a real suitor in Kevin Durant trade talks, per multiple reports.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Celtics have continued to engage with the Nets over the last four weeks since Durant requested a trade. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first-round pick for Durant — a package that was ultimately rejected. Wojnarowski did not report that the Celtics offered Brown, saying only that the Celtics have the “ability” to include Brown in a package and that Brown would be “at the very top” of the marketplace as a potential trade piece.

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In his report, Wojnarowski added that the Celtics “appear no closer to acquiring Durant” than other suitors in conversations with the Nets.

Per Charania, the Nets requested a package that included Brown, Marcus Smart, another rotation player and multiple draft picks. The Celtics have several talented combo guards with Smart, White and Malcolm Brogdon, which makes the White/Smart combination a pressure point the Nets can push on to try to leverage more out of the Celtics in a potential deal. Giving up White wouldn’t hurt the Celtics much, so the Nets could demand more future firsts or good rotation players to make up the difference.

The Celtics swept the Nets out of the playoffs in the first round last year and will likely be contenders once again this season, but bringing in Durant would be a powerful move that could vault them from Eastern Conference contenders to favorites.

Brown is entering the third season of a four-year deal and is slated to make $26.6 million next season.

The Celtics — then with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford in tow — were a high-profile free-agent suitor for Durant in 2016 as well, after he and the Thunder bowed out in the Western Conference Finals to the Warriors. Durant took a meeting with the Celtics (and met Tom Brady) before he ultimately signed with the Warriors.

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