Kevin Durant reportedly still wants out, Celtics remain a viable destination

The Nets reportedly plan to acquire every trade asset possible in exchange for Durant.

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant reportedly told the Nets to choose between keeping him or letting both Sean Marks and Steve Nash go. AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

Kevin Durant reportedly has not backed down from his trade request, and the Celtics remain one of the more viable trade destinations.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Durant wants the Nets to choose between either himself or both head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. The Nets, meanwhile, plan to extract “every last asset” from a team hoping to acquire Durant, per Charania.

Charania reported that the Celtics — along with the Raptors and Heat — remain one of the “most significant candidates” to acquire Durant. He added that the Celtics’ trade package is seen as a “viable deal,” which is somewhat new. When the Celtics were initially reported as a potential landing spot for Durant, Charania wrote that they offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a first-round pick for the Nets superstar. According to Charania, the Nets then counter-offered Durant for Brown, Marcus Smart, another rotation player (presumably someone like Grant Williams), and multiple first-round picks.


Whether or not the Celtics actually offered Brown has been a contentious point, but the Nets would be hard-pressed to find a better player in a deal. The Raptors could offer Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, but Barnes isn’t as established as Brown. Meanwhile, the Nets need to reload quickly — they are strapped for draft picks for the foreseeable future after trading for James Harden (who now plays for the 76ers).

The Celtics can operate from a very strong negotiating position, even though the Nets are the team with the superstar. Durant made it clear that he lost faith in the current direction of the franchise, and the Celtics already have a good team — one of the best in the league, if you believe the oddsmakers. With no reason to swing, they can wait for a pitch down the middle (or take a walk by just going into next season with their team that went to the Finals intact and bolstered by offseason moves).

As the Nets squirm, their leverage drops. This season, Durant starts a four-year deal worth $196 million. He will be paid $53.2 million in his age-38 season. That’s a lot of money, which makes the next two years absolutely crucial if the Nets are really going to try to extract “every last asset” from a trade partner.


Smart money still bets against Durant becoming a Celtic but if he does, the Nets probably aren’t going to get what they initially thought they might for their disgruntled superstar.


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