Celtics

Brooklyn Nets announce that Kevin Durant will stay with the team

Kevin Durant will not be traded after all, according to the Nets.

Matthew J Lee/Globe staff
Kevin Durant might enhance the Celtics’ championship chances in the short term, but they'd be giving up too much.

Kevin Durant met with Brooklyn Nets team leadership including owner Joe Tsai, general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Steve Nash and has decided to remain with the team, according to a statement from Marks Tuesday.

“We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn,” wrote Marks.

Durant requested a trade on June 30 and later reportedly told the Nets’ ownership that he would back off his trade request if Nash and Marks were fired.

Tsai put out a statement backing the front office, and Marks and Nash kept their jobs.

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The Celtics were rumored to be among the favorites to land Durant if the Nets went through with the trade. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported last month that the Celtics offered All-Star forward Jaylen Brown in a trade package for Durant. The Grizzlies were reportedly willing to include five first-round picks in a potential trade package.

But now, it appears that Durant is staying in Brooklyn.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu saw the Nets’ statement on Twitter and replied: “Good.”

The Celtics swept Durant’s Nets in the first round of last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs en route to making their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. Boston fell to Steph Curry-led Golden State in six games.

One of the NBA’s most prolific scorers, Durant is a four-time scoring champion. He averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists last season. The 12-time All-Star won a pair of titles with Golden State in 2017 and 2018 and was named Finals MVP both times.

Even without Durant, the Celtics are in a good spot to contend for a title this year. They will return most of the team’s core including Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams III. And they’ve added Malcolm Brogdon in the offseason, further bolstering their chances.

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But, with Brooklyn returning Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons, the Nets could end up making a run of their own in the Eastern Conference.

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