The Celtics just reached the NBA Finals, so an offseason overhaul feels unlikely if not unneeded … but what if Kevin Durant was in the cards?
Durant’s chaotic tenure with the Brooklyn Nets could be nearing an end with the latest and predictable Kyrie Irving drama. According to one report, Durant hasn’t spoken with the front office in quite some time and may lack confidence in how Brooklyn is operating.
Throw in how the James Harden era ended, paired with the Ben Simmons drama, and it’s hard to have any other takeaway than the entire Durant-Irving superteam has been anything but a dud. The Nets feel like they’re at a breaking point. So, could the Celtics benefit?
It’s still a massive hypothetical at this point, of course. But if the Nets were to completely clean house by acquiescing to Irving and in turn seeking a Godfather deal on Durant, would the Celtics be an option?
Former Celtics player and current TV analyst Brian Scalabrine believes president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has the assets to swing a blockbuster for the Brooklyn superstar.
“There’s no better package than the Boston Celtics,” Scalabrine claimed Sunday during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio. ” … There’s no better package. Jaylen Brown, three picks, two rights to swap and Daniel Theis and the money works. You’re getting an All-Star-caliber player (Brown), and you’re getting picks moving forward.”
ESPN’s NBA trade machine would beg to differ with Scalabrine’s claim that the “money works.”
So, the actual framework of the deal might look different, and that might ultimately mean including someone like Marcus Smart in the deal, which completely changes the complexion of the swap. Then again, if Boston is parting with a better player like Smart or even Derrick White to make the money work, it might not have to relinquish as many trade assets.
The flipside to that is Brooklyn probably would make the Celtics pay a divisional tax and can always default to “Well, hey, it’s Kevin Durant, and he’s one of the 15 best players of all time.” We’re also just assuming the Celtics are open to trading a 25-year-old blossoming superstar for a 33-year-old with ankle, foot, calf and knee injuries in his past.
There are so many ifs and maybes to even get close to this thing being in the realm of reality. But it would obviously be a fascinating, league-altering move. And if the two sides could find common ground on a swap, Scalabrine correctly pointed out why it could be attractive to Durant.
“And you have to understand there is a connection,” he continued on the SiriusXM interview. “The Al Horford connection with Kevin Durant. They were kind of linked during that free agency when he went to Golden State. He loves Marcus Smart as a player — the Hamptons visit, all that stuff. Ime Udoka, he coached him. He’s always chatting it up with him on the sidelines during the game. And you get a chance to play with Jayson Tatum … so there is a connection. It’s not crazy to think something like that could happen. If and only if Kevin Durant decides, all right, I wanna be out of here.”
Right now, we’re not at that point, at least not publicly. If things go further south for Durant in Brooklyn, though, this offseason gets a lot more interesting — especially if the Celtics get involved.