The Kevin Durant trade rumors are starting to pick back up again, and the Boston Celtics are right in the middle of them.
The Brooklyn Nets superstar reportedly now sees Boston as a preferred trade destination, according to Ian Begley of SNY. When Durant’s trade request first became public at the end of June, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported his desired landing spots were either with the Miami Heat or Phoenix Suns.
Durant’s new affinity with a possible trade to the Celtics is far from the only nugget Begley dropped on Wednesday. Why does Durant see the Celtics as a possible fit? Well, having a strong relationship with coach Ime Udoka might be one reason, but Begley noted that he has been told by people close to the matter that Durant wants to play with veteran guard Marcus Smart.
That might get a little tricky since the Nets reportedly wanted Smart in a trade package, along with Jaylen Brown, in exchange for Durant, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. But if Durant has it his way, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will keep Smart out of any possible deals — which it looked like he wanted to do anyways since guard Derrick White was floated in a possible trade scenario.
The Celtics are far from the only team still seen as a plausible suitor, even though they might have the biggest bargaining chip in Brown.
Begley reported the Heat and the Toronto Raptors still have interest in Durant, while the Philadelphia 76ers could emerge as a dark horse contender for the 12-time All-Star.
It’s unclear exactly where the Celtics stand on trading for Durant, but with all these rumors swirling, it appears they are among the top teams in the running despite The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reporting that the Celtics and Nets “are not close to a deal.”
However, with more of Durant’s rumored demands leaking out, if he does end up in Boston, it seems Smart will share the court as his teammate.