At first glance, Boston Celtics fans shouldn’t have necessarily been thrilled with news of the Phoenix Suns’ blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant.
Sure, by acquiring Durant from the Brooklyn Nets the Suns essentially put the final nail in the coffin of Boston’s division rival, but the Nets were never a real threat to the Celtics in 2023. The 13-time All-Star’s presence in Phoenix is much more intimidating, as his pairing alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul immediately thrusts the Suns into title contention alongside the Celtics.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is C’s fans will no longer be forced into listening to rumors about a potential Durant-to-Boston trade.
The last six months have been chock full of those rumors. Durant famously requested a trade out of Brooklyn on June 30, just as the NBA’s free agency period opened up. The Celtics were rumored to be one of those teams interested in Durant’s services, with Jaylen Brown routinely discussed as the center of a returning package for the former MVP.
The request was eventually rescinded by Durant, but there was fear that damage had been done to the relationship between Brown and the Celtics for their perceived interest.
Fast forward to February and the Nets had started to blow things up, shipping Kyrie Irving off to Dallas and essentially starting the clock on a Durant trade. Naturally, the Brown rumors started back up almost immediately.
Luckily for Green Teamers, those rumors can now be put to bed. Durant and the Suns will undoubtedly have a fun and successful honeymoon phase, as they’re now the favorites to come out of the west. In trading the number of assets they did for him, Durant now seems to be stuck in Phoenix for a while.
That will allow Brown and Celtics fans, for the first time in nearly a year, to feel completely confident in his role in Boston. Though he’s expected to miss some time with a facial fracture, the Celtics’ second-leading scorer can find some solace in knowing that he’ll be afforded an opportunity to run it back with Jayson Tatum and his NBA-leading teammates. After all, why on earth would anyone be interested in splitting up the NBA’s best young duo?
Perhaps even more importantly, it brings a disastrous end to the Nets’ big-three era, something almost all NBA fans can get behind.
For as tremendous as Durant is — and he’s one of the very best players the NBA has to offer — Celtics fans have been clamoring for their team to take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach with Tatum and Brown for nearly four seasons now.
So far, so good.