The excitement of the NBA offseason depends on a few things. A future Hall of Fame player like Kevin Durant making a shock trade demand is certainly one way to get the engines firing, but in this era of constant player movement and reversals of fortune, just knowing that Durant could be traded at any moment is not really enough. In fact, until this very morning I had mostly forgotten that Kevin damn Durant was still even on the trading block. Nothing seemed to be happening there, and I've been busy watching preseason soccer games. That's life in the 24-hour news cycle!
Ah, but today brings glad tidings. NBA scoop-getter and elite sentence-crafter Shams Charania has brought the Durant trade saga exactly what it needed: names. We got names!
The Celtics offered Brown, guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected, and Brooklyn has asked Boston—in any proposal—to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added. Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with multiple other player or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling over next steps on how to approach discussions.As of right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. They have tremendous interest in bringing him in and view him as a piece that could take them over that final hurdle. Although there is work to be done, there is a deal to be had that would suffice the Nets’ overwhelming ask.The Athletic
This is my favorite kind of trade rumor, because it's one that I can stare at all day and still not be able to decide whether I think it is a good or bad idea for Boston. On the one hand, the Celtics just went to the NBA Finals, after sweeping Durant's Brooklyn Nets, and recently added Malcolm Brogdon to their roster, thus addressing one of the biggest shortcomings of last year's squad (not having an actual point guard). You would have to be kind of insane to break that up, right? But on the other hand, it's Kevin Durant. I'm not exactly sure what a team anchored by Durant and Jayson Tatum would look like, but I assume it would involve lots and lots of blowout victories and lots of cool highlights. The potential payoff is enough that you have to at least consider uh sufficing the overwhelming ask.
With any luck, this won't be the last trade proposal we hear about. Given Durant's contract situation, the Nets really don't need to be in any kind of rush, and so there's a good chance this dance continues throughout the summer and possibly even into the regular season. That's fine by me, so long as Shams and Woj and the other insiders bring me more reports with new names to consider. By this time next week, I want to be locked in my mind palace for 37 minutes per day trying to figure out what my opinion of a proposed Durant-for-Scottie-Barnes-and-a-bunch-of-picks trade should be.