Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant had another excellent season during the 2021-22 NBA season. The 6’10 forward averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists this season while shooting 52 percent from the field. Despite playing just 55 games this season due to a left MCL sprain, he was named an All-Star captain.
Why Not? Is Kevin Durant Being Traded to the Celtics?
What Does A Boston and Brooklyn Swap Look Like?
The NBA world has learned to never say never over the past couple of years when it comes to superstars. Kevin Durant, firmly in that echelon, requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Durant set the NBA world ablaze with the news bombshell, and many are wondering where the 33-year-old will play next.
With that in mind, the Boston Celtics could be a potential destination for the disgruntled superstar. There have been plenty of teams discussed as a trade destination, but the Celtics have not been mentioned yet. Sure, it would be a bit ironic considering the Celtics swept the Nets in the first round, but it’s plausible. Not only is it plausible, but there’s also a path through trade for the Celtics to trade for Durant. To add Durant, the Celtics would have to start by giving up both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.
Rotation players Payton Pritchard and Grant Williams would also need to be involved in the trade, and at some pick equity as well. Picks from the years say 2024 and 2026 would do the trick and the potential blockbuster would be in place. If the trade went through, the Celtics would instantly have the best duo in the league.
The Celtics would have to look for ways to improve the bench, but Tatum and Durant would be unstoppable if both stayed healthy. Durant is under contract for 4 years, so Boston would have both players locked up long-term. For Brooklyn, it would be a reunion for Brown with old teammate Kyrie Irving. It would also give Brooklyn more bench depth, something the Nets have been sorely lacking the last couple of years.
What Do the Fans Say?
In all honesty, this is probably a hard no from both fanbases. Again, it doesn’t help Boston just beat Brooklyn, so swapping superstars would add extra animosity from both sides. Nets fans are perfectly happy with Durant and will be sad to see him leave, let alone to Boston. Celtics fans also don’t want to give up Jaylen Brown in potential trades, which makes sense.
Marcus Smart has also played for Boston his entire career, so that would be a gut-wrenching goodbye after 8 years. Williams and Pritchard are also Celtics fan favorites, so that would be another tough pill to swallow. Additionally, Brooklyn fans would have to hope the first-round picks convey into something like a lottery selection, or else they lose a lot of value.
Boston fans would also have to watch the Celtics give back Brown after acquiring him in the Kevin Garnett trade. That’s bittersweet, even if it is for a top-10 player in the league. Boston would have quite the lineup, though. The Celtics would still have Derrick White, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III after this trade. That’s a threatening lineup, and the Celtics could even run big lineups with Tatum or Durant at the shooting guard position to start all five.
For Brooklyn, their fans could watch Brown develop into a superstar. The Nets would address their shoddy defense by adding reigning DPOY Marcus Smart and could develop Williams and Pritchard into more complete players. The draft picks would also allow for Brooklyn to balance the present and future, something the franchise has failed to do in recent years.
What’s the Actual Likelihood It Happens?
In all likelihood, this trade will likely never happen. Adrian Wojnarowski has already reported Durant prefers to be traded to the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat. Plus, the Celtics are fresh off an NBA Finals appearance and probably aren’t looking to blow the whole team apart. The Celtics also have Brown and Tatum signed long-term, and the two are already among the league’s best duos. It doesn’t make much sense to break the two apart at this point in their careers.
While the package Boston could offer Brooklyn is enough to make it happen, the Nets would likely want more pick equity in a KD trade. As mentioned earlier, the fact that the picks would likely be late first-round selections doesn’t help either. And despite Brown and Irving seemingly on good terms, we already know the two don’t really fit together from their time in Boston. The two are different players from who they were then, but the blueprint to fail is already there.
Still, there are connections there. Durant also signed to Boston in his 2016 free agency period and has teamed up with Tatum before. The superstar played with Tatum in the 2021 Olympics, earning an 87-82 victory in the gold medal game over France. Durant dropped 29 points to help Team USA capture its fourth straight gold medal, while Tatum chipped in 19 points and 7 rebounds. So, yes, a lot would need to happen for this trade to actually happen and for it to work.
Just because a lot would need to happen, however, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.