This morning, Boston Celtics fans awoke to a terrifying report from Adrian Wojnarowski. Woj revealed that the Celtics had made a Jaylen Brown-focused trade proposal to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for star player Kevin Durant.
Meanwhile, Shams Charania of The Athletic disclosed the alleged trade deal Boston had made to the Nets, which included Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a draft pick. Boston rejected the Nets’ counteroffer, which said that Marcus Smart would have to be a part of “any proposal.”
The most common response among the Boston Celtics fans was “please say no,” and they were correct. The article itself is so hardly significant that its sole aim appears to benefit the Brooklyn Nets in either gaining more on Durant’s position or, in a more cynical view, in an attempt to sever ties with one of the Celtics players.
An Alarming Situation for the Celtics
Both reports suggest that the Celtics are not even close to offering a deal to the Brooklyn Nets. Woj said, “the Celtics appear no closer to acquiring Durant than others in discussions with the Nets.” If the negotiation concluded with neither team close to a contract, then why was this rumor even published in the first place?
Right now, going into full conspiracy mode is not necessary, considering why Nets General Manager Sean Marks would leak this to the media. The real story is how these rumors will affect the Celtics, particularly on Jaylen Brown, who has been mentioned in trade discussions practically every year.
Hours after the report got out, Jaylen Brown cryptically tweeted “smh,” which translates to “shaking my head.” This is bad for the Celtics because we have witnessed what it can do to players when they are mentioned in trade discussions. Use the Ben Simmons controversy with the Philadelphia 76ers as an illustration. The last thing Boston wants is a disgruntled Jaylen Brown to leave the team or take a benching as Simmons did.
ESPN insider Brian Windhorst told AZ Sports that “I know it came out today, so it’s front of mind, but those are not fresh talks.” So, are the Celtics even interested in pursuing a deal for Durant?
With the recent additions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, Boston has filled their two biggest gaps from their run to the 2022 Finals: a quality point guard and a reliable bench scorer. The inclusion of those two players resulted in advantages for the Celtics since they were able to pull this off without giving up any of the components that aided them in their journey to the Finals.
Although Durant’s addition to the squad will undoubtedly guarantee Boston a place in the 2023 Finals, his presence might destabilize a balanced team that has just added two talents and is two victories away from the NBA championship.