The Boston Celtics are among the top teams frequently mentioned in trade rumors involving Kevin Durant right now. That seems reasonable on the surface. They might include Jaylen Brown in a trade package, and that should be a good starting point for negotiations, right?
The Celtics are Reluctant
The Celtics’ attempts to acquire Durant haven’t been a piece of cake, especially since they got asked to include Jayson Tatum and Brown in the initial discussions. Meanwhile, Boston is not going to include them in the package. Moreover, the Celtics have also been reluctant to part ways with their role players to acquire Durant. Reports suggest that the Celtics are unwilling to include Marcus Smart or Robert Williams III and have yet to put together a trade package that the Nets consider deserving.
Meanwhile, Durant is unlikely to be traded to the Celtics at this time. Unless the Nets significantly lower their asking price, it might be challenging for any team to reach a quick agreement.
Despite playing a significant role in the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals, Brown has been mentioned in trade rumors. Meanwhile, he is in the third year of a four-year deal and will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023–24 season.
It gets even more interesting when we consider the fact that franchises like the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat, refused to include Scottie Barnes and Bam Adebayo, respectively while discussing trades for Durant.
Jaylen is Long Term
An NBA executive told Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett that despite his name mentioned in Durant’s trade discussions, Brown appears to want to play long-term for the Celtics. Even though there might be brief frustrations.
“I think Jaylen IS long term,” the executive told Bulpett. “If they want him long-term and they’re going to pay him the contract he deserves, I think he’s all-in on Boston. From everything I’ve been told, Jaylen’s a loyal guy. I know frustration can happen when things aren’t going well, and I think we saw some of that earlier in this past season.”
“But when you take a step back and look at things, I think he wants to be there. And any problems that could ever happen with that relationship would probably have to come from him getting the idea that they’re not in on him. And right now, I don’t see that from the Celtics. I think they know what they have in Jaylen — now and for the future — and they want to keep that going.”
The fact that Brown seems to be the top player currently mentioned in trade discussions for Durant is one aspect of the Celtics’ trade interest that benefits the Nets. Meanwhile, Brooklyn benefits from maintaining that storyline. In any case, Brown might still find the circumstances “uncomfortable.”
“Jaylen Brown is the single best player we’ve heard tied to this thing, so Brooklyn has to keep that alive,” the executive told Bulpett. “I still don’t know how real that is, and, trust me, we’ve been trying to find out for our own sake.”
“There may be nothing there at all, or maybe there’s something if Brooklyn gets back to reality with what they’re asking for. But unless they can find another deal for Durant or they work things out with him, a team like Boston is stuck in this — the rumors and the whispers around the league at least — because they’ve got really good players.”
“I’m sure Brad (Stevens, president of basketball operations) has talked to Brown and they’re all cool, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t going to be uncomfortable.”
Will the San Antonio Spurs ever try to sign Brown?
The Spurs are expected to have one of the worst records in the league next season as they start a rebuild and have maintained a significant amount of salary cap space. The result should be the entry of a potential cornerstone franchise in the 2023 NBA Draft in what is thought to be a busy class.
It’s still doubtful that the Spurs will significantly advance by the following season (2023–24). Meanwhile, teams like the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder will have aged a little bit to the point where they may have found their stride, and the Western Conference is only going to get stronger.
It appears that the Spurs could at least present Brown with an intriguing situation to consider joining if they maintain a sizable cap space as anticipated and add a few intriguing prospects naturally through the NBA draught. Depending on the players chosen, Brown might be their offensive star threat.
Above all, if Brown has any resentment toward the Celtics for including him in trade discussions, that will only serve to strengthen the Spurs’ potential pursuit of him. Occasionally, major changes in the NBA begin that way, and it takes some time for things to build.