The dust has settled on the Kevin Durant situation, and it didn’t end with him in green.
What a surprise.
It always seemed like a longshot that the Celtics would send a monumental haul to the Brooklyn Nets for their disgruntled star, who now will be staying put. That's after reports that might as well have said they were straight from Brooklyn or Durant suggested the Celtics could offer the best package for the future Hall of Famer.
Being able to offer the best package versus wanting to offer the best package is, obviously, a hugely important distinction. Appearing on “Merloni, Fauria and Mego” as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens addressed all the Durant rumorsrumors.
“Listen, at the end of the day I’m not going to go into any conversations that we had because I don’t think that’s appropriate," Stevens said. "But my job is to know what costs are and then ultimately determine whether or not we want to be involved in any deal with any team around the league.
"But since the (Malcolm) Brogdon trade we’ve felt really good about our team and we’ve felt really good about building around these guys that we’ve been building around, trying to accentuate our best players and we’re excited to move forward with our team. That’s really been our focus for a while here.
“You say it’s been busy and there’s been a lot of talk, but it hadn’t been for me. Hopefully it gives everyone something to talk about, but it’s been pretty quiet on our front for a while now.”
The reported asks the Nets had of the Celtics reached absurd levels, but the one commonality is the Nets wanted Jaylen Brown in any trade that would’ve sent Durant to Boston. Clearly, Brown was put off on some level by the rumors.
Stevens said he met with Brown in California last week, but the two were in contact as the rumors swirled.
“Jaylen’s been through this from the standpoint of – the noise has been around him for a long time and big names over the years,” Stevens said. “You’ve got to be able to ignore the noise and know what’s important but also be able to reach out and have candid and transparent communications with the people that are involved. And so yeah, we’ve had those, made ourselves very open from the get-go as all of this has been going on for any of our guys.”
So, barring a huge surprise, the Celtics have their group going forward. Considering the Brogdon trade went down well over a month ago, it’s apparently been that way for weeks.