The Celtics’ interest in Kevin Durant reportedly stops at Jayson Tatum. Boston is unwilling to include Tatum in a trade package for Durant, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The Celtics consider All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum off limits in any trade talks,” writes Wojnarowski.
Did Wiggy send Jaylen Brown out of town?
That’s not surprising: Tatum is a rising superstar and already one of the top scorers in the league. The Celtics inked Tatum to maximum five-year, $163 million contract extension last year.
Wojnarowski adds the Celtics are willing to construct a package centered around Jaylen Brown and multiple unprotected first-round picks (2025, 2027 and 2029) as well as two pick swaps (2024 and 2026).
NBA Insider Shams Charania reported Monday the Celtics offered Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to Brooklyn, but were rejected. The Nets apparently want Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to be included, and possibly another rotational piece.
The Celtics risk alienating Brown in their reported pursuit of Durant. Brown sent out an ominous tweet in apparent response to the Durant reports.
The Nets are reportedly seeking an astronomical package for Durant, who’s signed for four more years.
On paper, it’s hard to imagine a more dynamic pairing than Durant and Tatum. Durant, a 12-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, is one of the greatest players ever. Tatum averaged a career-high 26.9 points per game last season and is arguably a top-10 player at just 24 years old.
As a pair, Tatum and Brown have played in three Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals. It’s apparent the Celtics think subbing out Brown for Durant is what could push them over the top.