Trading Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Kevin Durant just became a tougher pill to swallow.
While the move might be a no-brainer when looking at how it’d impact the Celtics on the court, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported a serious red flag on Monday that should give Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka pause. According to Charania, Durant told Nets owner Joe Tsai he has to choose between Brooklyn’s superstar and the pairing of Sean Marks and Steve Nash.
And if you’re wondering, yes, Nash was supposedly Durant’s guy. Brooklyn’s head coach and Marks had a relationship before Nash joined the franchise, but everything leading up to the hiring indicated Durant liked the move. That all happened after Kenny Atkinson and the Nets parted ways in the middle of Durant and Kyrie Irving’s first seasons as part of the organization (when KD was still rehabbing his Achilles).
What’s going to happen if Durant comes to Boston and he doesn’t like how Udoka runs things? Or will he try to tell Stevens how to construct the roster, leaving the Celtics without almost all of the talented players they had before acquiring Durant — which is exactly what happened in Brooklyn (Joe Harris is the only player left from Brooklyn’s 2018-19 roster).
Sure, Durant’s talent still makes him worth the risk. But the Celtics may need to reassess how much they’re willing to give up, given the way Durant is handling Brooklyn’s failures. What’s perhaps more important: If the Celtics acquire Durant, Stevens and Udoka need to put up a united front to ensure that under no circumstance they turn into the next Marks and Nash.