It was just six years ago when the Celtics dispatched Tom Brady and Kelly Olynyk to the Hamptons in an effort to recruit Kevin Durant to Boston. Could the Celtics make another run at the 12-time All-Star this offseason?
Should the Celtics go all-in on Kevin Durant?
“Merloni, Fauria & Mego” producer Tyler Devitte threw out a trade idea Monday that would bring Durant to the Celtics and help the Nets rebuild following their failed super team experiment. Brooklyn traded James Harden last season and seem unwilling to extend Kyrie Irving this summer, which may prompt the mercurial point guard to decline his player option for the 2022-23 campaign.
Irving is reportedly at an “impasse” with the Nets in negotiations.
The situation between Durant and the Nets doesn’t appear to be much better. As of last month, it was reported he hasn’t spoken with the organization since their brutal first-round sweep to the Celtics.
Now, it’s not entirely fair to dismiss Durant and Irving as a duo, because they actually haven’t played together that much. Durant missed all of the 2019-20 season with an achilles injury, and the Nets were leading the Bucks in the 2021 semifinals before Irving rolled his ankle. Last season, Irving only played in 29 games due to his refusal to comply with New York City’s vaccine mandate.
But if Irving leaves — and he appears to be on his way to betraying the Nets just like the Celtics — that leaves with Durant with Ben Simmons, who couldn’t get onto the court last season. Durant may not be happy with that arrangement, despite signing a mammoth four-year, $198 million extension last summer.
Bringing in Durant would be a very expensive proposition. He also may be seeing his skills recede at 33 years old. The Celtics locked down Durant in their playoff series. He shot just 38.6 percent from the field through four games.
But that doesn’t mean Durant is a slouch. He’s still a top-10 player in the league and could be extra motivated after seeing the Warriors win the championship without him. He spent last Thursday night sparring with Twitter trolls who were reminding him of that fact.
Durant could use a fresh start, and let’s be honest, the idea of pairing him with Jayson Tatum is tantalizing. The move would be even better if the Celtics can keep Jaylen Brown, which Devitte believes is possible. The proposed blockbuster trade is below:
Nets get: Marcus Smart, Al Horford, Grant Williams, three first-round picks
Celtics get: Kevin Durant
The Celtics adding Durant to a team that includes Tatum and Brown would make them the favorites in the Eastern Conference, if not the whole NBA. For the Nets, the deal would serve as a rough inverse of last decade’s Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade. The three Celtics first-rounders — let’s call them 2024, 2026 and 2028 — could help them rebuild their franchise.
The trade would improve the Celtics' title chances right now, and help the Nets jumpstart their rebuild down the line. Who says “no?”