Boston Celtics Rumors: Kevin Durant trade would shock the NBA

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Despite the rumors that suggested otherwise, the Boston Celtics were quiet for most of the 2022 NBA Draft. They held onto their lone pick, the 53rd overall selection, and picked up JD Davison, an explosive guard from Alabama.

The addition of a late second round pick in Davison isn’t going to make the Celtics a championship team overnight unfortunately. Bigger moves are going to need to be made to address the team’s top needs, which are playmaking and bench scoring.

There has been a lot of chaos surrounding some of the top names in the league since the conclusion of the 2021-22 NBA season. In particular, the Brooklyn Nets appear to be on the verge of breaking up. Old friend Kyrie Irving has decided he doesn’t want to play there anymore since the Nets are unwilling to hand him a max deal, and he has made a shortlist of new teams he’d like to join if he ends up being unable to reach a deal with Brooklyn.

While Irving certainly isn’t coming back to Boston given his history with the city and its fans, his partner in crime, Kevin Durant, is a name that is worth watching. Durant may request a trade if Irving leaves, and given the Celtics current standing in the league, they may be in a position to make a potentially groundbreaking trade for Durant.

The Boston Celtics could solidify themselves as a championship contender with a trade for Kevin Durant

Before really getting into the meat of this discussion, it’s worth noting the Celtics are already in a really great spot. With Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way, Boston is built to contend for many seasons down the line. They have a relatively young supporting cast aiding their cause, and the goal this offseason will most likely be to add more depth behind Tatum and Brown.

Of course, the overarching shortcut to that would be trading for Durant. Despite heading into his age 34 season, Durant has shown virtually no signs of decline. He is one of the most gifted scorers in NBA history, and he gives his team a chance to win any time he takes the court based solely on how good he is on his own.

The Nets shaky status has put Durant on the radar of every team in the league. If Irving ends up leaving, which seems more and more likely with each passing day, there’s a very good chance Durant will request a trade out of Brooklyn. It’s strange to think about it, but if Durant requests a trade, Boston may be one of the teams at the top of his list that he would want to join.

Before you jump down my throat and declare me the biggest homer of all time, think about it for a minute. Durant knows how good the Boston Celtics are because they just swept him out of the playoffs in the first round. Durant lost that series because the Celtics slowed him down in a way no other team has ever done throughout a playoff series. It’s also worth noting that Durant has shown before that if he can’t beat you, he will join you.

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Durant is also close with Tatum and Brown, particularly Tatum given their time spent with Team USA last offseason. Durant clearly wants to team up with his buddies across the league and try to win a title. It didn’t work with Irving and James Harden, but that was largely because of their egos and a system that catered to them in Brooklyn. Boston has a clear system of leadership and egoless basketball (for the most part) under head coach Ime Udoka.

Not many teams have the ability to offer Durant what he wants, which is ultimately the most important thing to consider if he ends up requesting a trade. Brad Stevens has said ownership has given him the green light to do whatever it takes to build a championship team. Moving for Durant would force them to put their money where their mouth is.

Of course, acquiring Durant would require a huge trade package and a jounrey into the luxury tax, but if it results in a title, it would all be worth it. Durant is probably going to have a list of teams he wants to join, and if that were to become public knowledge, the Nets would have even less leverage than they already have. They are falling apart in front of the entire league, and Durant will have a lot of say in where he goes if he requests a trade.

Chances are the Boston Celtics would be on that list. Whether or not they actually pursue Durant would be up to Stevens and the front office, but it would be hard to ignore the posibility of adding one of the most dominant players in the league and pairing him up with Tatum (and potentially Brown, depending on whether or not he would get sent to Brooklyn).

Speaking of trade packages, Brown would almost certainly have to headline what the C’s would send over, or Boston would have to gut the rest of their roster to make this deal happen. Both options have their downsides, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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For now, the Boston Celtics can sit back and watch the Durant situation unfold before making a decision. It’s clear pulling off a trade for him would make Boston a bonafide championship contender if they aren’t already.

There aren’t many players worth blowing up a team for, but Durant is one of those players. If he ends up requesting a trade, the Celtics may have to consider shaking up the league and making a big push for Banner 18 after coming up short this season.