Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant would be a mistake

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images). /

Boston Celtics fans woke up this morning to a frightening Adrian Wojnarowski report. According to Woj, the Celtics had offered the Brooklyn Nets a Jaylen Brown-centered trade package for star forward Kevin Durant.

Another report from Shams Charania of The Athletic built upon Wojnarowski’s and revealed the trade package Boston had supposedly offered the Nets; Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a draft pick. The Nets counter offered, saying that “any proposal” would have to include Marcus Smart, which Boston declined.

The immediate reaction from most people has been one of “please no,” and rightly so. The report itself is so barely newsworthy that its only purpose seems to be for the Nets front office to either drum up more leverage in their Durant situation or, in a more cynical view, an attempt at driving a wedge between Boston’s front office and one of its stars.

The Boston Celtics need to keep their noses out of the Kevin Durant situation

Both reports from Woj and Shams said that Boston was not close to a deal with Brooklyn, with Woj’s report saying “the Celtics appear no closer to acquiring Durant than others in discussions with the Nets.”

All of this info makes you wonder why this report was even circulated in the first place if the negotiations ended with neither team close to a deal and the Celtics not being a front runner for Durant.

Going into full conspiracy mode as to why Nets GM Sean Marks would leak this to the media, assuming that’s who the source is, is not really necessary at this point. The real story is what the impact of these reports will have on Boston, specifically on Jaylen Brown, who has been named in trade talks almost every year he’s been with the Celtics.

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Hours after the reports came out, Brown cryptically tweeted “Smh” (which, for the older folks, translates to “shaking my head”). That is not good for the Celtics. We’ve seen how being named in trade talks can affect a player. Look to the Ben Simmons saga with the Philadelphia 76ers as an example. The last thing Boston needs is a disgruntled Jaylen Brown to ask out from the team or to sit out as Simmons did.

ESPN insider Brian Windhorst said that this trade offer was old news, telling AZSports, “I know it came out today so it’s front of mind, but those are not fresh talks.” So is Boston even still interested or actively pursuing a Kevin Durant trade?

Boston recently addressed their two most significant holes from their 2022 Finals run, a reliable point guard and a solid bench scorer, in their acquisitions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari. They were able to pull this off without giving up any of the pieces that helped them in their run to the Finals, making the addition of those two players net gains for the Celtics.

Don’t get me wrong, adding Kevin Durant would be a good move. His addition to this Celtics team would no doubt ensure Boston a spot in the 2023 Finals and could possibly result in them securing Banner 18.

But, his addition could come at the expense of breaking up a team that was within two wins of an NBA title and just added more talent. Not to mention the sentimental aspect of giving up guys like Brown and Smart, that have fought for Boston throughout their careers and have become integral pieces of this team.

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Hopefully, the Boston Celtics front office can see past the shiny object that is Kevin Durant and appreciate the Finals-contending roster they already have.