Boston Celtics Kevin Durant trade: Tatum out of question, Brown on table

Jayson Tatum is out of the question in any Kevin Durant trade to the Boston Celtics, but the Jaylen Brown is off the table (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Jayson Tatum is out of the question in any Kevin Durant trade to the Boston Celtics, but the Jaylen Brown is off the table (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics are naturally a trade suitor for Kevin Durant if he actually does hit the block following a Brooklyn Nets departure for his best friend and fellow 2019 free agency signing, Kyrie Irving. By virtue of coming within two games of Banner 18, the Cs are one of the best win-now destinations for Durant in 2022-23 and beyond.

The ‘beyond’ caveat there is due to the team’s stacked young core led by 25-year-old Jaylen Brown and 24-year-old Jayson Tatum. Both stars are under contract until at least the 2024 offseason. Unfortunately, at least one of them may have to be included in any deal for Durant if he doesn’t explicitly say that he will only accept a trade to Boston.

According to CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn, it won’t be Tatum who would be included in the framework of a swap with the Nets. He wouldn’t go as far to guarantee Brown wouldn’t be included, though, honing in on No. 7 in green’s inability to take care of the ball during the 2022 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

Quinn provided his analysis on what the Boston Celtics front office’s mindset would be heading into negotiations with Sean Marks and co.:

"“Jayson Tatum is out of the question for Boston. He just outplayed Durant in a four-game sweep. But Jaylen Brown’s ball-handling led to some of the turnover problems that doomed the Celtics in the playoffs. That’s not an issue for Durant. Boston could pair its league-best defense with an offense suddenly employing a second elite shot-maker.”"

Kevin Durant being traded to the Boston Celtics is unlikely

First of all, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kevin Durant hasn’t even told the Nets that he’d demand a trade if Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his deal and asks Brooklyn to send him to a trade destination of his choice — unless they wanted to lose the point guard for nothing in unrestricted free agency by not honoring his request. Remember, this man just sat out half a season and lost money for not taking a vaccine. He’ll take a pay-cut if he really doesn’t want to play for the Nets.

Back to the Durant front, though. After signing a four-year, $198 million contract extension last August, it’s not likely he is looking to immediately find a new home — even if the man he chose to build something in Brooklyn with wants out already. Durant has the chance to be immortalized by bringing the borough its professional sports championship since 1955.

Quinn ranked the Cs as the seventh-likeliest landing spot for Durant should a deal go down, and he was bearish on the 33-year-old former 2x NBA Finals MVP even wanting to be traded to Boston in the first place:

"“Boston might have won it all with Durant in Brown’s place, but somehow I doubt Irving has given Boston a particularly glowing review in private to Durant. Even if the Celtics would make this swap, who knows how interested Durant would be.”"

Irving could just be bluffing in order to get a contract extension from the Nets, and Durant could ultimately help the point guard get what he wants given the sway he has as the organization’s prize investment.

While imagining Durant as Jayson Tatum’s co-star is a fun endeavor, it’s one that will likely always exist in the imagination.

dark. Next. If KD wants Cs trade, this mock doesn't look so bad in hindsight