Analyst open to Kevin Durant-type trade return if Boston Celtics traded Jaylen Brown

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket
Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA's updated CBA, and the impending punitive penalties it comes with, are starting to scare Boston Celtics beat writers; so much so, that the previously taboo idea of trading Jaylen Brown is now starting to be a tangible thought in a few years. Even if the Cs raised Banner 18, too.

CelticsBlog's Ben Dupont sounded open to the idea on the condition that a Brown trade return would be similar to what the Brooklyn Nets got for Kevin Durant when they sent away the former MVP to the Phoenix Suns in 2023.

"...consider that Tatum will start his supermax extension that season," Dupont prefaced before saying, "His salary and those of Brown and Porzingis will total $140 million, close to the salary cap. Filling out the rest of the roster at that point will be exceptionally difficult. I’m not saying the Celtics will have to move Brown to field a team, but they won’t be able to keep everyone around. You can start to see what Beck’s sources are getting at.

"If they do choose to move Brown, 'Jaylen would set the record for the biggest return,' an executive told The Ringer. 'It should be a Durant-type deal.' Kevin Durant was traded just over a year ago for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four first-round picks. That kind of return would keep Boston competitive while saving money and loading up on picks. Again, it’s too early to be thinking about a trade of this magnitude. But you know Brad Stevens is thinking about the team’s cap future; we should, too."

Not trading Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant already paying off for Boston Celtics

Swapping Brown for Durant was the summer of 2022's hottest rumor. It never came close to happening, and the rumor was even reignited in February 2023, but again, it was never a realistic idea.

By not trading for Durant, Boston now has a higher-priced asset in Brown; who played himself into a Supermax in 2022-23 after being kept by the front office. That Supermax could bring back a crew of role players to surround Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, and Derrick White with in the future.

And hey, if no deal happens, the Boston Celtics will still have a 27-year-old building block as opposed to an aging veteran with an Achilles injury.

All in all, the best trade was no trade when it came to Brown and Durant.