The Celtics‘ Jaylen Brown is the best individual talent the Nets could hope to get in a Kevin Durant trade, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says in a discussion with Jared Weiss of The Athletic. News that Boston made an offer to Brooklyn that included Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick shook up the rumor mill on Monday, about a month after Durant made his trade request.
Brown is a potential All-Star over the next few seasons, Scotto adds, and could become a cornerstone for the Nets long after Durant has retired. White, meanwhile, is easier to part with after the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Pacers.
Scotto also notes that there’s an element of risk with Durant, who will turn 34 in September and has been through two significant injuries. He adds that some teams are starting to question the value of paying exorbitant salaries to stars in their 30s, and the four years remaining on Durant’s contract might not be universally seen as something positive.
Scotto and Weiss address trade rumors involving a few more players:
- Replacing White with Marcus Smart might make the Nets more willing to take the Celtics’ offer, even if it means getting fewer draft picks. Sources tell Scotto that Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks has been an admirer of Smart for years and would love the chance to add him to Brooklyn’s roster. Weiss questions whether the Celtics can afford to give up the fiery guard, who represents a large part of the team’s defensive identity, and said he’s probably worth more to Boston than he would be to just about anyone else.
- The Celtics are interested in an extension for Grant Williams, but they may hold off to see if he’s needed in a Durant deal, according to Weiss. Another factor, Weiss adds, is how high Boston is willing to go on a raise for Williams considering the expected rise in the salary cap.
- Scotto is among the observers who believe the Nets would prefer to hold onto Durant and Kyrie Irving and see how the season plays out, which is part of the reason they’re keeping the price for Durant so high. With a healthy Ben Simmons and Joe Harris, plus a full season of Seth Curry and the addition of T.J. Warren, the Nets might be in a position to contend as long as Durant and Irving are still around. Weiss supports Brooklyn trading Irving for Russell Westbrook, but only if the Lakers include two first-round picks in the deal.