Potential Kevin Durant Trade Causes Celtics' Championship Odds to Soar

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant guards Jayson Tatum.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant guards Jayson Tatum. / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

A new team has entered the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, as the Boston Celtics reportedly offered a package centered around All-Star Jaylen Brown for the Brooklyn Nets superstar. 

While the Nets rejected the offer, The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed that Boston is emerging as a serious suitor for Durant. With the Phoenix Suns no longer in the picture since they can’t trade Deandre Ayton, Boston, the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat appear to be the frontrunners to land the two-time NBA Finals MVP. 

“With Ayton currently unable to be traded, the Suns appear to be all but eliminated from the Durant sweepstakes,” Charania wrote. “The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain among the teams in pursuit — and the Boston Celtics recently offered a package around one-time All-Star Jaylen Brown for Durant and have emerged as a real threat to acquire Durant, league sources tell The Athletic.”

According to Charnaia, the Nets have asked Boston for guard Marcus Smart, who won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award last season, in any swap for Durant. Boston originally offered Derrick White as the second player alongside Brown. 

“Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with multiple other player or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling over next steps on how to approach discussions,” Charania wrote.

“As of right now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. They have tremendous interest in bringing him in and view him as a piece that could take them over that final hurdle. Although there is work to be done, there is a deal to be had that would suffice the Nets’ overwhelming ask.”

Boston made the NBA Finals in the 2021-22 season, but ultimately lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. While the Celtics needed some injury luck to Khris Middleton, Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler to get to the NBA Finals, there is no doubt that this team is a championship contender with or without Durant. 

WynnBET had Boston as the favorite to win the NBA Finals at +600 prior to the reported Durant discussion. Since then? Well, Boston is now +400 to win the championship. 

Does that mean Durant is bound for Beantown?

Not necessarily.

However, it’s hard to envision the Heat being able to offer a better package than Boston if Brown is the centerpiece of the deal. Miami can’t trade Bam Adebayo to the Nets without Brooklyn moving Ben Simmons elsewhere, which means Tyler Herro would likely be the team’s top asset in a Durant trade. (The Nets can’t have Adebayo and Simmons on the team together because they are signed to the same rookie-scale extension and the current CBA prevents a team from trading for and having two players on that deal at the same time). 

The Raptors have reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and others to dangle in a Durant trade, but Brown is the only proven All-Star that appears to be available for the Nets in return for KD. 

Boston will likely need to increase its offer, but if Brad Stevens and company view Durant as the missing piece to win them a title, it’s possible the team decides to part ways with Smart and other assets, especially after trading for guard Malcolm Brogdon this offseason. 

Vegas clearly views Boston as the favorite to land Durant, so it will be interesting to see how his trade market continues to unfold in the coming days.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.