Phoenix and Miami.
When Kevin Durant first demanded a trade on the eve of free agency, the Suns and Heat were his preferred destinations. Those didn’t work out — because the Nets asked for too much in return, because the Suns had to match the Pacers’ offer sheet for Deandre Ayton, and because Brooklyn didn’t love Miami’s packages based around Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.
Now you can add Boston to the list, reports Ian Begley of SNY.TV.
Durant sees Boston as a desired landing spot, per people familiar with the matter. Durant also would like to play with Boston’s Marcus Smart if he is traded to the Celtics, per people familiar with the matter…
It is unknown if Boston and Brooklyn have made progress on a deal. SNY reported last week that there had been pessimism about a Durant trade being completed in the near future.
There’s good reason for pessimism, Durant’s ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai did not light a fire under trade talks. If anything, it made it far less likely a deal gets done in the short term. — why would Boston improve its offer now? It robbed the Nets of leverage. For example, Brooklyn was trying to get Boston to put Smart in the trade, but why would they even consider it now?
That said, even without Smart (or Robert Williams III, sources told NBC Sports he is not available), a Celtics offer with Jaylen Brown may be the best one the Nets will see.
Despite Durant’s best efforts, things likely stay quiet on the trade front until it gets closer to training camp in September. The big question then becomes, are Tsai and GM Sean Marks willing to be uncomfortable — will they wait out a Durant offer they think is fair like Daryl Morey did with Ben Simmons last season, or will they cave and trade KD just to get something and move on? We will find out in a month or so.
Until then, the rumors will keep flying.