The now famous — or infamous — leak about Boston’s entry in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes hasn’t quite picked up steam, particularly with more than one NBA writer suggesting the Celtics interest is weeks old and that the Nets are not particularly active.
Indeed, Zach Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast that he believes the talks took place “around July 16.”
On Tuesday night, in New York, there was an opportunity for Durant to talk about Boston and other possible landing spots, but he decided not take questions at the premiere of “NYC Point Gods,” his documentary on the city’s long history of point guard excellence.
KD is here for the premiere of Point Gods as well. He did not stop to take questions from reporters. Just a few pictures on the red carpet. pic.twitter.com/yYxmFKd86j— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) July 26, 2022
Others did talk...
Jayson Tatum, at the premiere of the Showtime doc “Point Gods” in NYC makes it clear he doesn’t want to get involved in all the speculation surrounding the Celtics right now. “I love our team.”— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) July 26, 2022
Paul Pierce also in attendance at the Point Gods premiere — when the topic of the potential Celtics/Nets deal came up he was clear with his answer. “They’re not doing that.”— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) July 27, 2022
Tatum, of course, has been Jaylen Brown’s teammate for four years now and presumably, he would have some say in the matter. He was careful not to take any position, other than skepticism.
“I just play basketball,” Tatum said. “That’s not my decision. I love our team. I love the guys that we’ve got. I don’t know if that report is true or not . . . I don’t believe everything I see on TV.”
He also noted that he’s seen stories about him that haven’t been accurate.
And as Newsday reported, Rich Kleiman, Durant’s business manager, said he could not talk about Durant’s situation.
The motivation for whoever leaked the report to Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania remains murky but Jared Weiss of The Athletic suggested it came from the Nets who want to reinvigorate the market to avoid a showdown with KD when training camp opens.
In the aftermath of Charania’s report, several league sources who spoke with The Athletic believe the Nets are looking to drive the market and avoid the kerfuffle of Durant no-showing for training camp.
Weiss also suggested that a trade centered on Brown for Durant probably has the best chance of succeeding in that Brown is the best player mentioned in any of the Durant trade rumors.
Toronto has thus far kept Scottie Barnes out of a Durant deal, just as the Celtics are making Jayson Tatum untouchable. The Raptors could offer some combination of Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent, Jr., and OG Anunoby, and Brooklyn may want to get all of them with plenty of draft capital as well. There’s a remote chance Miami could make a Bam Adebayo package work that would make dumping Ben Simmons worthwhile for Brooklyn, since the two cannot be on the same team due to a rule prohibiting teams from trading for multiple players on maximum rookie-contract extensions. New Orleans lurks with Brandon Ingram and a draft pick stockpile.
Indeed, there have been reports out of Miami and Golden State that those teams are happy with their rosters, although things can change.
Meanwhile, there appears to be less and less reason to believe that the Nets and their unhappy superstar will “run it back.” Watch this space.
- Jayson Tatum dances around talk of a Kevin Durant trade to the Celtics - Zach Braziller - New York Post
- Jayson Tatum praises Kevin Durant, but likes current Celtics roster - Neil Best - Newsday
- Kevin Durant roundtable: Is a Celtics-Nets trade a realistic possibility? - Jared Weiss, Jay King & Alex Schiffer - The Athletic
- Jaylen Brown finds himself at center of Celtics trade rumors … again - Jared Weiss - The Athletic
- Jayson Tatum sidesteps Kevin Durant trade questions: ‘I love our team’ - Jared Weiss - The Athletic
- Kevin Durant’s ‘NYC Point Gods’ premiere let hoops stars talk shop about city basketball - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Former and current NBA players talk Nets, trade rumors at Kevin Durant’s documentary premiere - Ian Begley - SNY