PHOENIX SUNS

Celtics reportedly in Kevin Durant trade mix dangling Jaylen Brown

Jul 25, 2022, 7:33 AM | Updated: 8:19 am

The Phoenix Suns might be among the favorite landing spots for Kevin Durant, who is seeking a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. But from the Nets’ perspective, the Boston Celtics might lead the handful of teams in the conversation for acquiring the star when it comes to the trade package they have to offer.

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro and confirmed Monday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics have been in talks with the Nets, joining the Suns, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors as teams reportedly interested in trading for Durant.

Brooklyn, however, appears no closer to accepting any deal as of Monday as that tidbit was revealed.

“I know that it came out today so it’s front of mind, but from what I understand those are not fresh talks,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday.

Boston’s package would start with Jaylen Brown, as fellow wing Jayson Tatum is reportedly off-limits, according to Wojnarowski.

The Celtics also have up to three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps available to deal. Charania adds that guard Derrick White was mentioned by Boston in an offer, but Brooklyn is seeking NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart in addition to Brown.

The Suns’ matching an Indiana Pacers offer sheet to Deandre Ayton has taken the center’s contract out of consideration to be included in any trade, though the Nets reportedly were not interested in him anyway. Still, Ayton’s contract would have been helpful in advancing a big-money trade if other teams had been included. Charania writes that Ayton returning makes Phoenix “appear to be all but eliminated from the Durant sweepstakes.”

A Suns package now would have to start with Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and future draft picks, falling short of what the Celtics, for example, presumably have on the table.

Both Wojnarowski and Charania report that Brooklyn’s high asking price has led discussions to slow since Durant requested a trade on June 30.

Durant’s request has not changed, either, which means this saga likely could extend into training camp, where the forward’s appearance at Nets camp could be up in the air.

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