(CTN News) – From the moment Kevin Durant submitted his trade request to the Brooklyn Nets hours before free agency began on June 30, it became the biggest story of the NBA offseason, but very little momentum has resulted in a deal.
A mystery team emerged with a serious bid just when it appeared Durant would return to Brooklyn.
Shams Charania reported that the Boston Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a draft pick in exchange for Durant.
According to reports, Brooklyn turned down the offer, asking Boston to include Marcus Smart and possible additional draft compensation.
The Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and Toronto Raptors are also serious suitors for Durant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. It is reported that Durant still wants to be traded from Brooklyn when training camps open on Sept. 26.
A Durant deal has always been difficult because of several factors, including Kevin Durant age (he’ll be 34 by the start of the season), his contract situation (he’s under contract for four more years), and an obscure league rule that limits which veteran star the Nets can get for him.
There’s no doubt the Nets and Celtics aren’t close to a deal yet, but here are some reasons why a framework centered on Durant for Brown seems more realistic.
Jaylen Brown doesn’t have a Designated Rookie Extension – which helps Kevin Durant
A little known league rule about acquiring players in a trade complicates the Kevin Durant trade. The NBA’s Designated Rookie Rule allows each team to sign two players to five-year contracts after their rookie contracts expire, but only one can be acquired via trade.
Ben Simmons of the Nets is subject to this rule. A five-year rookie extension was signed by Simmons in February as part of Brooklyn’s deal to acquire James Harden.
In a Kevin Durant trade, Brooklyn would have to trade Simmons before acquiring players like Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Bam Adebayo, who are all on five-year rookie extensions.
In 2019, Jaylen Brown extended his contract with Boston for four years and $115 million. Given that the Nets are able to keep both Brown and Simmons, they have an easier path to doing a deal than their competitors.
In a Durant deal, Jaylen Brown may be the best player available:
It is clear that Brooklyn is seeking a young All-Star caliber player as well as serious draft capital for Durant.
It may be impossible to find a better player in any potential Durant deal than Brown if we assume that the Celtics, Heat, Suns, and Raptors are Durant’s top-four suitors. Here are some examples of each package:
- Due to the Designated Rookie Rule, the Heat cannot offer Adebayo. Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Nikola Jovic are likely to be their best offers.
- Due to an extension signed earlier this summer, Deandre Ayton cannot be traded this offseason. Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson would be the key players in any deal with Phoenix.
- There is a big question mark in negotiations regarding the Raptors. For Durant, will Toronto offer Scottie Barnes, the reigning Rookie of the Year?
- In that case, the Raptors may still be able to offer a package centered around OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.
People Also Read: