Buying and selling for Kevin Durant: a dialog
Invoice Sy: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith kinda sorta reported/gossiped that the Celtics are revisiting a potential Jaylen-Brown-for-Kevin-Durant commerce within the wake of Kyrie Irving’s departure from Brooklyn. Two of CelticsBlog’s latest writers have volunteered to speak it out a day earlier than the NBA commerce deadline.
Harris Rubenstein: First off, whats up, Ben! Fellow new author on the employees, this must be enjoyable. I’ve gone backwards and forwards on this subject because the summer season and actually, I feel I’m full-in on getting Kevin Durant for Jaylen. I can’t recover from the thought of Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant on the identical workforce in a playoff sequence surrounded by elite two-way gamers. I’m intrigued by what the remainder of the commerce package deal would seem like after all, however a common top-7 of Durant. Jayson Tatum, Marcus Good, Robert Williams, Al Horford, Derrick White/Malcolm Brogdon, Grant Williams is…I imply, barring accidents, it’s about nearly as good as trendy basketball can get.
Benjamin Torbert: There’s little question a Tatum-Durant pairing is one you dream about. Durant has been within the dialog for finest participant on this planet for the final 10 years, and his recreation is a simple match on any roster. Nonetheless, he’s additionally 34 years previous with a reasonably vital damage historical past (together with, um, proper now).
Jaylen Brown is not so good as Kevin Durant. He’s a top-25 participant within the league as a substitute of a top-10 participant. However he’s additionally 26, has improved yearly within the league, and simply got here inside two wins of a championship final 12 months. Give me Tatum and Brown for the subsequent 10+ years over Tatum and Durant for Durant’s age 34-38 seasons.
HR: Age and damage are undoubtedly the 2 huge maintain ups, however I feel Tatum is the reply to each of these points. Tatum can carry the heavier load between the 2 minutes sensible in the course of the common season and if something, having KD may enable the workforce to relaxation Tatum extra since KD is KD. In addition to, Durant is ONLY 34 and continues to be working at an MVP-level. Somewhat extra load administration might be wanted, however I feel Durant’s recreation goes to age fairly effectively and this roster is ready to assist him if he falls off a tad. The aim would at all times be for Durant to be 100% come playoff time. Not saying you give him the Kawhi therapy, but when he’s wholesome come playoff time, that’s all I care about.
BT: It comes down to 2 issues in my thoughts. 1) How excessive do you assume the ceiling is for a Tatum-and-Brown-led Celtics workforce? I feel there isn’t any ceiling for them. They’ve been making deep playoff runs for years now. They’re simply getting into their true primes. They usually proceed to get higher and higher. There is no such thing as a cause the Celtics can’t proceed to be a championship contender for the subsequent 6-10 years because the Jays progress by means of their primes. 2) What’s your confidence degree in Brown re-signing with the Celtics? My confidence degree is extraordinarily excessive that Brown will stick with the Celtics. He’s with a high 5 group that may pay him probably the most cash, and he’s paired up with an elite expertise in Tatum that’s not a headcase diva. I don’t perceive the place Brown would go or why he would wish to go away. The one situation the place I might see Stevens shifting Brown is that if he has some inside data that Jaylen needs to go away, and I don’t purchase that situation.
HR: I don’t doubt the Celtics being contenders for nonetheless lengthy JB and Tatum are taking part in collectively, however who is aware of if Jaylen will ever get to Kevin Durant’s degree. I do know that I can purchase his degree of expertise proper now and sure maintain that for 2-3 extra seasons after.
To not point out, consider the worth. Somebody at Durant’s degree would often require 4-5 picks and younger gamers. If I can purchase him for Brown and an inexpensive package deal, a possibility like this will by no means come once more. I feel one of many main points in a deal like that is the emotional connection the fanbase and group need to Jaylen, we are able to’t low cost that. However the Jays might by no means win a title collectively, even with a decade. Getting Durant now makes it extra probably that you’ll get a minimum of 1 championship, even when it comes at the price of one in every of everybody’s, mine included, favourite gamers. The contract argument is an entire different factor. Debating which man is extra useful at what quantity is a tricky one. Durant has ~4/194 left on his deal. JB is eligible for a 5/290 contract if he makes all-NBA this season. I’ll go away that to our nice, Keith Smith.
BT: You might be proper. The emotional connection piece is important. I received’t lie. A Tatum-Brown championship would imply extra to me than a Tatum-Durant title. I’ll finish with this thought. Hypothetical situation #1: The Celtics commerce Brown for Durant. They win a title this 12 months, however they by no means win once more throughout Tatum’s profession. They’re a stable playoff workforce however by no means recover from the hump once more as Durant ages out, and so they fail to adequately exchange him throughout Tatum’s 30s. Hypothetical situation #2: Tatum and Brown are assured to be with the Celtics for the subsequent 10 years and don’t endure a career-ending damage. Nonetheless, there isn’t any assured championship on this situation. Name me a playing man, however I’m taking situation #2 and banking on Tatum and Brown getting a minimum of one collectively by means of their primes.
HR: It actually is likely one of the nice questions of roster constructing in basketball. Do you stick it out with the homegrown expertise or go huge and attempt to get the celebrity. A story as previous as time at this level within the NBA, I’m positive we’ll see it a whole lot extra occasions! Nice information is that both method, we get nice basketball to observe. Both it’s the Jays persevering with to develop or KD and Tatum pairing up as one of many higher duos on paper this decade. Ought to be a enjoyable commerce deadline, thanks Ben!
BT: Agreed. All that’s left is to seize some popcorn and see what occurs. Thanks, Harris!
BS: You guys don’t get off that simple. Harris, a deal will intestine Boston’s depth. How a lot are you keen to incorporate within the commerce?
HR: I feel that’s the last word situation for me with this deal. It’s not simply Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant straight up, there may be nonetheless an honest hole there. You need to make the cash work, however the workforce additionally appears resistant in together with Gallinari in any of these offers. You’re most likely locked into giving up a number of picks alongside one in every of Derrick White or Brogdon. May be a Grant/Pritchard package deal if the cash works. It wouldn’t be low-cost by any means, however I feel you’d be getting Durant for .80 on the greenback in comparison with the insane value of different stars. I feel Tatum and Durant is price it long-term, however even NBA trades aren’t inflation proof.
BT: I’m within the preserve JB camp anyhow, however I definitely wouldn’t be curious about attaching a ton of further belongings to him in any potential Durant deal. If Stevens felt that his palms had been actually tied and that Brown is a big flight threat, Brown and Gallinari for Durant truly works wage sensible. I might possibly see a 2025 first rounder included with that deal, however not more than that. I’ve a tough time believing the Nets would discover every other single asset near Brown’s worth on the open market.
HR: I simply marvel what participant in addition to Durant might come accessible that might severely have an effect on the ceiling of this workforce. We’re dealing all in hypotheticals right here, however in the event you give Jaylen that 5/290 and the workforce can’t recover from the hump, is there a method you may even improve on him? Or in the event you preserve him, do you progress Tatum at that time? These are all negative-based “what ifs”, so fairly east to choose aside, however I don’t know if the workforce will ever get a shot at one other Tier 1 tremendous star like this once more to play with Tatum.
BS: That’s a good level, Harris. And we’ve seen wing duos like this not work out like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady and Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Ben, exterior of their file of being a profitable pair, is there one thing this season that convinces you that this might be a Banner 18 12 months?
BT: The Celtics are at present top-5 in each offensive and defensive ranking, and they’re the one workforce at present in that class. That may be a statistical profile of a real contender. They’re 8-deep with confirmed playoff performers. They don’t have a single obvious defensive legal responsibility of their high 8. 7 of their high 8 can shoot from 3. They’ve the personnel to defend any model or kind of star participant. Actually, I feel they’re one of the best constructed contender and the favourite to win all of it this 12 months. It’s definitely no lock in any respect. There are 6-7 groups within the league that COULD beat them in a playoff sequence, however I might choose a completely wholesome Celtics workforce going right into a sequence towards every other absolutely wholesome contender.
HR: I agree with Ben on that. This workforce, as constructed, continues to be one of the best roster in basketball. As of now, this workforce seems to be like an enchancment from final season, they should have the #1 odds in basketball heading into the all-star break. I feel we’re coping with the 90/10 coverage, proper? It’s as laborious to enhance that final 10% because it was to enhance the primary 90%. I feel on this case, it may be even nearer to 95/5. What can the Celtics do to enhance these remaining few % factors over the course of the subsequent couple of seasons? It might be simply counting on inner enhancements from gamers and a few nifty trades or it’s making a extra drastic transfer and hoping for the upside. Until, they win the title this 12 months after all after which that goes out the window.
BS: Nicely, on Thursday night time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that KD and the Nets are dicussing the course of the workforce and to this point, they’re telling different entrance places of work that he’s unavailable. With roughly 24 hours left till the deadline, that might all change in a New York minute although.