Kevin Durant’s trade request saw the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat emerge as his preferred landing spots early on.
Both teams finished atop their respective conference last season and are considered NBA title contenders. But each also makes for complicated trade situations, which has likely removed both from being realistic Nets trade partners.
Enter a third option: the Boston Celtics.
Last year’s NBA Finals runners-up have put together a compelling package, and are a “desirable landing spot” for Durant, per SNY’s Ian Begley. The Celtics reportedly offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a first-round pick.
The offering doesn’t appear to have met the Nets’ high asking price for Durant, with Brooklyn seeming to want reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart in any trade with Boston.
The Celtics could be an attractive spot for Durant, with former Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka running the show in Boston with Durant’s former Team USA teammate Jayson Tatum.Kevin Durant could be a trade fit for the Celtics.Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
If Boston doesn’t work out, another option could be the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Begley. The Sixers — who came together with the Nets on last season’s blockbuster James Harden-Ben Simmons deal — could put together a package featuring Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and/or Matisse Thybulle, among others.
A move to Philly would reunite Durant with Harden after their tension-filled ending.
Durant would be likely to accept a trade to Boston of Philadelphia, though his Brooklyn future is likely in the hands of Joe Tsai. The 12-time All-Star made an ultimatum to the Nets owner, asking for GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash to be fired or be shipped out of town himself.
Durant signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension in 2021, so he has limited power in forcing a trade unless he refuses to play. A source told The Post this week that’s an unlikely scenario.
“I don’t think he’s not going to play,” they said.