HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto and the Celtics beat the writer Jared Weiss share the latest updates on trade negotiations between the Celtics and surrounding Nets Jaylen Brown and Kevin Durant. Moreover, the possibility of Smart Marcus and Grant Williams be involved in trade negotiations, what is the next step for Kyrie Irving future, and more on the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast.
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1:30 Jaylen Brown and Kevin Durant trade talks
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Overcooked: Brooklyn wanted a package that could top the Rudy Gobert package that Utah obtained for him in trade with Minnesota. At this point, this market has not materialized. There are younger guys they would be open to having if they wanted to move Kevin Durant. Scottie Barnes with Toronto, which has not yet been put on the table. You wondered if Brandon Ingram of the Pelicans could be a guy who is put on the table? So far I have heard that it has not been put on the table. I also didn’t see Durant necessarily wanting to go to New Orleans as well.
Jaylen Brown would represent, in my opinion, right now, the best individual player they could potentially salvage for Kevin Durant. Brown could be an All-Star player for the next seven years. From Boston’s perspective, Derrick White is expendable following the exchange to acquire Malcolm Brogdon. Nets General Manager Sean Marks has long been a fan of Smart Marcus by far, according to league sources. I would also say Grant Williams and Payton Prichard would appeal more to their wages compared to whites and given their age and advantage. Make udoka also enjoyed coaching Durant in Brooklyn during their time together.
Weiss: They are ready to replace Jaylen with Durant. They’re willing to risk short-term age and injury risk to avoid a player who has always been very good, who has continued to improve and who was an All-Star two years ago. They’re willing to throw this away to get one of the best players in the game right now. KD hasn’t been available much in recent years. He was amazing in the playoffs two years ago and in the regular season last year… If you trade for KD, you trade for him to put you on top of the playoffs and make you the juggernaut of the league. The Celtics are at a stage where they’re not a juggernaut at all, but they’ve just made it to the Finals and they’ve added two huge plays (Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari) that they were missing.
Overcooked: Durant suffered two major injuries during his career, including his broken Achilles and broken Jones. The remaining four years of Durant’s contract, according to some executives, could be seen as cause for concern. With the increase in the salary cap and maximum contracts, some executives believe that most players over 30 may not be worth the exorbitant salaries they receive, as they are more injury prone and they have played substantial minutes in their careers. I know some leaders have wondered what by Damien Lillard the extension will look like the end of this agreement. I know he’s their franchise icon, but that’s a lot of money to pay an older player at this point in his career. I would have thought some teams would have viewed Durant’s contract as a positive because he’s been under contract for four years, and he’s locked in, while that’s not the case with other guys (you trade for) .
9:25 Commercial availability of Marcus Smart
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Overcooked: As I mentioned, Sean Marks has always been a fan of Smart Marcus from afar. Is there a chance Boston will include him? I wrote weeks ago that if Boston put Brown and Smart in a package with Brooklyn, it could really whet the appetite (to trade Durant) for the Nets. (In this scenario) Boston wouldn’t have to give up as much draft compensation as the Nets are looking for.
Weiss: Smart, in some ways, is the captain of the team. It’s funny because going into the season, Make udoka was talking about naming a few captains, then backed off and said he was out of time. There was a presumption that Smart would have been one of those guys. Smart and Al Horfordor Smart and Brown or Jayson Tatum. Smart becomes more consumable when you bring Malcolm Brogdon because you would still have Brogdon and White as two guards.
If you lose Smart, how does that affect the defensive identity of the team? … If you trade Smart, you trade a player who has this deep root within the organization and is a massive force which is the central identity of the defense that made them so great. Last year, they wanted to build this team around a defensive identity. It worked pretty well. If they trade Smart in the deal, they pretty drastically change the identity of the franchise… I think Smart is worth more to this team than other teams.
14:10 Grant Williams commercial availability
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Scotto: Grant Williams, even though he is a reserve striker and substitute five in this team, has a voice in this dressing room. My feeling is that if Williams and his representation could, they would be happy to do an extension with Boston. Any time you have a chance to get Durant and a guy like Williams may need to be included, you have to watch this. Where do you see the odds of Williams being in that trade talk for Durant or a potential extension for Williams if he stays a Celtic?
Weiss: I think he has a chance of getting an extension. The tricky part is how do you get an extension when you project the ceiling to rise that much? $15 million now is more like $17 or $18 million next year. Can you make the deductible reflect this and compensate effectively, or do you prefer to enter the market with the inflation of the new cap? That’s a factor in whether this deal will go through. I don’t see this deal happening anytime soon because they have to wait out the Durant situation.
21:10 The future of Kyrie Irving’s Nets
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Overcooked: If the Nets trade Kevin Durantit could mean the end of Kyrie Irving time in Brooklyn too. There’s a school of thought from some that Brooklyn could get under the luxury tax by moving both Durant and Irving. While the owner of the nets Joe Tsai has clearly shown a willingness to pay the luxury tax for a team in contention for the championship, it may interest him less if the team is only a playoff caliber team. I don’t think from the bottom of their hearts within the organization that the Nets want to move Durant. This is why the asking price is so exorbitant. I think deep down the Nets want Durant and Irving to come back and give him another chance. You have Ben Simmonswhich is your third piece they added TJ Warrenthey brought back Nicholas Claxton, Joe Harris comes back healthy, and you have a full season of Seth’s Curry.
Some people on Twitter commented that if the Nets got Brown and Irving it would be an interesting team. People, yes, the Nets wanted Irving on free agency if they could get him, but that was largely because he came with Durant. During Irving’s time with the Nets, he left the team for personal reasons, he didn’t get vaccinated, and the big three (with James Harden) became the big 2.5, which was one of the main reasons Harden wanted out. They failed to meet the expectations he publicly hoped for with the team, and the team hoped for since they all joined forces.
Weiss: I thought someone reported that the Nets weren’t interested in dealing Russell Westbrook (in a trade from Irving) and bought him out to get the Lakers’ picks. If you can get two future Lakers firsts at a time when the franchise is likely to be over, you need to take care of it. The assets would be too valuable and you can return them very soon.
Overcooked: When it comes to all potential Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving trade talks, or if the Lakers move Westbrook to any team, both future first-round picks must be included. You’ve already seen Indiana decline multiple second-round picks (in addition to a first-round pick)… If the Nets were to get Westbrook, I’m guessing there will be a third team involved, and one of those First-round pick would go to a team with a salary cap like the Pacers or Spurs, for example. They would probably be more interested in buying him out to get a first-round pick.
29:00 Closing Thoughts
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Overcooked: As for Durant’s business request to leave Brooklyn, time will tell if that ends up being honored or not. I will say this, Kobe Bryant at some point wanted to get out of the Lakers, and that didn’t happen. I think there is still time here where it is not a lock for me and the other league leaders that Durant is traded.
Weiss: I feel like Toronto is in the best position to move Durant because they have the potential to offer three really quality starters and several draft picks. The Celtics can do it too, but Toronto has a bit more youngsters playing in their favor and on their offense, especially if you build around it. Ben Simmons, who is a strong defender. Huge subplot here, what to expect from Simmons?
Overcooked: We think Simmons will keep the best player from one to five, really probably four, not all five. He can play a little Bruce Brown offensive role. They want him to come out in transition to get easy looks for Durant and Irving. I think he will help them defensively, no doubt. You mentioned Toronto being the favourite. If they put Scottie Barnes, which they haven’t done so far, so I think you guys are having a real conversation. That’s what Brooklyn is looking for (in trade talks with the Raptors). I don’t know if Brooklyn would agree with pascal i’m sorry and AND Anunoby. Gary Trent Jr. is also a guy who could be in a contract year. He has a player option ($18.8 million). If he plays like he did last year, I would expect him to step down and enter free agency.