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26-7-2022  

By Suman Suthar   

ESPN and The Athletic reported Monday that Durant may join the Celtics. SI said Boston was an obvious landing destination for Durant. The Celtics are a competitive club that might make a run at Durant and have the wherewithal to do so. 

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Jaylen Brown, 25, is a two-year All-Star. Boston might add Derrick White, Grant Williams, draught selections, and/or trade rights.I'd think Boston is the frontrunner to sign Durant right now.

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Phoenix couldn't make anything work when Deandre Ayton was a free agency, and now that he's signed a four-year, max-level agreement, the Suns have few alternatives.

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Some in the NBA don't believe Miami would deal Bam Adebayo for Durant, and a Tyler Herro-led package isn't enough. Warriors GM Bob Myers ruled out re-signing Durant. The Raptors aren't interested in dealing Scottie Barnes, I'm told.

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There's been some discussion of Utah getting involved, with Donovan Mitchell going to Brooklyn and a bunch of draught selections going to the Jazz, but nothing substantial.

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Why would Boston want Durant? Without Durant, Boston is the title favourite, say sceptics. The Celtics added Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari but still need a backup centre. Brown averaged roughly 24 points per game following the All-Star break, when he and the Celtics were healthy. Brown may have been Finals MVP if Boston had beaten Golden State.

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Try telling Boston's brass they'll return to the Finals. If Khris Middleton was healthy last year, the Celtics' season would have ended in the second round. If Jimmy Butler was healthy, Miami would have won Game 7 against Boston. Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Cleveland have restocked.

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Then Durant arrives. A Durant–Tatum tandem would offer Boston an explosive attack. Remember the Celtics' Finals offensive woes? Gone. When healthy, Durant was one of the league's top players last season, suggesting that his talent would age nicely. If so, Boston possesses a four-year title-winning window (Durant's contract).

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Why would Durant choose Boston? As far as we know, including why Durant wants to be traded, the Celtics are not on his preferred team list. Durant met with Boston as a free agent in 2016. Al Horford pondered joining OKC in 2016 if Durant stayed. He knows 2021 Brooklyn assistant Ime Udoka. So does Durant. Celtics may be his best option on paper.

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