Celtics reportedly offer Jaylen Brown in Kevin Durant trade with Nets

The Boston Celtics aren’t resting on their laurels. The reigning Eastern Conference champions have reportedly made an offer to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant, and they’ve emerged as a “serious possibility” to land the two-time Finals MVP, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The deal, if executed, would make it hard to put another team ahead of Boston in the conversation for 2023 title favorite. As constructed, the Celtics already have +450 odds at most sportsbooks to win it all, the shortest of any team. Tipico Sportsbook moved them into a tie with the Phoenix Suns at +550 after they traded for Malcolm Brogdon in early July — and that was when the Suns were thought to be favorites to land Durant, which no longer seems plausible.

Now, it’s the Celtics in talks with Brooklyn. They reportedly offered a package centered around Jaylen Brown, who appeared to respond to the rumors on Twitter. And though it was rejected, the Nets’ asking price wouldn’t change Boston’s status as the unquestioned favorite if they found a way to come to an agreement.

According to Charania, the Celtics offered Brown and Derrick White, and the Nets asked for proposals that included Brown, Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player. If the goal is to win championships, and that’s all it takes, the Celtics have to find a way to make that happen.

As unfortunate as it would be to lose home-grown talents like Brown and Smart, replacing them with Durant and Brogdon represents a significant upgrade overall. However marginal the difference between Smart and Brogdon, the gap between Durant and Brown swings the trade in Boston’s favor and even makes up for whatever extra rotation player they might have to part with.

Even if they have to lose the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Boston would remain very good defensively. And Durant-Jayson Tatum would be an elite duo that any team would find difficult to stop. Now might be a good time to hammer Boston’s odds, before they grow any shorter.