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Report: Celtics considered Durant’s preferred landing spot, 76ers could also pursue star

The trade market for Durant seems to be heating up.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets looks on before Round 1 Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are considered Kevin Durant’s preferred landing spot in a trade, according to a report from SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley. Begley also says the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors are involving in a potential Durant trade, while the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly deciding whether to enter the mix.

Durant initially had the Phoenix Suns and Heat as his preferred landing spots, but the Suns are likely out of the mix after matching Deandre Ayton’s offer sheet. The Heat wouldn’t be able to include Bam Adebayo in a trade unless the Nets also elect to deal Ben Simmons, so that likely takes Miami out. Boston remains a big threat, but Begley notes Durant wants to play with Marcus Smart. The Nets had asked for Smart to be included in one of the early Durant trade offers which got leaked, so that’s another hiccup.

The 76ers could offer a package centered around Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle, but would also put Durant back with James Harden. After last season’s drama where Harden basically quit on Durant and Kyrie Irving, largely due to the latter, it’s hard to imagine a happy reunion in Philadelphia. After the work Harden did to accommodate some new players, it’d be interesting to see him sign off on a Durant trade.

All this stems from Durant’s ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai. Durant reportedly told Tsai to choose between him or the current general manager-coach combination of Sean Marks and Steve Nash. Tsai publicly tweeted he backs the latter, but that doesn’t mean he’s willing to deal Durant. The forward has four years left on his deal with no options, so he’s at the mercy of the Nets. We’ll see if there’s a resolution to this mess soon enough.