When Kevin Durant first asked out of Brooklyn, his desired landing spots were Phoenix and Miami, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. However, the Suns have since matched the max offer sheet the Pacers gave Deandre Ayton. Due to only being allowed one player on a designated rookie extension, the Heat can't include Bam Adebayo in a deal for Durant unless the Nets first or simultaneously move Ben Simmons.
As a result, Durant's had to expand his list of preferred destinations, which now includes Boston, per Ian Begley of SNY. And if Durant ends up in green and white, Begley adds the former league MVP wants to play with Marcus Smart.
As the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and someone who grew into his first opportunity to be the Celtics' starting floor general, it's no surprise Durant views Smart as a point guard who, stylistically, he'd like to play alongside.
Durant issuing an ultimatum to Nets' owner Joe Tsai, telling him to choose between the four-time scoring champion and the general manager and head coach combination of Sean Marks and Steve Nash, further diminished Brooklyn's leverage. Now, Durant is signaling a willingness to come to Boston.
Surely, he'd like to play alongside Jayson Tatum, now, there's a report he'd like to team with Smart, and earlier this week, Charania noted the relationship Durant and Ime Udoka have built in recent years.
"Durant has grown close with Boston coach Ime Udoka in recent years after Udoka spent a year with Durant as an assistant in Brooklyn and later with Team USA for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
While the Nets, who reportedly asked the Celtics for Tatum and Brown to part with Durant, are struggling to find suitors, Durant's ultimatum is public knowledge, and now he's reportedly added Boston to his list of desired destinations. That might strengthen the Celtics' belief it's worth sacrificing the long-term prospects of keeping Tatum and Brown together to boost their chances at a championship in the short term.
It also bodes well for Boston keeping Smart out of a deal for Durant, instead parting with, most likely, Derrick White, along with a package of draft picks.
Still, Durant might not end up on the Celtics next season. For instance, Begley also reports the two-time Finals MVP would welcome a trade to the Sixers. While a package centered around Brown tops one headlined by Tyrese Maxey, it illustrates Boston's pursuit of Durant may prove unsuccessful.
That's why, as trade rumors revolving around the Celtics' interest in acquiring Durant persist, the organization is in constant communication with Brown, whose contract expires after the 2023-24 campaign.