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When Kevin Durant gave Nets owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum, telling him to choose between him and the combination of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash, it helped out his future team.

One could argue it also slowed down the process of getting a deal done, but there hasn't been much progress on that front anyway. Durant's ultimatum and Tsai expressing his support for Marks and Nash could get Brooklyn to lower its asking price, helping to resolve this matter.

As constructed, some, such as FanDuel Sportsbook, see the Celtics as the betting favorite to lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy this season. They don't and likely won't part with multiple members of their roster core to acquire Durant.

It's why, even before the latest blow to the Nets' leverage, Boston was unwilling to make Robert Williams available in negotiations for Durant, per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.

It's the same reason talks between these two never gained traction when Brooklyn, per Shams Charania of The Athletic, asked the Celtics for Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, multiple draft picks, and potentially one more rotation player.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, not only has Durant expanded his list of desired destinations to now include Boston and Philadelphia, but if the four-time scoring champion joins the Celtics, he'd like to play alongside 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.

And if Boston's willing to roll the dice on Durant, believing it brings better odds of winning a championship in the short term, a package including Brown but no other members of the Celtics' core, at the moment, is seemingly the best proposal the Nets will receive.

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Further Reading

Celtics Reportedly Desired Destination for Kevin Durant

Even for Kevin Durant, Nets Reported Initial Asking Price from the Celtics was Exorbitant

Paul Pierce Weighs in On Celtics Potentially Trading for Kevin Durant

Report: Celtics Expected to Have Open Competition for Final Roster Spots

Jayson Tatum Discusses Building a Legacy with Jaylen Brown in Boston, Offseason Focus, Bill Russell, and Celtics' Additions

Celtics Projected to Have One of the NBA's Most Expensive Teams in 2022-23

Gone but Never Forgotten, Bill Russell Leaves Behind a Lasting Impact on and Off the Court

Celtics Sign Noah Vonleh, Who Has a Legitimate Chance to Make the Team