Celtics offer Jaylen Brown package for Kevin Durant, latest on Donovan Mitchell and more: Inside Pass

As the calendar approaches August and much of the roster maneuvering that occurs via the NBA draft and free agency is behind us, the dog days of the offseason are here . But the uncertain futures of superstars Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell continue to loom over the league. The NBA never sleeps.

So while NBA executives and players scatter around the world for much-needed downtime and personal time after the shortened 2020 and 2021 seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, a full summer gives everyone time to clear their minds although the very balance of The Power for next season and beyond is yet to be determined.

There is no trade deadline right now, but deadlines always create action, allowing the parties to get really serious or decide to walk away from discussions. Now, the start of training camp around September 26th is the unofficial trade deadline. Teams looking to move players face a late September deadline to find a move before camp, or risk a cloud hanging over the start of the season.

Durant requested a trade to Brooklyn on June 30, according to sources, and after active discussions between the Nets and interested teams in early July, talks have slowed. The Nets have set an incredibly high bar for the return the franchise wants in a Durant trade: two-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP, former league MVP and 12-time All-Star, and the teams have not come close. to reach its price yet.

Durant has shown no change in his position, sources say, and executives around the league at the Las Vegas Summer League this month wondered whether his status for training camp could be put on hold. doubt if no trade takes place.

After the Phoenix Suns matched Indiana’s max offer sheet of $133 million for Deandre Ayton, Durant’s list of suitors became clearer. With Ayton currently untradeable, the Suns appear to be all but eliminated from the Durant sweepstakes. The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain among the teams in pursuit, and the Boston Celtics recently offered a package around one-time All-Star Jaylen Brown for Durant and have emerged as a real threat to acquire Durant, they say league sources to The Athletic.

The Celtics offered Brown, point guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant, sources said. The proposal was rejected and Brooklyn has asked Boston, in any proposal, to include Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player, those sources added. Currently, the Celtics are less inclined to include Smart along with other player assets or pick assets, but the franchise is mulling next steps on how to approach the discussions.

As of now, the Celtics have emerged as a serious possibility as a landing spot for Durant. They have a strong interest in wearing it and see it as a piece that could get them over this last hurdle. While there is work to be done, there is agreement that the Nets’ overwhelming question would be enough.

For Boston, fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals, the opportunity to land potentially one of the greatest players in league history is one for president Brad Stevens to analyze and explore. However, the Celtics are sure to be cautious and are willing to ensure that the franchise can remain a championship contender for years to come, which this current core appears to be ready for. But this is Kevin Durant, and his greatness could instantly change a team’s fortunes from title contender to title winner under the right circumstances.

No deal for Durant is imminent, and as August and then September roll in, the real desire from interested teams will become apparent for the Nets. Brooklyn’s front office, led by general manager Sean Marks, has set a high price on the market for Durant while building a team that gives the organization confidence in its ability to contend if the team carries the roster, as it is. on the training ground. The onus is on interested parties to come to the table to get the price for one of the best players in the NBA. The Utah Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package that includes several players, their 2022 first-round pick in Walker Kessler, four future first-rounders and a draft pick trade, which has increased slightly the market value of Durant and the Nets. ‘ desire for All-Star caliber players and picks.

Nets star Kyrie Irving picked up his $37 million player option for next season, committing through the 2022-23 season with the franchise. In Brooklyn, much remains to be resolved, and a clearer picture promises to reveal itself as the summer progresses, and the belief though that the best path to competing for a championship could certainly be to bring the current roster to the new season

ESPN first reported the Celtics entering as an interested suitor for Durant. Durant has four years and $198 million remaining on his contract, while Brown has two years and nearly $60 million.

Meanwhile, the league’s eyes and ears also remain on the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks who are involved in trade talks surrounding Mitchell. The Knicks’ pool of assets — up to eight first-round picks and young players like Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin — give them a clear shot at acquiring Mitchell, but sources say talks so far have progressed slowly and the sides are far from an agreement. With three years guaranteed on Mitchell’s contract, the Jazz are not operating on a sense of urgency and have time to evaluate the best offers for the 25-year-old.

Mitchell has spent the summer going about his usual offseason routine: high-intensity workouts and time with family and friends. Sources said the three-time NBA All-Star has not requested a trade or tried to force his way out of Utah, but if the franchise moves toward a full rebuild, a competitor like Mitchell would prefer to be in a targeted environment to win now , not later.

Along with New York, several other teams have expressed interest in the Jazz when it comes to Mitchell, including Washington, Miami, Toronto, Charlotte, Sacramento and Atlanta, according to sources.

Like Brooklyn, the Jazz have remained steadfast in setting a high bar in any potential Mitchell deal, and expect to be patient throughout the process. For now, the Jazz will continue to evaluate incoming calls and look for ways to balance their roster.

The NBA’s unofficial trade deadline for the offseason is two months away, and Durant and Mitchell are shaping up to be major dominoes for the entire league.

More NBA news and notes…

Cleveland Cavaliers

Collin Sexton is in the midst of the most difficult free agency status — restricted free agency — but the fourth-year guard and his representation, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, have so far shown they won’t settle with the negotiations. Discussions could come into training camp and potentially into the season when the league’s roster landscape changes.

Sexton has a qualifying offer of $7.2 million for the 2022-23 season, which would make him one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market next offseason.

Houston Rockets

Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. and the organization have mutual interest in a contract extension before the start of the 2022-23 season, sources said. Porter, the No. 30 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, is entering the final season of his rookie contract. He joined the Rockets on January 29, 2021 and has made progress over the past two years in Houston.

Porter averaged 15.6 points, 6.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting a career-best 37.5 percent from 3-point range.

Los Angeles Lakers

After further talks, former NBA star Rasheed Wallace will no longer join new Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s staff, sources said. Wallace was an assistant under Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis last season.

Utah Jazz

Utah, New York and Indiana are among the teams that have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Russell Westbrook and draft capital, sources said. No deal appears imminent in those talks as the general trade market plays out over the next two months of the offseason.

(Top photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

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