After keeping very quiet throughout the whole Kevin Durant trade saga that the Brooklyn Nets star ended after meeting with Nets brass and rescinding his trade request, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations made an appearance on the WEEI “Merloni, Fauria and Mego” show on Tuesday afternoon to talk about the Celtics’ perspective on the trade rumors.
The cycle of leaks and counter leaks regarding whether or not the Celtics had actually offered any sort of package for Durant that included star Boston wing Jaylen Brown was placed off limits by the Celtics president, but Stevens had plenty to say around the margins nonetheless.
“I’m not going to go into any conversations that we had, because I don’t think that’s appropriate, but my job is to know what costs are and then ultimately determine whether or not we want to be involved in any deal with any team around the league,” he explained.
“Since the Brogdon, trade, we felt really good about our team,” added Stevens, “and we felt really good about building around these guys …trying to accentuate our best players.”
“We’re excited to move forward with our team, and that’s really been our focus for a while here. You say it’s been busy, and there’s been a lot of talk, but it hadn’t been from what we do. Hopefully, it gives everybody something to talk about. It’s been pretty quiet on our front for a while now. Our gym is now perked up again, we’ve got some of our young players in and we’ve got a bunch of people that are coming to training camp on invitations, and some other free agents.”
“And so we’re back at it, basketballs are bouncing again, some of our guys are working out in other areas of the country,” shared the Celtics president, “but here in Boston, we’re back at it.”
The hosts did their best to steer it back in the direction of Brown by asking about whether there had been any talks with the Georgia native about an extension, but Stevens shot that down due to the team being unable to discuss that with him until October.
“Obviously, he is a huge core piece of what we’re doing, and has been for six years now,” suggested the Celtics exec. “So we’re excited to hopefully put our best foot forward to have him here for a long time.”
“Of course” he had reached out to Brown when his name came up in trade talks, revealed Stevens, who explained that this was old hat for the former No. 3 pick. “The noise has been around him for a long time and (for) big names over the years.”
“I think one of the things that you have to be able to do and know better than anybody in this in this world of professional athletics, you have got to be able to ignore the noise and know what’s important, but also be able to reach out and have candid and transparent communications with the people that are involved, so yeah, we’ve had those (conversations), made ourselves very open from the get-go as all of this has been going on for any of our guys.”
“I actually sat down with Jaylen last week and got a chance to see him; he was out in (Los Angeles) training,” shared the Boston top executive.
We may never know the extent of how real trade talks between the Nets and Celtics were for Kevin Durant given how close to the vest Stevens keeps his internal team business.
But we do know that the franchise and the fanbase value him greatly, and the former has done their due diligence to make sure he knows it.
There will almost certainly be no extension for Brown before the end of next season, but it’s clear that Stevens wants it to be known that the team sees the Cal-Berkeley product as an important part of their future regardless.
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