Kevin Durant to Celtics? Shams Charania shares the latest on trade talks

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Charania: C's have emerged as 'real threat' to land Durant originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Are the Boston Celtics about to make the biggest splash of the offseason by trading for Kevin Durant?

Reports surfaced Monday that the C's offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a draft pick to acquire Durant from the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets countered by asking Boston for Brown, Marcus Smart, draft picks, and potentially one more rotation player.

Celtics Talk: Why trading Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant is no slam dunk | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The Athletic's Shams Charania, who reported the Celtics and Nets offers, joined NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition to share the latest on the trade discussions.

"For Boston, it's been pretty slow developing when it comes to the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. At the outset of Kevin Durant's trade request on June 30, you had teams like the Suns, the Heat, the Raptors, really emerge at the forefront. But throughout those conversations, there really hasn't been a deal that makes sense for the Nets. They've set a very high price threshold for a Kevin Durant trade," Charania said.

"There's obviously a high asking price that the Nets have set, and so far no one has really met it. I think over the last couple of weeks, I've heard the Celtics have emerged as a real threat, and they have the pieces to potentially put together a deal. I don't think that this is something that's going to be imminent. The deal could take some time to develop if there's a deal at all. But right now, the sides aren't really necessarily close.

"There is a deal here to be had, but right now the Celtics are not as inclined to trade a guy like Marcus Smart along with draft picks with a guy like Jaylen Brown. In their mind, if you're going to be trading multiple key rotation players to go get Kevin Durant, does that really take you to that next level? These are all questions that Brad Stevens and that front office will have to analyze."

While they seemed ready to part ways with Brown in order to bring Durant to Boston, the Celtics balked at the idea of including Smart. Charania explained why the team is hesitant to ship its veteran point guard to Brooklyn, even for a future Hall of Famer, and why the Nets are unwilling to lower their asking price.

"He's obviously Defensive Player of the Year on the floor. He means a lot to them there, but especially off the court," Charania said. "The culture and leadership that Marcus Smart has brought, it goes beyond stats. You can't really put a numerical value on what he brings to the table. So, there's no question they want Marcus Smart to be the starting point guard on a team that potentially has Kevin Durant. You want to have Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, Al Horford, the guys that they have, the depth that they have. You want to have Marcus Smart on that team.

"But if Brooklyn is dead set on getting Marcus Smart in any type of a potential package with Jaylen Brown as well as draft picks and potentially other players, clearly the price is set. And so, there's not gonna be movement from Brooklyn's side as far as acquiescing and lowering their ask or Boston coming up and saying we can't miss out on Kevin Durant, he changes the game for us. There very well might not be a deal, but there is a framework of something here. But which side ultimately ends up deciding that they want to give a little bit more than they might right now? We'll see what happens."

You can hear everything Charania had to say about the Durant-Celtics situation in the full Early Edition segment below: