Shams: Nets never received better offer than Celtics' Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, 1st rounder proposal
Yesterday was the day after the storm (that never happened) and everyone in NBA circles was talking about why a Kevin Durant trade never happened and how the Nets will coalesce after all the drama. Shams Charania confirmend on the Rich Eisen Show that after the Nets turned down the Celtics' trade offer of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a first round pick in early July, they never got a better one (or even an offer on par with it) from the Celtics or anyone else.
The Nets will now look to try and contend with the same team that looked elite just a year back, but with former All-NBA forward Ben Simmons in place of James Harden. But if they don't end up with a title or make a future great trade involving Durant, Brooklyn may very well regret passing on Jaylen Brown.
For the Celtics, I was not a fan of the Jaylen Brown offer, but I'm also happy to see that while Brad Stevens might give up more in deals than other GM's, he's not going to be pressured to stretch too far. While Danny Ainge definitely was looking to win trades, Stevens seems willing to give very fair offers or even overpay by a bit (the San Antonio trade) to get things done, but he's no sucker.
You want a first rounder in addition to Kemba Walker for Al Horford then fine, but that's our limit. No one else is offering you a pick. You want a first rounder for Malcom Brogdon and his contract, fine. But we're going to put protections on the pick if you're also getting Aaron Nesmith. No one is offering more.
So Stevens and the Celtics decided that the risk of giving up Jaylen Brown for the older Kevin Durant was worth it, and were willing to give up Derrick White and a 1st rounder, so the Nets could claim they got a package, but that was the limit. No Marcus Smart. No Robert Williams. No Grant Williams. No more picks.
Other teams (like the Lakers) would have likely kicked in a couple more first round picks to get the star player, but Stevens can't think that shortsighted in Boston's market. The Lakers can always rebuild by signing a superstar with cap space, while a team like the Celtics would be royally screwed if they hit hard times and had no draft picks to rebuild with.
I would say the Kevin Durant trade request being rescinded was the best thing that could have happened to Boston, but I think it would have been better if the Nets were blown up and Durant was traded to another team who overpaid. But that's simply because I remember how good the Nets were in the 2020-21 season, and I don't think Ben Simmons has suddenly become trash due to how things ended with him in Philadelphia.
I think the Nets are a formidable obstacle as the Celtics attempt to make it back to the NBA Finals for the first time in 36 years. Now if Simmons ends up not being able to play due to mental or physical reasons, than they don't scare me at all. I also could see the Nets trading Simmons to the Jazz for Donovan Mitchell if Brooklyn is willing to kick in picks tom appease Danny Ainge.