Sports | July 25, 2022 12:02 pm

If Boston Trades Jaylen Brown to the Nets for Kevin Durant, Blame Kanye West

West's Donda Sports signed the 2021 Celtics All-Star in May

Jaylen Brown drives to the basket against Kevin Durant
Jaylen Brown and Kevin Durant could be swapping uniforms.
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, again.

That may end up being the case with Kevin Durant as the NBA superstar appears to be at risk of being dealt to the Celtics from the Brooklyn Nets for Boston forward Jaylen Brown and a yet-to-be-determined package of players and assets. For Durant, who lost to the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs despite the Nets being favored to start the series. this would be history repeating itself again as he infamously left the Thunder for the Warriors after Oklahoma City was bounced from the playoffs by Golden State.

In this instance, Durant’s departure would be a trade instead of a signing and the team acquiring him, the Celtics, would be paying a heavy price to bring in the 33-year-old star. However, the Celtics may feel they have no choice because Brown, who was an All-Star two seasons ago and played very well in the playoffs, only has two years left on his contract and is not a lock to re-sign with the team once his deal is up. While Brown has never said that publicly, his decision to sign with Kanye West’s Donda Sports agency in May spoke volumes. A recent photo session with West and Boston antagonist Kyrie Irving also may have indicated where Brown’s head is at.

On the surface, the Celtics trading their 25-year-old star and a package of assets for an injury-prone Durant seems a bit ridiculous. But if you consider the possibility that Brown, who may feel as if he is playing second fiddle to Jayson Tatum with the Celtics (and it’s hard to imagine West telling him otherwise), is going to be gone in two years anyway, the potential deal makes a lot more sense. Trading Brown for Durant, who has four years left on his contract, would be a huge gamble, but it would be better than losing the former for nothing.

West’s involvement in the situation, no matter how minimal, has to be a concern for the Celtics. Irving being on the scene, and being seen, also must be a worry. Both are volatile and neither are likely to advise Brown that staying with Boston is in his best interest. After all, it is his name, not Tatum’s, that is constantly in trade rumors even though he largely outplayed his high-profile teammate in the NBA Finals when the Celtics lost to the Warriors. If West is in his ear, Brown has surely not forgotten how the Finals played out.

What will happen? Maybe nothing. Or maybe the Celtics and Nets will agree to a blockbuster trade that will alter the courses of both franchises for years to come. After all, it’s happened before — and that’s why the Celtics have Brown in the first place. If they don’t end up keeping him and he heads south to Brooklyn, blame West.