If the Boston Celtics do trade for Kevin Durant, it's not because they are worried about Jaylen Brown leaving.
Brown has only two years remaining on his current contract compared with four for Durant, making the latter the safer bet to stay with the organization. However, ESPN's Zach Lowe reported he has "not yet gotten the sense the Celtics are operating from some position of fear" when it comes to Brown.
As Lowe noted, Boston can offer the most years and money in a new deal and even a supermax if eligible, and "players rarely turn that down."
This discussion comes amid reports the Celtics offered Brown, Derrick White and draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets in a potential deal for Durant, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Nets are reportedly looking for even more in a deal—potentially including Marcus Smart—but the trade talk alone could damage the relationship with Brown. The wing has certainly noticed the ongoing discussion:
Bleacher Report's A. Sherrod Blakely reported the relationship with the team could be damaged.
"Jaylen won't let this affect his play, but he won't forget this, either," one Eastern Conference scout said.
Brown was an All-Star in 2020-21 and produced similar numbers this past season, finishing 2021-22 with 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He was a major reason the Celtics reached the NBA Finals this past year, averaging 23.1 points per game in the playoffs with 24.1 per game in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
Even with this production, Boston could improve on the court with a trade for Durant, who has 12 All-Star selection and four scoring titles. The 33-year-old averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game last season.
While any potential move could ruin the Celtics' chemistry last season, there is little doubt the team would be better on paper with Durant.
It's enough for Boston to remain involved in trade talks, regardless of what it means for Brown's future with the team.