Jayson Tatum has heard the rumors that President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has been cooking up trade offers for Kevin Durant.
The Boston Celtics star is staying out of it.
"The cool part about his job is Brad don't tell me how to do my job anymore. You not the coach," Tatum told Jared Weiss of The Athletic. "He lets me do my thing. I let him do his thing. In all honesty, that's his decision and that's his job."
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Durant, who requested a trade in June. The Nets countered by asking for Brown, Marcus Smart and multiple future draft picks, an offer Boston declined.
Durant trade negotiations have moved at a glacial pace, as Brooklyn seeks to reap a historic trade haul for the 12-time All-Star. It's unclear if the Celtics—or any team, for that matter—remain active in talks with the Nets. Mum has been the word as the status quo moves forward during what is typically a quiet period in the NBA.
Stevens is heading into his second season running the Celtics' basketball operations. His first year was an unequivocal success, with Boston making its first Finals run in more than a decade and first-year coach Ime Udoka appearing to be the real deal.
The Celtics have already been active this offseason in improving the roster, trading for Malcolm Brogdon and signing Danilo Gallinari. It's arguable they're already the favorites to repeat as Eastern Conference champions.
That said, if Stevens learned anything from predecessor Danny Ainge, it's to never stay stagnant and assume the same results will follow. Exploring a trade for Durant—even if it means giving up Brown—is smart business. They're two players on completely different stratospheres; Durant raises the ceiling on title contention.
If Stevens is unable to pull off a Durant deal, however, it's fair to wonder how the rumors will impact Brown's relationship with the franchise. The 25-year-old has already seen his name bandied about in talks for Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and now Durant. At some point, there's likely going to be a period where Brown gets tired of the rumors and wants to take his future into his own hands.
Suffice it to say the rest of this summer will involve navigating those precarious waters.