Celtics' Grant Williams Talks Jaylen Brown Being Focus Of Kevin Durant Trade Rumors

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 22, 2022

Grant Williams and Jaylen Brown (Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams believes teammate Jaylen Brown will draw motivation from being included in trade rumors involving Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant.

"It's one of those things you can't really be discouraged by," Williams told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe on Sunday. "I feel like we love JB, everyone here in Boston, everyone on the team. And it kind of shows how valuable he is, the fact that a top-10 player in the world [could be traded], and you're the focal point?"

In July, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Celtics offered Brown, fellow guard Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Durant. Brooklyn wanted guard Marcus Smart instead of White along with more draft selections and potentially another roster player.

So far, there's been no indication the talks have picked up any steam after that initial exchange of proposals.

Williams told Himmelsbach he expects Brown, 25, to use the situation to his advantage heading into his seventh NBA season.

"[Brown is] going to take it with a competitive mindset, too," he said. "I think that he's going to come back with a chip on his shoulder, and I love that, because I know how he responds and he's going to be very, very, secure, because he's secure in himself."

While Durant hasn't rescinded his trade request despite the sluggish nature of talks, it appears the Nets are prepared to wait him out unless another team is willing to meet their sky-high asking price.

The 12-time All-Star holds limited leverage since he's under contract through 2025-26 as part of a four-year, $194.2 million deal with Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, it's hard to blame the Celtics for exploring the possibility of adding Durant, but they don't necessarily need that type of move to hunt down a championship.

The current core, led by Brown, Smart, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, reached the NBA Finals last season before falling short against the Golden State Warriors, and the front office made a few nice depth additions this summer in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.

Individually, Brown averaged 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 threes and 1.1 steals while shooting 47.3 percent from the field in 66 regular-season games. He ranked 18th among all NBA players in FiveThirtyEight's WAR metric. KD was 21st (55 games played).

Although it's possible the Celtics could still pull off a roster-altering deal for Durant before the season tips off in October, Williams expects a motivated Brown to once again lead the C's toward a deep playoff run this season.


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