The Kevin Durant trade rumors could have been a distraction for the Boston Celtics, but Ime Udoka made sure his team ignored the outside noise.
Udoka spoke Wednesday about the Durant-to-Boston speculation, which began in late July with a rumored trade proposal that involved Jaylen Brown heading to Brooklyn. The Celtics head coach did his part to keep all of his players in the loop.
“We have a lot of guys whose names have come up over the years,” Udoka said on WEEI's Merloni, Fauria and Mego. “With us, we reiterate how important they are to us and we all see these guys in the summer anyway but also let them know that a lot of these rumors that come up are leaked by people with specific agendas.”
It isn't the first time Boston's stars have been mentioned in trade rumors, and it certainly won't be the last. That's the message Udoka wanted to get across to his players amid the Durant circus.
“If a name like Kevin Durant comes up, a high-level player like that, people are naturally going to ask about your best players,” Udoka said. “Jayson (Tatum), Jaylen, Marcus (Smart), those names always tend to come up. We let them know how much we value them and these things are often leaked and nothing is going to come of it.”
Celtics president Brad Stevens offered similar comments about the Durant rumors, stating the team was transparent in its communication with all people involved.
Now that the Durant talk has been put to bed, the Celtics can focus on the roster they built to bring home Banner 18 in 2023. The new-look C's, featuring offseason additions Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, will begin camp next month. Opening Night is set for Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.