Celtics

Celtics

If you believe Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, Kevin Durant fully intends to ditch the Golden State Warriors this summer.

And if you follow the bread crumbs, the New York Knicks are a plausible next destination. Considering Durant's close friendship with Kyrie Irving and the rumors tying the Boston Celtics guard to New York, these developments should concern C's fans.

But what if Durant decides to join Irving ... in Boston?

Our A. Sherrod Blakely floated the possibility during the NBA All-Star break, and in NBC Sports Boston's latest "Celtics Talk" podcast, co-hosts Chris Forsberg and Kyle Draper added some meat to the bone.

Forsberg noted Durant would likely come to Boston via trade; he'd opt in to the final year of his Golden State contract, then go to the Warriors and ask to be moved.

"What would have to happen is, KD would have to opt in to the final year of his deal ... but then he goes to the Warriors and says, 'Hey, listen, I want a trade,' " Forsberg said.

"Why would the Warriors do that? Well, would the Warriors want to lose him for nothing to go to the Knicks? Or do they want to get something in return from Boston for facilitating a deal that he is forcing?

 

Durant is under no obligation to opt in, however. And if New York lands the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery (it currently has a 14 percent chance) to nab Duke star Zion Williamson, the possibility of a KD-Kyrie-Zion tandem at Madison Square Garden may be too good to turn down.

But...

"This is why I think the lottery is important," Forsberg added. " ... If the Knicks were to somehow drift lower in the lottery and didn't get that glitzy centerpiece, there is some thought to, well, 'KD and Kyrie want to play together; there's ways to make that happen in Boston.' "

Indeed, reports suggest Durant and Irving's relationship is "strong as ever," and the two were seen being quite chummy at NBA All-Star Weekend.

The Celtics also have the flexibility to complete an "opt-in-and-trade" with the Warriors: Al Horford and Gordon Hayward both are on maximum contracts, so either player could be sent to Golden State to make salaries match.

We should note this is all speculation, and Forsberg called the KD-to-the-Celtics scenario a "super, super long shot."

But when Glen "Big Baby" Davis insisted way back in November that Durant is "on the way" to Boston ... he may have actually been onto something.

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