Here’s how a Kevin Durant-Celtics trade would affect the Knicks

Three summers ago, Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets over the New York Knicks. Here we are in the summer of 2022, six weeks after KD requested a trade, and the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia Sixers are now being labeled as his two “desired landing spots.”

Both teams have been brought up as potential landing spots for Durant, but the Celtics seem to be the likelier landing spot over the Sixers, although KD and James Harden recently spent time together in London at a Travis Scott concert. And yes, London is where Durant had his meeting with Joe Tsai.

Reportedly, weeks ago Boston offered a package to Boston centered around Jaylen Brown, but the Nets turned it down and said that Marcus Smart would have to be included in a deal.

However, SNY’s Ian Begley reported on Wednesday that KD wants to play with Smart if he’s traded to the Celtics. If that’s true, Brooklyn likely won’t take that into consideration because the Nets have leverage since Durant still has four guaranteed years left on his contract.

If Durant were traded to Boston and the Celtics offered up enough so that they could keep Smart in the process, here’s how that move would affect New York.

What would a Kevin Durant-Celtics trade mean for the Knicks?

Presumably, Brown would be going to Brooklyn, which could end up hurting the Celtics in the long run since the guard is 25 years old while Durant is 33. However, after Boston’s run to the NBA Finals a couple of months ago, the Celtics could be willing to lay it all out on the table to win a championship with KD.

With New York being in the same division as Brooklyn and Boston, Durant being traded wouldn’t mean that the Knicks would have to face him less. But like with Harden, who took a pay cut this summer so that Philadelphia could have room to make a few key additions, New York would have the opportunity to make things more difficult for Boston.

The Celtics are in a good spot under Ime Udoka, but a trade for KD could end up working against their favor. Depending on what Boston would have to give up (Brown would undoubtedly be gone as mentioned), the Celtics’ route to hanging banner No. 18 might not be as simple as expected by trading for Durant. After all, look at what’s happened to the Nets.

Boston was able to turn its season around and make it to the NBA’s biggest stage without Durant, and in theory, adding one of the greatest players of all time should increase their chances, but it could also hurt them, too. If a trade happens, that’s the scenario that Knicks fans should be rooting for.

It’d be interesting to see how KD making the move to the Celtics would impact the Eastern Conference as well as the division. We know that New York isn’t going to be sitting atop the conference, although a trade for Donovan Mitchell would help to boost the Knicks’ standing.

New York isn’t making a major push to win a title in the very near future, which is what the Celtics would be doing by trading for Durant. And if something were to go wrong in Boston, would KD want out? That’s perhaps the most important question that the Celtics should be taking into consideration.

The Knicks should be happy that the summer of 2019 played out the way that it did and that New York isn’t being viewed as a landing spot for Durant, although the organization has enough to get a deal done. But for now, the focus is on possibly using their assets for Donovan Mitchell, who could soon be making his way to the Atlantic Division sometime in the next couple of months…