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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Atlantic Notes: Tatum, Durant, Knicks, Raptors

Various members of the NBA world have been weighing in since word spread earlier this week that the Celtics and Nets have been in conversation about a trade centered around current Brooklyn All-Star forward Kevin Durant and current Boston star wing Jaylen Brown.

Brown’s All-Star running mate in Boston, Jayson Tatum, has finally supplied his two cents on the matter, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“I played with [Durant] during the Olympics,” Tatum commented on Tuesday, attending the premiere of the new Showtime documentary Point Gods. Durant, as an executive producer, was also in attendance, but did not discuss his future with assembled media. “Obviously, he’s a great player, but that’s not my decision,” Tatum continued. “We got two new pieces [in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari]… I love our team. I just go out there and play with my teammates. I don’t put that [general manager] hat on to make decisions.”

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The aforementioned notion of a swap of Nets star Kevin Durant for Celtics star Jaylen Brown and additional assets was explored by Jared Weiss, Jay King, and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic in a new roundtable.
  • The other big lingering line item that persists at this point in the 2022 NBA offseason is the fate of Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. The 6’1″ swingman has long been floated as a possible fit for the Knicks, a star-hungry big market club with the contracts, future draft equity, and intriguing young talent to potentially swing a deal that the Utah front office may value. The Athletic’s Fred Katz and Mike Vorkunov experiment with a fascinating exercise by opting to stage a mock draft of New York’s most-valuable trade chips.
  • The Knicks are not the only game in town when it comes to possibly adding the services of Donovan Mitchell for the 2022/23 NBA season. Raptors team president Masai Ujiri and his Jazz front office counterpart Danny Ainge may appear at first blush to be particularly abrasive trade partners, doomed to haggle over picks and protections, opines Eric Koreen of The Athletic. However, Koreen notes that, because of the depth of Toronto’s young talent, the teams could wind up being particularly good fits for each other in a Mitchell transaction, provided Ujiri and Ainge can agree on the granular details of such an exchange.

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