ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is a company man. We’re about to enter one of the slowest weeks of the sports year, but Woj is making sure ESPN has something to gossip about on the morning and daytime talk shows. God forbid they talk about baseball.
Woj dropped this news at 2:28 a.m. ET. Like most people, I woke up stunned at the tweet notification and clicked the link to see how deep the Nets and Celtics were in trade talks.
Spoiler alert, this report is a nothing burger. While there is no reason to question Woj’s reporting on this, it doesn’t provide us with any new information.
Here’s a long excerpt from Woj’s piece on ESPN:
“As Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant’s trade request approaches a fourth week, the Boston Celtics have emerged among teams engaged in talks on a possible deal, sources told ESPN.
The Celtics appear no closer to acquiring Durant than others in discussions with the Nets, but Boston’s ability to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown as a centerpiece in offers does help to make the team formidable in its pursuit, sources said.
The Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors have been well-known to have varying degrees of interest in Durant, but the Celtics have also been in regular contact with the Nets, sources said.
There are no deals believed to have traction for Durant, and no team has yet to reach the significant threshold that the Nets have set to trade one of the league’s most talented players, sources said. The Nets’ posture on a potential trade has been largely unchanged: They want a massive return that potentially includes multiple unprotected first-round picks, pick swaps and impactful players for Durant, sources said.”
What did we learn from this report? The Celtics are a team that can trade for Durant and Jaylen Brown is a valuable trade chip. Thanks, Woj!
Woj’s old protégé — Shams Charania of The Athletic — added some context to this by reporting details on an offer and counter offer. Boston offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a pick for Durant. The Nets countered by asking for Brown, Marcus Smart, another rotation player, and multiple picks.
So, what does this all mean? Nothing really. There are no real developments on the Durant trade front.
Wojnarowski’s bosses at ESPN must be happy with him, though. They know that Woj’s reports can move the needle and provide a week’s worth of content on the television side. Pundits on “Get Up” and “First Take” are sure to beat this Durant speculation into the ground.
Don’t be surprised to see ESPN trot out its top NBA news breaker on all the TV shows to talk about how league executives are speculating on blah, blah, blah. Woj is terrible on TV. He’s even worse when he has nothing substantive to talk about.
Woj gets paid the big bucks for nothing burgers like these. It’s a big part of how the Worldwide Leader in sports operates nowadays.