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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made some serious waves with his Monday report that the Boston Celtics were in the mix to land Kevin Durant. Although Woj’s news broke Monday, it’s been reported that the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets had discussed the move earlier.

Former Celtics star Cedric Maxwell, a radio analyst for the team, initially had mixed emotions about the deal. On Monday night, he said he thought things over and was now “off the fence” about a potential deal. Maxwell reflected on some Red Auerbach advice and said he’d pull the trigger on the deal. That didn’t go over well with many Celtics fans.

Cedric Maxwell said Kevin Durant is what the Boston Celtics needed during the NBA Finals

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown drives to the basket with defensive pressure from Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant during the first quarter of their game in March 2022. | Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

So, should the Celtics trade Brown, one of their top young players, for Durant, a proven superstar who will be 34 years old during the 2022-23 season? It’s a tough call, and Maxwell knows it. During an interview on NBC Sports Boston, Maxwell explained why he’d lean toward trading Brown for Durant.

“Let me jump off the fence, and this is what I’ll say,” Maxwell said. “Last year, your problem was you couldn’t score in the Finals. Would you have won the championship if you had Kevin Durant on that team with (Jayson Tatum)? I think that answers my question. I will jump off the fence and say I would make the trade.

“As much as I love Jaylen Brown — I love Jaylen Brown — but Red Auerbach said it better than we can all say it. Never fall in love with the product. Always be willing to make changes to improve your basketball club. I think I’m off the fence now. If push came to shove, I would do it, but I wouldn’t give the entire bank for him. I’d give up some players but not the whole bank.”

Maxwell likened the deal to when the Celtics traded hot-shot prospect Al Jefferson in a package for an aging Kevin Garnett. In Garnett’s first year in Boston, the Celtics won the championship.

“I was in love with Al Jefferson,” Maxwell said. “How do you get rid of Al Jefferson when you think about going over and getting the ‘Big Ticket?’ You can’t do that because he’s an older player. At the end of the day, it made business sense, and they won a championship.”

Maxwell took some heat on social media for his thoughts

If you’re Brad Stevens, you have to at least listen for a deal involving Durant, even if it means parting with Brown. Durant’s the better player. Brown has the better future.

The Nets are the team in panic mode, not the Celtics. Boston doesn’t have to do anything else. They’ll be a prime candidate to return to the NBA Finals if they stand pat. The problem is Brown is under contract for just two more years. There have been reports and subtle hints that he might want to test free agency. If Stevens has any indication Brown won’t re-up with Boston, he should absolutely look into moving him for Durant.

Maxwell said he’d make the move to get Durant. That didn’t sit well in Celtics Twitter world.

“This is the MAIN reason he will want out,” one Twitter user wrote. “Our own broadcasters are putting out things like this? We were 2 games away!! So crazy. (Brown) is such a gem. Trading him and other players puts us further away. And then suddenly we’re back to where we were but with no draft picks.”

“Biggest mistake in Celts history if that trade goes down,” wrote another Twitter user.

“As much as I love Cedric Maxwell, get this nonsense off my timeline,” another wrote.

Maxwell has always spoken his mind. This time, many of the Celtics fans are on the other side.


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