The Boston Celtics appear to be the "unofficial front-runner" for a potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant, according to executives that have spoken with Sam Amick of The Athletic

The Celtics have made Jaylen Brown the centerpiece of their offer for Durant. Brown is clearly the second best player on the Celtics and has made an All-Star Game.

The Nets are using the presence of Brown in trade talks as a baseline in negotations with other teams, sources tell Amick. The messaging from Brooklyn is that they're not interested in discussing deals with teams unless at least their second best player is included.

Brooklyn had reportedly hoped to keep Durant if trade offers from teams didn't improve, but his meeting with Joe Tsai has signaled that he will continue to agitate for a trade and is not interested in remaining with the franchise.