The Boston Celtics may not have won over green teamers on draft night last Thursday, but the chance to land Kevin Durant would, even if it’s slim to none. Many NBA fans will denounce any talk of FAs coming to Boston and I know that the cold weather plays a major part.
Sports talk radio in Boston has been contemplating certain trade scenarios and how the Celtics rebuild would take from the very beginning. Names like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins were the talk of Boston for the latter part of the season.
Now the attention shifts to Durant, he has selected six teams to meet with including Boston and his current team (Oklahoma City Thunder). There are other teams in the fold but let’s just focus on Boston.
What the Team Has Going For Them
1. Cap Flexibility
It’s what brought the Miami Heat teams of Wade, James, and Bosh together. Most of these guys, particularly in these All Star Games and Olympic/World events, talk and get used to playing with them. The Celtics will be the only team meeting with Durant that will have another max contract to give even after signing Durant.
The Celtics starting five would look like this with Durant in the fold, I also adding Hawks PF Al Horford in there because he could sign with Durant with the cap space out there to do it.
PG Isaiah Thomas
SG Avery Bradley
SF Kevin Durant
PF Jae Crowder
C Al Horford
Of course there will be other moves but unlike other teams like Miami, who have doubts and questions among their roster, the Celtics won 48 games with a team built on players who are cast offs, or players developed by the Celtics coaching staff, and that’s another topic.
2. Brad Stevens/Danny Ainge
In today’s NBA, you have coaches like Erik Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue winning championships as coaches. But even if we can’t give them full credit, they were assistant coaches and have their knowledge and respect to win games.
Stevens was already an elite college coach at Butler and now coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, they are looking to get into legitimate contention along with Indiana and Cleveland, the only two teams in the East better right now.
Stevens could draw guys here because of what he’s done already in Boston, especially after last season. Stevens isn’t perfect but hasn’t had the opportunity to work with an elite player in his time as a basketball coach. Durant could look at the Stevens/Ainge combo as a duo that can deliver for him after the postseason disappointments in recent years.
It’s also been noted that he has a lot of friends in Boston, not just Knighton and Thomas. If he has his boys up here in Boston, he might be led to come join him.
Leaving a team that was up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals is a tough proposition for any team. Bovada also gave the Celtics 20/1 odds to sign him, so the pitch will have to be flawless and perfect. Having a steady ownership, organization, and front office sets up for a long string of success.
3. No Team Has More Tradition Than The Celtics
CSNNE debuted a thirty year tribute for the 1986 Celtics and as of now they can absolutely push that for Durant and any other player. You can play Johnny Most’s best broadcasts and they’re filled with championships among many memories in between.
As for #35, the mother of the late Reggie Lewis (who wore #35 for the Celtics until his death,) recently spoke to the media in Boston giving the blessing for Durant to wear his number. The Celtics have unretired numbers before, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen come to mind.
Kevin Durant has also been vocal about how much respect he’s had for the team, their tradition/legacy, and of course the environment in Boston. Isaiah Thomas has been going all-in to recruit Durant to Boston, new Patriots DT Terrance Knighton has also been close with Durant and will be wooing him to Boston also.
But no team, not even the bandwagon Lakers, can say they have the most championships in league history. This advantage may not fair quite as well for us as the other two because it’s today’s NBA.
I ultimately think he stays in OKC but Durant would be able to cement his own legacy for a new generation of Boston fans that may never be the same after Tom Brady and David Ortiz retires, We’re lucky as a city to have them, and will welcome Durant with open arms if he decides to come here from Oklahoma City.
Thomas, Durant, and Horford would be a great trio. If they add a defensive based big to that starting five, they could win championships, not just a championship which the Big 3 (the real big three in the modern era) won once and reached the NBA Finals again in 2010.
Boston has had many dreams come true in the 21st century in terms of sports. All four major sports have won a championship, but with the Bruins on a downward spiral, the Celtics could be the show of the winter season for a long time with Durant.