Kevin Durant should come to Boston.
I say that, knowing it probably won’t happen. The champagne has yet to dry in Golden State. His Warriors are NBA Champions. And right now, it’s looking like a dynasty in the making.
But with the Finals over, and the offseason beginning, it’s time for the rest of us to look ahead to next year and beyond.
Here in Boston, names like Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin will dominate the headlines and rumor mill, both before and after the Celtics most likely draft Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s draft. That doesn’t mean a guy can’t dream.
Durant in Green is just that, a figment of my imagination. It’s a thought that is now quickly dismissed in these parts, and for good reason: Golden State is destined to be the NBA’s next great dynasty.
Still, as I sit here with my GM cap on, I can’t stop thinking about how Durant-to-Boston makes too much sense.
The C’s were a finalist to land him in free agency last summer. They even brought Tom Brady with them to meet Durant during their sales pitch in the Hamptons. Durant said Brady’s presence at that meeting almost forced him to choose Boston over Golden State. Instead, he signed a two-year contract with the Warriors, with a player option on the second year. It would make sense to opt-out this summer, but all signs point to him re-signing with Golden State on a long-term deal.
Still, before he officially commits to Golden State for more than one year, don’t tell me Durant doesn’t see the elephant in the room: his legacy.
Durant’s move to the team he couldn’t beat will forever be criticized. Each title he wins with the Warriors will be accompanied by an asterisk. Averaging 28 points per game in the playoffs and 35 points per game in the Finals gets him some type of respect, but there’s no denying what he did when he left Oklahoma City for Golden State.
That brings me back to the Celtics. The last time the C’s were trying to land Durant, they were a 48-win team that finished as the No. 5 seed in the East and lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. They had just signed Al Horford, and Isaiah Thomas was outside of the top 10 in NBA scoring with 22 points per game.
One year later, the Celtics are a 53-win team that finished as the No. 1 seed in the East, only to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals. Horford proved to be more than just a valuable piece in the playoffs, and Thomas finished the year third in the NBA in scoring with 29 points per game while establishing himself as a max player.
Durant is 28. By the time Fultz develops into the dominant point guard he’s projected to be, Durant will still be in his prime — maybe even at his best. The Celtics also still have plenty of assets to make some type of big trade that includes a few players and the 2018 Brooklyn pick.
He should come to Boston.
Let LeBron James leave Cleveland after next year and play in Los Angeles. Own the East for the rest of your career. Win back your much-deserved respect from the basketball world. And in the process, become a legend.
If Durant wants to win championships and save his legacy, he should come to Boston.
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