The news dropped as suddenly as a tornado, with the prospective to depart a comparable trail of devastation: Kevin Durant needs out of Brooklyn.
Durant straight away results in being the prize of the NBA offseason, his long term certain to make a frenzy of speculation linking him to fifty percent the contenders in the league.
The Celtics are currently on the small checklist, for evident reasons. They are able of winning a title, which should attractiveness to Durant’s ring selection. And they are blessed with a youthful All-Star in Jaylen Brown to serve as the reputable centerpiece of any offer.
To all of that I say, no thank you.
Durant’s an extraordinary talent and if healthier, he makes the Celtics the favorites to raise Banner 18. Envision the not long ago concluded Finals with Durant drilling silky 15-footers in the halfcourt as an alternative of the Celtics actively playing a cross concerning Marco Polo and bumper cars on offense. Draymond Green’s podcast would be on hiatus.
Fantasizing about Durant in Boston tends to make perfect perception. Good luck locating the length and quickness to defend both of those Durant and Jayson Tatum, the 1st-crew All-NBA collection who could inherit the former’s mantle as the league’s ideal pure scorer. You can’t double the two of them.
Apart from really don’t be seduced, mainly because the Celtics must sit this a person out for a host of motives.
Initial of all, Durant turns 34 in September, and he has not particularly been a product of dependability the very last a few years. He skipped the 2020 Bubble period although recovering from a torn Achilles. He returned and promptly missed 23 video games with a hamstring strain. He expended two months last 12 months on the shelf with an MCL sprain.
Players get more injuries-inclined as they age, not much less, and Durant features 1984 Corolla amounts of mileage. He debuted for the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007, when his teammates included 1994 UConn All-American Donyell Marshall. At some place, he’ll slow down. He unquestionably looked weary the very last time we observed him, when Steve Nash performed him into the floor for 44 minutes a evening and the Celtics harassed him into his worst playoff shooting in extra than a ten years for the duration of a first-spherical sweep.
If there is certainly a magic number for players of Durant’s talent degree, it’s 34. That is how outdated Michael Jordan was when he gained his final title. It’s when Kobe Bryant blew out his Achilles, Paul Pierce produced his closing All-Star workforce, and Dwyane Wade gained his final playoff collection. (To be reasonable, it is really also when Durant’s former teammate, Steph Curry, lit up the Celtics en route to Finals MVP just a few of weeks in the past.)
Unless of course you might be named LeBron James, now is typically when the ravages of time completely claim the upper hand. The Celtics could risk anything they have crafted on Durant becoming the exception, but it’s unneeded.
It’s possible you forgot, but they just concluded two wins shy of a title. They did that by setting up an identity created all around suffocating protection and positional flexibility. Brown fits that mildew. Tatum unquestionably does. So does Marcus Wise, Robert Williams, and Grant Williams. Importing Durant would require improvements.
“So what?” you say. Ok, but the Celtics used yrs ignoring incessant calls to crack up the Jays, and now that they are on the cusp with a single of the youngest cores in the league, they are going to throw it all away in the pursuit of another white whale? They tried using this with Kyrie Irving and they are fortunate they escaped with their lives.
Durant is an remarkable participant. There is no concern he’s superior than Brown. But he’s not a lot more dependable and I are not able to believe I’m stating this immediately after all the time we have expended dissecting their connection, but the Jays can perform alongside one another and Brown wants to be right here. We have no strategy if Durant matches and no idea if he’d keep invested.
His latest observe document is just not terrific. He still left Golden Condition following butting heads with Eco-friendly and failing to integrate with the homegrown main. He joined the Nets amid considerably fanfare, received just one particular playoff collection in 3 many years, and now needs out.
And let us not switch a blind eye to the amazing dysfunction that marked Durant’s Brooklyn tenure. Any workforce featuring Irving and (briefly) James Harden in all probability is not destined to provide as a bedrock of steadiness, but in which was Durant’s management when everything fell apart? Now he’s all set to minimize and run. Trusting that he will never do the same a yr from now is a leap of faith, particularly given that he never ever seemed specially enamored with Boston’s cure of his great buddy Irving.
At last, you will find the substantial make any difference of the return. The Nets would not give Durant away, primarily in just the division. The plan that Brown, Daniel Theis, and decide on swaps will land him is a fantasy. Robert Williams would practically undoubtedly have to be a element of any deal. That is the only way to compete with a offer out of Miami centered all over Sixth Guy of the Year Tyler Herro and All-Star significant man Bam Adebayo.
The Suns could supply defensive stopper Mikal Bridges and former No. 1 all round decide Deandre Ayton. The Grizzlies can dangle Jaren Jackson Jr., the league’s No. 1 shot blocker, as nicely as rugged guard Desmond Bane (although Jackson will skip 4-6 months just after undergoing foot surgical procedures).
The Celtics are already slim on to start with-spherical picks after working a single to San Antonio for Derrick White. That’s vital, simply because 3/8 of their playoff rotation — Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Payton Pritchard — arrived concerning picks 22 and 27. Encompassing your max stars with youthful, low cost talent is the surest way to stay aggressive for much more than a yr.
And which is why I in the long run come down on the facet of no. Durant may well set you above the prime in 2023, but he could just as very easily display his age and you could just as simply get there with out him. 4 many years back, this would’ve been a no-brainer. But right now? Far too a lot unwanted possibility. The Celtics are carried out seeking.
Why start out over when you happen to be only just finding began?
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