Home > Uncategorized > The Space Time Continuum and Kevin Durant…

The Space Time Continuum and Kevin Durant…

In Bill Simmons’ most recent mailbag, he posed a question that his father and him had been discussing:

If you could go back in time “Lost”-style and fix the 2007 lottery so the Celtics landed the second pick, would you keep what happened (No. 5 pick, KG trade, 2008 title, everything else that happened up to now), or would you switch it so that they ended up with the No. 2 pick and Durant?
–Dr. Bill Simmons, Boston

Now, you can see Bill’s answer here and while I agree with what he says, I must admit that I was a little surprised by the ease of his answer. I would almost certainly trade the 2007 championship for a decade’s worth of Durant, but it’s a purely hypothetical question for me, because, unlike Bill, I didn’t celebrate in 2007 (and yes, I realize it’s a purely hypothetical question for him too, but you smart alecks get my point). Giving up a title is a difficult proposition, because as great as Durant is,* there have been plenty of Hall of Fame players who spent a decade in a city and couldn’t bring a title there (think Malone, Ewing, Barkley, Baylor and even Kevin Garnett before he left Minnesota). So, even if Durant ascends to among the all-timers, there’s no guarantee that he would bring the Celtics a title…

*(and, if you haven’t noticed, he’s not just great, he’s phenomenal. His scoring average in his first three years has gone 20-25-30. He’s 22 and still learning the nuances of the game, but already he’s a top seven player. Within two years he’ll be top three… the other two? The King obviously, and Chris Paul).

… Still, as I read the question, I couldn’t help but remember a blog article I read somewhere a long time ago, in a galaxy… somewhat near this one. The column postulated on this very scenario. No not the part about going back in time, the part about drafting Kevin Durant in the 2007 draft. Wanting to re-read what the author said at the time, I went looking for it and sure enough you can find it here. The writing’s a bit rudimentary and the trade that he proposed for Paul Pierce doesn’t look so great in hindsight, but… I’ve got to say, I like his style and I have a sneaky suspicion that his future wife’s going to be beautiful. I don’t know why I think that, lets just call it a hunch.

Anyhow, as Simmons notes, the Celtics with Durant would have had a young nucleus of KD, Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins. They also had the expiring contract of Theo Ratliff and, of course, the Truth. Now, Paul Pierce was what that old column was really about. What could the Celtics do with Pierce? It was the second part of a two column look at the sagging fortunes of the Celtics. They could have kept him to mentor the kids, or — more likely — they could have moved him for cap space, young guys and picks.

And this is where things get really interesting, if the Celtics had made the right moves, they could be entering this offseason with Durant et all, and because those guys are still on cheap contracts, the Celts could also have had a boat load of cap space. So… would joining the NBA’s most important franchise, in a sport rabid city, with that impressive young core be something LeBron, Wade, or Bosh would consider? Because if it is, then that’s a future reality that is definitely worth trading the 2007 title for.

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