Might as well dream big, right? It is probably still a long shot, but if you have any chance of landing Kevin Durant, you move heaven and earth to get your foot in the door. The current roster includes one star and lots of very good young pieces headed by one of the top coaches in the game.
That alone might be enough to entice Kevin Durant to head East and sign with Boston. But it seems like our chances rise considerably if Danny Ainge can make a move before that move. To wit, he needs to get the Ray Allen piece before he can land a Kevin Garnett again.
The Celts will indeed make a serious run at Kevin Durant, and we have been told from a number of sources that he will listen to the pitch. How open he is to the pitch will be determined at least in part by how the remainder of the Oklahoma City season goes. It also will be determined by what Ainge can get done before July 1. The Celtics have to do something with all those picks, whether it’s drafting players of substance or trading one or more choices for immediate help.
Bulpett goes on to mention guys like Jimmy Butler and Jahlil Okafor, but you could just as well include a number of different names in the first-wave target list.
They won't come cheap though. The Celtics would likely have to surrender their Nets pick. How high the pick lands would determine how many other picks and pieces would have to be included. We might have to say goodbye to players we've grown to love - like Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, or Marcus Smart (to name a few).
For years we've watched Danny Ainge "win" trade after trade, getting excellent value for his assets. This summer, however, we might have to overpay to get in the game of adding stars. That could potentially even mean giving up the top pick in the draft. I wouldn't completely rule out the option of trading Isaiah Thomas either - depending on the return (though I'm not sure if he's as valuable to any other team as he is to the Celtics).
All of which is a gamble to begin with. What if we move most of our best assets landing the first star and Durant still decides to stay in OKC or head elsewhere? Is there a decent plan B free agent to get? If not, is the first star plus Thomas enough to compete? The situations aren't the same, but I don't know if Pierce, Allen, and Al Jefferson was going to be enough to win a title the way that Pierce, Allen, and Garnett did.
Then again, it would have been a good step in the right direction, and Rondo would have continued to develop - though in a different way without KG as a mentor. Impossible to tell all the butterfly effect impacts.
The underlying point that Bulpett stresses is very important. All of this depends on luck. Ainge has set the team up to make moves, but they need things to fall right for this to be a franchise altering offseason like we all hope it will be. Lottery luck, the willingness of other teams to make trades, and the willingness of free agents to leave their current teams will all play major roles, and none of that is within Danny's control.
So can the Celtics get Kevin Durant? We've got a lot of questions to get answered before we'll be able to discuss that potential seriously. Should be a fun process though.