Would Durant have signed with C's if...

DourDoerr

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I'm wondering if you substituted Irving for Thomas and the Brooklyn '17 pick last offseason would that have pushed Durant into signing with the C's. Given what had happened prior to that offseason - Thomas' very good '16 season (not the great '17) and Irving's playoff heroics culminating in that season's championship - I'm thinking he'd be even more tempted, if not swayed.

There's a lot of moving parts though, as he'd also be looking at a roster that'd be reduced in depth - no Crowder or Tatum for sure and whichever players might need to go for salary reasons - as well as no Hayseed, so there's that to consider too. In this scenario, the C's would still have next year's Nets pick. Any thoughts?
 

DourDoerr

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Well, I was willing to roll with the premise that he was available and traded. But I realize I goofed and didn't account for the salary discrepancy between IT and KI. Horford wouldn't have been signed or the roster would have to be decimated to fit KD. He would pass.

Mods please feel free to lock and/or mock.
 

johnmd20

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Plus, Durant wanted to join the team who had the best regular season in the history of the NBA. So that limited his options considerably.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Plus, Durant wanted to join the team who had the best regular season in the history of the NBA. So that limited his options considerably.
Haha, I'll bite. No one can say for sure, but I'd guess if anything that fact was more of a deterrent than an incentive.

I imagine he liked the idea of playing with Steph, Andre, Draymond, and Klay — cool guys of his hoops generation whom he knew well, texted with often, and had chilled with frequently on Team USA, all-star teams, etc. And I imagine he liked that all those guys (especially Steph) had made a point of flying out to the Hamptons to woo him. He has also said he was impressed by how much passion they had for the game, their "joyful" style of play, how well they all seemed to get along, on and off the court, etc.

Obviously all that touchy-feely stuff dovetailed pretty closely with "joining the team with the best chances of winning a championship," but that's a little different from saying he joined them because they had put up the best regular season ever. He has said he wouldn't have — or couldn't have — joined them if they had closed out Cleveland for their 2nd straight title, and I kinda believe that. My general sense is that it took things happening exactly as they did (GSW beats OKC, CLE beats GSW) to land him in Oakland. If OKC closes out the Warriors in the WCF, I imagine he stays there. And if the Warriors close out Cleveland, I think there's a good chance he ends up in Boston.

Bill Simmons asked him in a recent interview how close he was to signing in Boston, and he said something like "I'll let your imagination run wild." Maybe someday he'll give a more detailed answer, but I get the sense even he can't say for sure what he would he would have done if the Warriors had beaten Cleveland.
 
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Sam Ray Not

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And lo, a brand new BS podcast with KD dropped today. No new details on his 2016 flirtation with the Cs, but boatloads of funny/interesting general NBA gossip (including some glowing praise for Kyrie, whom he considers the most skilled player he's ever seen...)

https://soundcloud.com/the-bill-simmons-podcast
 
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CantKeepmedown

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And lo, a brand new BS podcast with KD dropped today. No new details on his 2016 flirtation with the Cs, but boatloads of funny/interesting general NBA gossip (including some glowing praise for Kyrie, whom he considers the most skilled player he's ever seen...)

https://soundcloud.com/the-bill-simmons-podcast
Was just going to post that. Some interesting comments about the LeBron effect as well.

"When you’re around LeBron James, there’s so much that comes with that -- outside distractions and conversations and just noise that just comes around from being around LeBron James. And Kyrie was at the point, like, 'All right, we lost the championship, this whole season’s gonna be about if LeBron’s gonna leave or not. I’m ready for a new challenge.'
Makes a lot of sense. At least adds some perspective on Kyrie's decision as opposed to just calling him a bad teammate because he requested a trade from a team that went to the finals.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Among other diverse and enlightening topics, Simmons also asks him to weigh in on whether or not he still wants to drink Scarlett Johansson's bath water.

(Spoiler alert: he does, and says she's single).
 

tbb345

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Haha, I'll bite. No one can say for sure, but I'd guess if anything that fact was more of a deterrent than an incentive.

I imagine he liked the idea of playing with Steph, Andre, Draymond, and Klay — cool guys of his hoops generation whom he knew well, texted with often, and had chilled with frequently on Team USA, all-star teams, etc. And I imagine he liked that all those guys (especially Steph) had made a point of flying out to the Hamptons to woo him. He has also said he was impressed by how much passion they had for the game, their "joyful" style of play, how well they all seemed to get along, on and off the court, etc.

Obviously all that touchy-feely stuff dovetailed pretty closely with "joining the team with the best chances of winning a championship," but that's a little different from saying he joined them because they had put up the best regular season ever. He has said he wouldn't have — or couldn't have — joined them if they had closed out Cleveland for their 2nd straight title, and I kinda believe that. My general sense is that it took things happening exactly as they did (GSW beats OKC, CLE beats GSW) to land him in Oakland. If OKC closes out the Warriors in the WCF, I imagine he stays there. And if the Warriors close out Cleveland, I think there's a good chance he ends up in Boston.

Bill Simmons asked him in a recent interview how close he was to signing in Boston, and he said something like "I'll let your imagination run wild." Maybe someday he'll give a more detailed answer, but I get the sense even he can't say for sure what he would he would have done if the Warriors had beaten Cleveland.
That 3rd paragraph is something that people who support Durant are willing to gloss over or act like it makes complete sense....it doesn't. It's really stupid, backwards reasoning that Durant has willed himself to believe so that he can feel like less of a front runner for joining a team that just won 73 fucking regular season games.

The bottom line is that Draymond Green getting suspended is why GS lost that series. Shit, even people that work and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers have admitted that to NBA writers off the record (notably Zach Lowe). It's Durant's right to go where ever he wants to go and I understand the impetus to get a ring by any means necessary because those opportunities are fleeting and who knows how long a persons NBA career will be.
However, this whole narrative that Durant has constructed and perpetuated that there's no way he would ever have joined a team that just won the Finals is really goddamn stupid and honestly insulting to anyone who has a shred of intelligence. I am not sure why KD needs to keep explaining/justifying his decision in those terms (I think it's more so he can truly believe it versus any other person) but the fact that going to Golden State would give him the easiest route to get a championship was true well before the outcome of the 2016 Finals
 

Sam Ray Not

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The bottom line is that Draymond Green getting suspended is why GS lost that series.
That's your bottom line. They also got lost Games 3, 6 and 7 with Draymond playing; and were pretty lucky to pull out a close Game 4. Draymond's suspension for Game 5 was obviously a factor, but I suspect no more of one than the fact that Curry was probably (eye test) at 70-75% after straining his MCL; Iguodala was hurt and Bogut was out for the last two games; and the Warriors as a whole were just gassed after the long 73-win chase and battling Portland and OKC with Curry out/hurt, whereas Cleveland was healthy and fresh as a daisy after breezing through the East with 7-8 days of rest between series.

Also worth remembering that OKC had them all-but-dead in 5 games — up by 7 with a few minutes left in Game 5, at home — before Klay and Steph hit a bunch of crazy contested threes to save the season.

Even the 73 wins is somewhat misleading, as they pulled out a ton of close/lucky games. By Pythag they were a 67-win team, and nowhere near as good as last year's team by net rating.

However, this whole narrative that Durant has constructed and perpetuated that there's no way he would ever have joined a team that just won the Finals is really goddamn stupid and honestly insulting to anyone who has a shred of intelligence.
Hmm, not sure if that's a carefully "constructed, perpetuated narrative" so much as just a guess on his part. As I said, I'm not sure he himself knows what he might have done differently if the Ws had been two-time defending champions; and I'm not sure the Warriors really know what they might have done differently if they had won their second straight title, and/or if Harrison Barnes (young, versatile, and beloved by teammates and ownership) hadn't disappeared in the process. My sense is that if they had won they would have chased KD a bit less ardently; and if they had been a bit less ardent, KD easily could have felt less needed and ended up elsewhere. Basically, "we need you, cos LeBron beat us" was a huge selling point, even if "with you in the Bay, OKC disappears as a serious contender, and there's no way CLE can hang with us" was the subtext.

I mean, or it's possible he was 100% set on signing with GS either way, but I'm not sure why we as fans can know that with any degree of confidence.

the fact that going to Golden State would give him the easiest route to get a championship was true well before the outcome of the 2016 Finals
Yeah, I don't think anyone, including KD, would question that. What's a question (to me anyway) was whether that outcome affected his decision.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Bumping this — as the de facto "all-purpose KD thread" — to link Part 2 of the latest and greatest Simmons/Durant convo:


This one may be even more wide-ranging and hilarious than the last. For Cs fans, the last 20 minutes or so contain a lot of general Celtics chatter. (KD loves the Aron Baynes signing, weirdly).

Perverse highlight may be Simmons and KD giggling like schoolgirls about Aaron Hernandez (who Simmons in Part 1 had seemed to forget was no longer with us...)
 

DavidTai

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Yeah, I don't think anyone, including KD, would question that. What's a question (to me anyway) was whether that outcome affected his decision.
I thought he acknowledged that it did, that he wouldn't have wanted to 'join a champion', but could join a team that 'needed him to complete the puzzle'. I know it was pretty frustrating to me at the time. Course, most of it, from what I can find through a cursory search, was speculation.

http://nba.nbcsports.com/2017/01/10/report-many-in-nba-believe-kevin-durant-wouldve-signed-with-celtics-if-warriors-beat-cavaliers-in-2016-finals/
 

DourDoerr

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Bumping this — as the de facto "all-purpose KD thread" — to link Part 2 of the latest and greatest Simmons/Durant convo:


This one may be even more wide-ranging and hilarious than the last. For Cs fans, the last 20 minutes or so contain a lot of general Celtics chatter. (KD loves the Aron Baynes signing, weirdly).

Perverse highlight may be Simmons and KD giggling like schoolgirls about Aaron Hernandez (who Simmons in Part 1 had seemed to forget was no longer with us...)
Finally listened to both pods and they were pretty interesting. Very casual tone and guard seems to be down - at least as down as it gets with an athlete still active.

Near the end of 1st part, Simmons asks who could beat him 1on1 and then KD says something like "It'd have to be someone my size" and then, unprompted, "Kyrie would be tough to stop though." Thursday can't come soon enough for me.