The C’s also have a solid structure in place — under head coach Ime Udoka and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens — so that KD wouldn’t necessarily need to be the franchise’s foundation.
Colin Cowherd on Tuesday explained Durant is more “diva wide receiver” than “franchise quarterback,” an analogy he used to highlight how Randy Moss succeeded with the New England Patriots in large because of the “culture” already established by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Obviously, it’s not apples to apples. We’re talking about two different sports. But the Celtics seemingly have their own “culture” in place, which Cowherd believes makes Boston “the fit” for a Durant deal.
“I think Boston is the fit for Kevin Durant,” Cowherd said on FS1. “They’ve got the culture. They have a defensive-minded culture. They hired a defensive-minded coach. He holds people accountable. Marcus Smart is the Defensive Player of the Year. He’s kind of the soul of the team. You’ve got Jayson Tatum — coachable, players love him. You bring in Kevin Durant, the culture is set by the coach, the defense, smart people upstairs. Good culture in Boston. They need their Randy Moss. They need a wide receiver. They need a playmaker. And that’s what Kevin Durant is.”
Basically, it wouldn’t be all that dissimilar to when Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors before the 2016-17 season. The Celtics, unlike the Warriors, still are trying to get over the championship hump with their current core, but they’re certainly on an upward trajectory. And maybe, just maybe, Durant’s elite scoring ability is Boston’s missing ingredient.
“Boston’s not as good as Golden State. They don’t have a Steph Curry,” Cowherd said. “But the culture, when you think of the Celtics, you think defense, intensity, both ends of the floor, no nights off. They need buckets. They need buckets. Somebody get me a bucket.”
Kyrie Irving, who’s now Durant’s teammate in Brooklyn, was supposed to be the answer for Boston when the Celtics traded for him before the 2017-18 campaign. So, what makes a potential Durant pursuit any different, especially if it costs the C’s an emerging star in Brown plus other assets?
“Kyrie bombed there because the culture wasn’t as solid yet,” Cowherd said. “Jaylen Brown was too young. Marcus Smart was young. Jayson Tatum was young. Brad Stevens, the coach, was young. They didn’t have the culture set yet. Now, the culture’s set. We know what Boston is. They’re a conference finals or (NBA) Finals team. The culture is set with these dudes. Go get a bucket. So, my guess is the Kevin Durant market’s small, but I think Boston’s the fit.”
Durant and the Nets sure seem to be at an impasse, with the 12-time All-Star reportedly requesting a trade and then giving team owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum. Whether that’ll lead to KD donning green remains to be seen, but a trade to Boston is a fascinating hypothetical, if nothing else.