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I will be the first to admit it, I thought Kevin Durant was coming to Boston. It all made sense. A superstar in his prime, ready to take over a franchise and be the cornerstone for the foreseeable future. Durant as a Celtic would have gone down in the history books next to Bird, Pierce, Garnett, Russell, Cowens and Havlicek regardless if he were to win a title. The number 35 would have been snatched from the rafters with the blessing of the late Reggie Lewis' wife and mother:



The thought of another slim Celtics' number 35 jersey racing down the Garden court gives you chills. No NBA player has reminded old school Celtics fan of the late Lewis than Durant. A tall lengthy, smooth scorer who can get buckets with the best of them.

Instead, the mild mannered and now former member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, chose the easy road. You can say I am "hating" on KD but it's the truth. The man couldn't beat the Warriors so he decided to join them. He came to the conclusion that he couldn't be the man, plain and simple. As my frustration clearly bleeds through my keyboard, I realize one major point, Durant had all the right in the world to leave for the chance to win a boat load of rings. It doesn't mean I can't be annoyed.

So as Celtics' fans sulk at their July 4th cookouts, cracking another Miller Lite, one must realize how much there is to look forward too.

Boston is still in the Eastern Conference:

Hey call me Captain Obvious, but it's true. The Celtics improved so much with the signing of Al Horford that there is plenty of reason to have hope for the next version of the Boston Celtics. Picture every time Jared Sullinger tossed up an atrocious three-pointer these past few seasons. Well substitute that terrible shot, for the smooth stroke, or excellent passing ability of the newest member to the team. Horford is such an upgrade to any big man on the C's roster. He will instantly create more space for those Isaiah Thomas drives to the paint.

I am aware the reigning NBA champs are in the east. But the Cavs are literally the only team in the conference that gives you the scaries. That being said this current group of Celtics can challenge any squad in the east, whether it's Toronto, the improving Pacers, new look Knicks, or the up and coming Hornets.

The Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls certainly took steps back, so that's another factor in why the C's should soar to the top of the conference.

Brad Stevens

I realize Stevens hasn't won a playoff series since leaving Butler University, but keep in mind this is the same guy who once made Jordan Crawford relevant. He turned Jae Crowder into the steal of the Rajon Rondo trade, and continues to improve the games of Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas.

Plus Stevens, after signing an contract extension, will be on the Boston sidelines until I have officially gone bald and my daughter is asking for my car keys.

The 2017 draft

It's been reported that the 2017 draft is the deepest in quite sometime. Who knows if that's true but the C's do have the right to swap picks with the Nets. You know the Brooklyn Nets who are banking on Jeremy Lin and Tyler Johnson next season.

Danny Ainge never sleeps

I don't know what plan B is but Ainge and Celts' management are too smart not to have one. Whether that is to stay put, up the package for Jimmy Butler, or to take a chance on acquiring DeMarcus Cousins, the Celtics GM's next move is up in the air. Even if Ainge chooses to stay the course, he still has lottery pick in the next two drafts, unless somehow the Nets put a lid on the opposing teams basket.

The unknown move

I have no clue what it is. I just feel like Ainge has something up his sleeve and I really want to know about it right now.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Follow Rob Welch on Twitter @CelticWelch

Rob Welch 7/04/2016 07:59:00 PM Edit
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