Already had mentioned this before on this site back when Durant made his pick, but ESPN Magazine just did a thorough review of the Kevin Durant free agent talks and confirmed with many NBA sources that Boston indeed was likely Durant's 2nd choice.
On Saturday, July 2, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca, GM Danny Ainge, and Patriots QB Tom Brady fly to the East Hampton Airport to meet with Durant. The players they bring: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder. Thomas, Olynyk and Crowder pose for photos with Brady next to the Celtics owners' jet, and, in the meeting, the Celtics group pitches teaming KD with Horford -- not knowing Durant had already heard that idea just days before in Oklahoma City. Still, Durant meets with Boston for four hours. And, in the aftermath, many sources around the NBA come to believe this: Boston might have landed Durant had the Warriors won the Finals -- as Durant wouldn't want to have looked like a man hopping aboard a dynasty.
Basically it came down to Draymond Green not being able to control himself and getting suspended (Or the NBA wanting to prolong the Finals and suspending him). Cleveland took advantage of that suspension, got back into the series, and then went on to win it, which paved the way for Durant to be able to to pick Golden State.
The Celtics are having a solid season this year, but just imagine this squad with Durant on them. Would have been a definite title contender. And a huge key in signing Durant would have been that we wouldn't have had to have given up anyone save for not picking up Amir Johnson's option. Any star player that we trade for now we'll have to empty the vault with players and assets to acquire (and they won't be on the level of Durant).
Not sure if people realize how close Boston got to being immediate title contenders again. This would have trumped the Garnett trade, since we didn't have to give anything up and Durant is considerably younger. You just couldn't control yourself Draymond?
Above illustration by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo, ESPN Magazine. JR 1/04/2017 01:32:00 PM Tweet Edit