Celtics 8th most likely destination to land Kevin Durant?
We're exactly a month removed from the chaos that was the first day of NBA free agency 2015 and it's for the most part finished up. While the Celtics didn't reel in any huge name free agents, as Boston fans we turn our eye to who the Celtics can catch in July 2016.
Probably the biggest free agent next season will be Kevin Durant and good news, C's fans, Boston is kinda sorta an option for the former MVP.
In a Sporting News article, Sean Deveney listed Boston as the 8th most likely spot to land KD. The Celtics were behind the Thunder, the Wizards, and the Warriors, among others. Deveney's confidence in KD choosing the C's was weak, to say the least, but there is still a possibility...
There are multiple reasons KD could have interest in Beantown. Whether it's Brad Stevens, the young core the Celtics have built, or that there's good money for him with the C's, there are a lot of benefits for Durant. Deveney believes that KD is likely staying in OKC, with a possibility of a LeBron-like coming home to Washington, but there are several factors that could push Durant away from either of those teams.
If, for instance, new Thunder head coach Billy Donovan and Durant don't mesh well this season, or the Thunder miss the playoffs for a second straight year, there's a possibility Durant would hit the road. Washington would likely be his landing destination, but Boston could put together a solid pitch to present to the 26-year-old swingman.
First, the cap space. Not only could the C's afford Durant, but Boston could likely add another star with the cap boom in 2016. Deveney highlights the cap room Boston will have next offseason. Couple that with the young talent and the Celtics could leap frog from a middle to low seed in the East to at least a top three seed. Boston has more flexibility in their cap room than some of the teams higher on Deveney's list. The Heat, for example, will presumably be trying to resign Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside who will be looking for significantly more money.
And there's another point. KD's Thunder finished 45-37 and still didn't make the playoffs in the terrifying Western Conference. Sure, he didn't play most of the season for OKC, but in the East, 45-37 would have secured the five seed. If Durant is searching for a ring, an Eastern team might have an easier route to the championship round.
Then you have the team itself. With Brad Stevens at the helm of a young and upcoming core, there is a lot to love about where this squad can go... especially if they can score a star like Durant. If the C's can put together a good run this season without a perennial star, maybe someone like KD will see a championship in their future with Boston.
Photo Credit: Soobum Im, USA Today, Chris Humphreys, USA Today Sports Images, Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today Sports Topher Lane is on Twitter, @Topher_L