So the latest on Kevin Durant is he is interested in joining either the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers. A trade to either team would make sense as both the Sixers and Celtics possess the potential all-star and draft assets they are seeking in return for the disgruntled superstar. When Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors 2016 it was the most unwatchable display of basketball I had ever seen in my 20-22 years of watching the NBA and him electing to join the Celtics after they swept him this past post-season won’t go down as a weaker move than the Golden State signing but it will hurt his reputation as a competitor around the NBA and his all-time standing amongst the top 50 players in NBA history.
As far as the Philadelphia 76ers go they are banking on James Harden to turn back the clock this coming season and have a MVP level season, the problem is like always will James Harden step up comg playoff-time? He had his moments in the 2022 NBA Playoffs were he was scoring in clutch moments which is a rare sight for James Harden who is notoriously known for underperforming in the playoffs year after year but they’ll likely run into the same problems the Celtics ran into in the 2022 NBA Finals against Golden State where no one beyond Tatum and Brown could produce enough offensively consistently and the lack of talent showed for the Celtics. Beyond Embiid and Harden nothing guarantees Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris will step up when it matters next season, unless Tyrese Maxey makes a big enough leap next season where he would be a miniature version of Allen Iverson someone I liken his game to.
The Celtics and Sixers could obviously use a talent the caliber of a Kevin Durant to help mask what should be inconsistent offenses come playoff time but it’s bad for the league overall to see Kevin Durant want to force his way out of Brooklyn after signing a 4-year $194 million dollar extension not too long ago. His gripe is with President of Basketball Operations Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash but to no surprise team owner Joe Tsai made it clear through social media that he will be in full support of his staff, meaning he is ready to move on from Kevin Durant if needed and look to point this team in the right direction after a failed experiment with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Me personally if I was Kevin Durant I would remain in Brooklyn, Ben Simmons and Seth Curry have shown that they can carry teams to wins when needed but I guess Durant never saw Simmons enough in Philadelphia when he was carrying the Sixers without Embiid to a 12-game win streak to cap off the 2017-2018 season.
The Brooklyn Nets are his franchise, going over to Boston and Philadelphia even if he wins a championship they’ll just say he had to go to another man’s franchise and couldn’t deal with the pressure of being a leader. If Kevin Durant,Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons were to get a good 60-70 games in this coming season they will be a major threat for the 2023 NBA Championship but it seems like Joe Tsai is getting ready to trade both Durant and Irving and look to build the Nets around Ben Simmons which isn’t the worst idea. We’ve seen how successful the Bucks and Nuggets have been by building around their superstars Giannis and Jokic, and sure maybe Simmons never reaches the level those 2 play at but he could certainly get close to it if given the chance. Simmons can play from the post, he can drive and kick in the half-court,he can push the ball up the floor, and he can practically guard every position of the court.
With a coach like Steve Nash who was once the best point guard in the 2000’s I’m sure he can’t wait to coach Ben Simmons someone who would be a lot more receptive to his direction as opposed to Kyrie Irving who let it be known the Nets will do as they please when they acquired James Harden and that concerns about fit between the 3 superstars(Kyrie,Harden,and Durant) would be the least of worries. Durant owes it to the Brooklyn Nets fanbase to run it back one more time before considering an exit specially after making a long-term commitment with his latest contract extension but the player empowerment movement has become a trend which was kick-started by LeBron james when he left for the Miami Heat 2010. Maybe Kevin Durant sees his playing career winding down and wants to capture one last title as the main guy even if it means elsewhere, sure he might still be looked down upon if he helps Embiid or Tatum but the good thing for Durant is neither has won a title for their respective franchise.
Stephen Curry capturing the 2022 NBA Championship and putting on a Michael Jordan like performance in the Finals leaving the Celtics with no choice but to surrender certainly does not help validate Durant’s tenure in Golden State. Meme’s of Draymmond Green yelling “We won without you” at Durant on the bench after a misunderstanding in a game against the Clippers are out there more than ever and they won’t be going away anytime soon if Durant doesn’t capture a championship outside of Golden State over the next 2-3 years.
I think Kevin Durant wants to be LeBron James with the belief he can win anywhere so long the team has substantial talent, difference is LeBron James is more of a team leader and even at the age of 37 can carry more on his shoulders due to his diverse skillset and unmatched basketball IQ. Maybe Durant found out just how hard it is to really lead a team to the Finals in Brooklyn after being left stranded without Irving and Harden this past season, what I do know is if he leaves Brooklyn and wins elsewhere he’ll never shade the coward label for continously escaping adversity but he’ll always be in discussion for a slot on the top 10 all-time list.