The Kevin Durant sweepstakes were crazy. The Los Angeles Clippers blew Durant away by a few accounts. The Boston Celtics brought Tom Brady and a mostly-buttoned shirt. The Golden State Warriors went with everybody on their team that was going to need to sacrifice in order to bring him in and make it work on a 73-win team that had been to back-to-back Finals and walked away with one championship. Then we had to wait for the big announcement.
Right before the big announcement was made, Doc Rivers felt very good about the Clippers’ chances. Apparently the Celtics did, as well. Rivers said during that process, the Celtics and the Clippers both thought they were getting Durant to ink a deal with them. The one difference though is he says the Warriors “knew” they were going to sign Durant. They’ve never lacked for confidence.
Doc Rivers on Kevin Durant: We thought we were getting him, #Celtics thought they were getting him, think GS knew they were getting him.
— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) September 6, 2016
The Clippers just getting in the room with KD was pretty impressive. They were attempting to put together a Big Four with Durant joining Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan. To do that, they were going to have to renounce all of their free agents, trade away recent draft picks, and move the other guys like JJ Redick, who were under contract. It was doable. It was complicated but doable, and the Clippers were going to need some financials to go in their favor with Durant’s money along with Paul and Griffin opting out and possibly taking more favorable deals for the organization in 2017.
That Durant entertained that complicated process and met with a Clippers franchise that has almost always been one of the biggest jokes in the league for mostly Donald Sterling reasons is impressive. It shows the clout Doc Rivers holds around the NBA with a lot of players.
Now the Clippers just have to figure out how to defeat Durant on the Warriors at least four times a season. Good luck with that.
Source: CBS Sports / Doc Rivers: Clippers, Celtics thought they’d won Kevin Durant sweepstakes