When the clock was ticking on Kevin Durant’s free agency decision, most of the chatter right around the end implied that the main battle for KD’s favor was between the Warriors and the Thunder, with Boston lurking as a wild card third team. But KD took meetings with other teams, and the coach and GM of one of those teams seems to think that he had a better shot at Durant than the Celtics.
Even though rumors had KD eliminating the Clippers a full day before his final decision, Doc Rivers insists that L.A. was closer than we all thought. In an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast, Rivers laid out what it was like balancing wooing KD and trying to re-sign their own bench players:
“It was hour to hour, that’s how tight it was. Because we were going to wait it out. We were willing to take the gamble if we felt we were in it. And we were in it — we were in the top three, at the very end.
And the gamble ended up not being much of one, as the Clippers still managed to re-sign Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute — pretty much their whole bench squad from last season, only with Cole Aldrich swapped out for (eventually) Marreese Speights. So who knows if Doc was right, or if KD was simply giving positive indicators to everyone (including Boston) to let them down easy. In the end, Doc lost out on Durant and was forced to ride with pretty much the same roster he had last season. At least until they make another move.
(Via The Vertical)