Whether you like him or not, Bill Simmons has kind of become the authoritative voice on the NBA. And I generally trust him and enjoy what he has to say. And when he writes about Kevin Durant and the Thunder, I find it important. Here’s what he said in today’s mailbag:
Q: If you could go back in time “Lost”-style and fix the 2007 lottery so the Celtics landed the second pick, would you keep what happened (No. 5 pick, KG trade, 2008 title, everything else that happened up to now), or would you switch it so that they ended up with the No. 2 pick and Durant?
–Dr. Bill Simmons, Boston
SG: OK, I fibbed that one. My dad asked me that on the phone this week. And we both came to the same conclusion pretty quickly: You’d have to go with Durant. Have you seen what he’s doing for the Zombies lately? Thirty a night, eight boards, 50 percent shooting, nails his free throws … just eerie, Gervin-like consistency for a young team that doesn’t have another reliable scorer, and if that’s not enough, he’s the single best teammate in the league other than LeBron. Barring injury, he’s going to win this year’s scoring title (he’d be the youngest ever by two years) and could be looking at a historic 35 ppg, 10 rpg, 50/40/90 percentage season soon. I don’t see how you pass that up. And if you remember, the 2007 Celts had a decent nucleus in place already (Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract, the rights to Minnesota’s No. 1) and easily could have turned a couple of those assets into Pau Gasol a couple of months later. Keep Reading…