Sports Draft Aftermath
posted by June 29 at 11:25 AMon
Last night was heavy. We got Kevin Durant. That was enough. Then came the unexpected (to me, anyway) trade of Ray Allen to the Celtics for the #5 pick, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak. (Wally Szczerbiak?!). We got Jeff Green (from Georgetown, who I happen to love, great passer). It was a lot to process, and listening to sports radio afterwards made me start to question everything. Fans were angry that we let go of Ray Allen; vitriol was negating the excitement and joy of landing Durant. It felt so infuriatingly Seattle. What the hell was going on? Like quite a few people, I assumed the arrival of Durant guaranteed the departure of Rashard Lewis. What were the Sonics thinking? I wanted to understand.
I turned to (future Seattle resident) Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko (essential reading for balling fans). He gave me back hope. I asked him to write some of his thoughts so that I might share this hope with you, Seattle.
I don’t live in Seattle yet, and thus have none of your emotional ties to Ray Allen. That said, I’m moving there in a month and have always had a soft spot for the NBA’s foremost art collector and fingernail painter.
THAT SAID, I couldn’t be more thrilled about all the roster slicing and dicing that the Sonics performed last night. During the telecast, there was a lot of talk about Presit adhering to a San Antonio Spurs template. That was bullshit that gets said when people are asked to move mouths for four hours straight. Kevin Durant is the future on so many levels it’s not even funny. Ray Ray, lovely as he was, was the essence of basketball classicism; hell, on some days, you might have even mistaken him for a pre-Jordan shooting guard. Not saying that this is a bad thing, but every team not blessed with a domintant big man (hey Oden) is going for versatility and creativity.
No single prospect sums that up like Durant; putting Jeff Green beside him only underscores that. And while cynics or sentimentalists might decry the trading of Allen as a money-saving move, IT OPENS UP SPACE TO RE-SIGN SHARD. Lewis plus those two guys equals endless possibilities. And while Shard may have bucked at not being the man during the Ray Allen era, he’ll be a mentor to Durant, the older, wiser master that this pupil is destined to exceed. That’s ninja movie maturity that all athletes dig, and what’s more, it’s the truth. See also Nuggets, today’s Denver.
Delonte West is better than you think, Wally cannot hurt you if he’s pushed out to the margins… we’re not talking an instant powerhouse, but this team just went from “House of Durant” to a grand basketball experiment on par with the Suns or Raptors.