…we had unexpectedly traded the third overall pick in 2016 for 21-year-old Denver center Nikola Jokic coming off his rookie campaign of 10/7/2, offering the third overall pick to convince Denver to stick with Nurkic instead of Jokic, so they can pair their remaining hot shot center with young rookie Jaylen Brown? In other words, what if someone brilliant on the Celtics’ staff had properly projected Jokic’s trajectory after his rookie season? The heat at the time would have been intense, but in retrospect it would widely be regarded as one of the all-time greatest trades in NBA history.
And what if this trade was subsequently followed up by Kevin Durant and Al Horford wanting to build a title team in Boston by signing in free agency, KD listening to TB12 rather than joining the Warriors?
Let’s say we still landed the first overall pick courtesy of the Nets in 2017 and used it on JT. An IT for Kyrie mega deal still follows at the end of the summer 2017, too, particularly given the friendship between KD and Kyrie. In other words, heading into the 2017-2018 season we would have:
Probable 6MOTY, ROTY and future all-pro: JT
Bench: Scary Terry, Marcus Morris, Aaron Baynes, Theis, Ojeyele
Coach: Brad Stevens
Do we beat LeBron and the Durant-less Warriors in May/June 2018? How many titles does KD win in Boston? Do we lose any NBA Finals from 2018-2022?