BOSTON (CBS) — NBA Free Agents are an interesting breed, sometimes going with the warmest destination over the best basketball situation when they finally hit the open market.
That puts a team like the Boston Celtics, with their rich basketball tradition and a seemingly bright future, at a disadvantage to teams like the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers.READ MORE: Trail Blazers Rally Past Celtics 109-105
Former Celtics player and current analyst Brian Scalabrine joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday morning to discuss the upcoming offseason, and the hurdles that lie ahead of a team like the Celtics.
“Players don’t necessarily look at [just] the basketball side. LaMarcus Aldridge made a great decision going to San Antonio [last offseason], and he looked at it from a basketball standpoint,” noted Scal. “But don’t ignore that it’s a warm city and there’s no state income tax. [Boston is] at a disadvantage. Miami is ahead, and even the Lakers, they have L.A. and they have warm weather.”
Kevin Durant has been the hot name around Boston as of late, and his addition to the team this summer would make them instant contenders for the Eastern Conference next season. Scalabrine said there are plenty of reasons Durant and other top free agents would (and should) consider the Celtics, but it may not come down to what they present on the court.READ MORE: Mendon Restaurant Staff Stunned By $4,000 Tip Left By Peloton Challenge Team
“If Kevin Durant could see through all the fray, and say it comes down to Lakers and Celtics, he can see a guy like Brad Stevens, all the draft picks, three players on great contracts in Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder, maybe this is the place he would say, ‘Man, I could make a big impact here.’ He would be right by making that decision,” said Scal. “Players do things for random reasons; everyone has their own reasons of why they would want to go to a city or play for an organization. If it just comes down to basketball, I would think a lot of top tier free agents would seriously look at Boston.”
Scalabrine said he’s never seen anything like the recent controversy in the Lakers locker room, where rookie D’Angelo Russell videotaped Nick Young talking about cheating on his fiance and the video later made its way to social media. Something like that could really hurt Los Angeles’ chances at attracting a top name like Durant and others.
“Something like that, it goes back to more of this: Russell wants to be a superstar in this league and is playing the most important position on the floor. The point guard, right now in the NBA, is at an all-time high. You have to be able to lead your team and be a guy your teammates trust and could look in the eye. I don’t know if he’ll ever get to that point,” said Scal. “I think this offseason, it’s going to hurt the Lakers. They have cap space and young players, but is that young player going to be a guy who videotaped his teammate talking about cheating on his fiance and then putting it out there? If you’re Kevin Durant, you don’t want to go there and deal with that drama. I think it hurts the Lakers short-term and maybe in the long-term.”
Scalabrine touches on things he saw between teammates during his playing days, and one of the biggest keys to success come the playoffs:MORE NEWS: Driver Struck And Killed By Commuter Rail Train At Wilmington Crossing