One of the biggest “what if” teams of the modern era is the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder. Consisting of young versions of Durant, Harden, and Westbrook, the team had three players who would go on to win future MVPs.
After their heartbreaking loss against the Heat in 2012, the team elected to trade Harden to save money on the luxury tax. The rest is history.
Nobody knows what would have happened had they stayed together all those years ago but, to put things into perspective, consider this: the current trio of Jayson Tatum (21), Jaylen Brown (23), and Marcus Smart (25) is older than KD (23), Harden (22), and Westbrook (23) were when they made the Finals in their last season together.
If they were so dominant back then, at such a young age, it makes you wonder how they would have looked with a few more years under their belt.
It also draws the question: if the Celtics make a similarly long playoff run, will they follow the same trajectory? With one of the deepest rosters in the league, there isn’t enough money in Boston to keep everyone around. The Celtics will have to make a similar choice in deciding who they want to keep.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team fares this postseason and who will still be on the roster by the time the 20-21 campaign begins. Teams like the 2012 Thunder and the 2020 Celtics eventually face very difficult decisions.
You can only hope that the Celtics will make the right ones so we won’t have to wonder what could’ve been.