I thought I'd throw out a couple of conversation points today:
For starters I really like this Ray Allen article someone was kind enough to link earlier. I took all kinds of heat last summer when I wrote a couple of articles that were somewhat critical of Ray. People assumed that I didn't like him, that I was some kind of "hater" or whatever. Here's a simple fact about Ray Allen. He's a human being. He's not perfect.
This story's description of Ray as a guy who is fairly compulsive, who feels needs to have everything go exactly his way and be done to his exacting standards kind of paint the picture to me of why I really think Ray would have struggled letting such a young team develop their own personality. Why he would have been driven absolutely crazy by the inconsistency of youth and why, eventually that would have had the potential to drive a wedge between him and his teammates. Having Paul Pierce stand up to him is great. I don't think Durant as a rookie would necessarily have been able to do so. While I think there was potential for Ray to be a completely great influence on KD I am not sure if you would have wound up with the healthy compromise of Kevin learning from Ray while at the same time developing his own "Kevin Durant" method of doing things. Ray is really compulsive on those things and it is one of those situation where, when it is all working and teams are winning the unflexible regiment is great. When you are losing it chaffes and creates major friction.
Again I really like Ray as a person and a player.
Second note is the whole Michael Beasley debate. I'll just say this. If I am the GM of this team I am terrified of winding up having 4 of my best players (Durant, Green, Beasley, Wilcox) all having these deep childhood roots. There is just too much potential for the DC core to have way too much control over my operation, especially when Durant will simply be the franchise. This is one of those scenarios where you wind up having to overpay Green because he is "Durants boy." You can live with that but now suddenly you're doing the same with Beasley. Now on draft day you wind up with Durant and Beasleys agents calling and telling you who they want you to draft and that they want you to bring their buddy in as a free agent PG. It just becomes an incredible DC Power block where even though you want to disregard them the reality is that having 4 players unhappy AND unified over an issue is a real, real problem.
If you wind up at #2 and Rose is taken #1 I am not sure you can justify not taking him, but it is a somewhat scary proposition. I know in my heart that Memphis will wind up with the #1 pick and Seattle will wind up #4 or #5 anyway. There is no way this team has enough karma to get a top 2 pick.