The Boston Celtics were heading into the 2018-2019 season with high expectations from their fans and analysts around the nation. They were returning from a season where they were just one game away to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out because of season ending injuries. By the time the new season was about to begin, just about everyone expected the Celtics to come out on top in the east since Lebron decided to take his talents in the Western Conference. It looked like the Celtics had its best chance to compete in the Finals. Now it is late May, and the Celtics are currently on vacation after finishing the regular season with a 49-33 record and being defeated to the bucks in the Eastern Conference semi finals 4-1. Now the Celtics are caught under a thunderstorm of unanswered questions. What caused the team play under their expectations? Will Kyrie stay or explore free agency and sign with another team? And the most important question, where do the Boston Celtics go from here? Will we be looking at a completely different team next season, or will the Celtics go with the ‘Run it Back’ option and improve its current roster? We won’t know the answers to these questions until free agency arrives (June 30th at 6pm). All we can do now is wait and speculate on what is likely to happen to the Boston Celtics offseason. These are my takes on what could happen during the offseason.
- Kyrie leaves, Most of the roster stays the same.
There has been Rumors and reports since the season began that Kyrie Irving will be headed to New York either joining the Nets or the Knicks, or possibly Reuniting with Lebron in LA. This Speculation grew after multiple interviews with Kyrie. Kyrie has visibly shown frustration both on the court and on the court while talking with the media. If Kyrie does in fact leave then you can expect the rest of the 2018-2019 roster to stay the same. Terry Rozier will likely be gone as well now that his contract is up. Rozier was recently on Multiple ESPN shows on May 14th discussing what went wrong with the Celtics and talking about what his future looks like for next season. Rozier admits that he “might have to go” if the Celtics go into next season if most of the roster remains the same next year. Nobody knows for sure what Rozier will be looking at in free agency, but one thing that we do know is that he will be looking to become a starter for next season. Unless Rozier will be given a new contract and guaranteed to have the starting point guard role, then you can expect Rozier to move on from the Celtics. Marcus Morris’ contract will also be up. Although Morris has expressed to the media that he has interest to return to Boston and has praised the organization, and also went on to say that playing for the Celtics has been “nothing but great” for him. Signs point to him staying in Boston, but nobody can say for certain. Morris will likely be listening to offers from other teams. For right now, Morris is a toss up for wether he stays or leaves. Then we have Al Horford, who has a player option for this upcoming year. Al Horford has expressed that he has a lot of interest in staying with the Celtics days after they were eliminated from the playoffs. Horford will likely exercise his player option and remain with the team, but the possibility for Horford negotiating a new contract extension with the Celtics for him stay awhile longer is on the table. There have been no signs of Horford leaving the Celtics to explore free agency, but as we all know, anything can happen in NBA free agency
2. Kyrie Stays, A trade for Anthony Davis is made
So what if Kyrie does keep his promise and ends up re-signing with the Celtics? There would have to be a pretty good reason why he would want to come back to the Celtics after all the free agency buzz. This is where the Trade for Anthony Davis comes in. In this Scenario Kyrie will be heading back to Boston with another Superstar by his side, along with a completely different roster since the Trade for Davis will involve not only multiple pics, but multiple players as well. Nobody knows for certain what kind of offer the Celtics can cook up for the Pelicans, but the Pelicans don’t have don’t have that many trade partners for the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. The only team that can create a better offer for Davis is the Lakers, who have recently acquired the fourth overall pick from the NBA lottery. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Pelicans have expressed that they have no interest in trading with the Lakers according to Brian Windhorst who reported this on The Jump on May 15th. Nobody can say for certain that this report is true, but the pelicans have refused many offers from the Lakers this past season right before trade deadline. If these reports are true then Boston is the clear frontrunner to acquire Davis in a trade. Anthony Davis has been on the Celtics radar for multiple years, and now the Celtics have everything they have to offer to acquire Davis. Danny Ainge and David Griffin have a good relationship with each other, and if you are a Celtic’s fan like myself, then you know this is a good sign since both parties would likely get what they both want if a trade is made.
3. Kyrie stays, Aquire assets, and another Superstar
If the Celtics do miss out on the Anthony Davis sweepstakes then you can expect a backup plan from Danny Ainge and his team. If Ainge’s Goal is to keep Kyrie, then he will do everything his power to bring Kyrie one of the NBA’s best available free agents or create the best trade to send that top player to Boston. There have been a few reports of players that have showed interest in joining the Celtics this summer. a few weeks ago Ricky Rubio, who is a free agent, has said that he has interest in joining Celtics. This was said by Rubio in an interview by EuroHoops. Another Free agent that also has interest in joining the Celtics this offseason is Jared Dudley. This was first reported by Gary Washburn, Dudley, a former Boston College player and alumni, would be a great fit for the Celtics because of his veteran skill. Dudley is coming off one of his better years in his career in the NBA, and adding him to a roster of young talent would be great for the organization. The Celtics have a great chance to pick up players like Rubio and Dudley, but they are still looking to add a bigger piece to the Celtics roster. One star that is on Danny Ainge’s board is Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant has expressed that he “wouldn’t mind” playing for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have the option to acquire Kevin Durant, but the only likely way that Durant will come play in Boston is to do a sign and trade with the Warriors. Unfortunately the chance of a sign and trade for Kevin Durant is slim to none. There have been reports all year long that Kevin Durant is likely to sign with the Knicks or possibly the Clippers, which was reported by Mark Stein of the New York Times just a few days ago. You can take these rumors and reports however you want to, but at the end of the day nobody will know what Kevin Durant will do other than himself.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics have a huge offseason ahead of them. They will have to figure out wether to let Kyrie walk and focus more on there young core, or prepare to change the roster completely for Kyrie’s sake. Maybe there is a chance that Kyrie stays and the young core stays the same with a few additional pickups from free agency. But for now we won’t know what direction the Celtics will take in the offseason. All we can do now as fans speculate on what is to come for the Celtics. It’s the Calm before the storm for the NBA’s offseason madness. Nobody knows what is to come from the offseason. Every year it is filled with twists and turns, and this year it will be no different. See you all on June 30th