We won’t know what the Celtics will look like in October but we can safely assume that it won’t resemble the team that got bounced in five by Milwaukee. As long as we are making safe assumptions, we can also assume that Kyrie Irving won’t be walking through that locker room door as a member of the Boston Celtics ever again. We can also say, I told you so when we declare that the Celtics won’t be drafting three new players in the first round – at least for themselves. That’s because Kyrie loves the adulation but he’s not all that great when it comes to condemnation, and three mid-first-rounders is not a recipe to making a pretender a contender.
Looking back at the beginning of last season, had we read a Bovada review , we would not only see why Bovada is considered one of the best online sportsbooks in the business but we could also dig a little further and note that they were dealing Boston at 59 wins on the 2018-2019 season. That’s right, 59 wins and it looks like such easy money in hindsight. Who would have ever possibly bet over when it was so obvious this roster wouldn’t even reach 50 on the season? Well, we’re here to tell you that most Bostonians bet with their hearts, and the books made money on that bet, at least from those who bleed green.
There is one, ever so slight, caveat to Irving packing up and going elsewhere. The word on the street is that other franchises that pursued him so vigorously two years ago, before he signed with the Celtics, have slowly cooled on the NBA All-Star. It seems his penchant for pouting doesn’t play well around the league and Kyrie might not find nearly as much love as he believed he would. That could coax the flat-Earth thinker to adjust his sights, as well as his expectations, and agree to a sit-down with Danny Ainge which might lead to another tour of duty in Boston.
That’s a big if, and despite reports to the contrary, we’re not completely sold on whether or not Ainge is all that keen on keeping Kyrie in the fold. Remember when Red Sox fans would say, “That’s just Manny being Manny (Ramirez),” to excuse his boorish or eccentric behavior? Well, the eccentric is what they call you when you’re really good but when you’re no longer tearing it up, you’re dismissed as just plain weird. Although Kyrie is still a world class baller, his performance against the Bucks was more on the lines of low class. Suffice it to say, the majority of Celtics’ fans have turned on Irving, and most are perfectly fine with bidding him, adieu.
But one thing we do know for sure is that Boston has options. According to assistant general manager Mike Zarren and his interview with the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, “Given the state of our roster, and the draft assets we have now and going forward, nearly any kind of transaction is in play. To trade for players around the league, to move up or down in the draft, for future picks, to use our picks. We’ve got a lot of flexibility this summer, but also a lot of big decisions to make. So, the next two months are going to be very, very busy.”
Ya think? There’s the big-ticket Anthony Davis that has Celtics’ fans drooling but Davis will only be enthusiastic about coming to Causeway Street if he’s got at least one other superhero on the squad, and preferably two. That other caped crusader could be Kyrie but didn’t he leave Cleveland to be the main attraction and get out from under LeBron’s immense shadow? And who would be the third piece of this triumvirate even if he did stay? Jayson Tatum will most definitely be dealt as part of acquiring Davis but assume he wasn’t, do we really think he’s a Kevin Durant or more like Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes? At this point, Tatum could consider himself fortunate to eventually be on par with a player of Barnes’ caliber.
But time will tell and a lot can happen between now and Thursday, June 20th. Yet, one thing is for sure, Danny Ainge will be reconstructing this roster to one degree or another and the results should yield plenty of fodder for the sports talk scene in Boston. So stay tuned because we will bring it all to you here at Celticslife.com.