Words by Jason Cordner
The Boston Celtics finished first place in the Eastern Conference last season, but so much has changed since then. Danny Ainge finally cashed in. In arguably the biggest trade of the offseason that was filled with high-profile player switches, the Celtics sent enigmatic and fan-favorite All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, as well as the coveted 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving. In doing so, they have indicated a new era in Boston.
Loaded and Youthful Boston Celtics Roster
First off, everybody seems to be forgetting about free agency’s biggest prize, Gordon Hayward, signing with the Celtics. Hayward, who averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 boards, and 3.5 assists per game last season is already one of the best young wings in the game still in his prime at just 27. He is paired with Irving, who is still only 25. The move may seem to be “win-now”, but Ainge’s reluctance to move Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum state otherwise, in addition to trading this year’s first overall pick for the third pick and another pick in next year’s draft.
Predictions and Expectations
The Celtics will need time to adjust to all the new personnel. Irving will finally get to be the true point guard and floor general, that he thinks he is. Look for the Celtics to win anywhere between, 50-52 games, which should be enough to finish second in the Eastern Conference.