Youth. All-Star Talent. Future Assets. Great Coach.
All of which are aspects of a very talented NBA team, or any sports team in general, and the Boston Celtics have an influx in every department.
As Boston natives were eating dinner Tuesday, they heard perhaps the best news that have heard since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013. Kyrie Irving, who was being shopped around the league following his request to be traded in mid August, was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 Nets first round draft pick.
This Boston team now looks completely different from the team that finished in first place in the Eastern Conference during the 2016-2017 NBA season.
In addition to giving up Thomas and Crowder. they are going to be without Avery Bradley who was traded to the Detroit Pistons to free up cap space in order to sign Gordon Hayward.
With all these trades, the Celtics starting lineup should look something like this during the 2017-2018 season:
PG – Kyrie Irving
SG – Jaylen Brown
SF – Gordon Hayward
PF – Marcus Morris
C – Al Horford
Coming off the bench, the Celtics will have Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum – a player that many think has all-star potential.
This immediately makes the Boston Celtics the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. While Cleveland is still very much in that discussion, Boston has the upper hand on them. Cleveland is suspect at best when it comes to defense and that is one of Boston’s strong points. To counter that, Boston has the firepower to put up a lot of points in a contest with scorers like Hayward and Irving along with Smart and Tatum coming of the bench.
If the Celtics gave up everything they had to acquire Irving, their future picture would look completely different. They still retained so many of their future draft picks while also acquiring two of the best, young talents in the league. This gives them the ability to either draft young and build from the ground up or surround this already stacked team with another all-star further down the road.