The NBA season is right around the corner. Rosters are pretty well west. Teams have started to report for training camp. Soon enough, the NBA will be in full swing. With opening night being only a few short weeks away, it’s that time of year where people need to catch up on what went down the past couple of months. We will be covering everything you need to know about how your favorite team’s season will go. Today, we start in Beantown.
Boston has been at the forefront of discussions for big name players in past off seasons. This year, things weren’t quite as busy as they ended up mostly swapping some pieces around. For instance, Enes Kanter left the team in a trade sending the center back to Portland while the C’s were able to lock up Tristan Thompson as his replacement. Brad Wanamaker is no longer with the team, but Jeff Teague is. Those moves are all that exciting, but they’re ones that help keep the roster at the top of the pack in the eastern conference.
The two majors moves that ended up being tied to the Celtics this off-season were Jayson Tatum’s contract extension and the Gordon Hayward signing. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Tatum ended up getting the big bag of money. He took a major step forward last season and showed himself to be the guy that could lead the team. It was a big deal, but not necessarily one people could call ground-breaking. As far as Hayward is concerned, it was a surprise to see him end up in Charlotte. There were talks of him signing and extension and then being dealt to Indiana in a sign-and-trade situation. There was some hint of Boston wanting to retain him because of how good he looked last season when Gordon was healthy. Ultimately, I think fans in Boston can be happy they avoided paying a 30-year-old, injury prone third option that money.
The draft was fruitful for the organization as they were able to nab a couple of guys people in the Celtics front office really liked. Aaron Nesmith was the 14th pick and is a lights-out shooter who should be able to space the floor from day one, giving the focal points of the offense plenty of room to operate. Oregon alum Payton Prichard was taken with the second first-round selection Danny Ainge had and Boston was thrilled with the pick. On talent alone, Pritchard doesn’t look like someone who belongs on the floor. With that being said, he is someone that is praised for his work ethic and demeanor on the court. His track record in college shows how hard he is willing to work, which should mesh well with the competitors Boston has.
The off-season Boston had was not overwhelming by any means, but they already had a great team in place. The moves they made over the past couple of months signal how much they like their key pieces. Letting Hayward walk shows they believe Tatum, Brown, and Kemba are enough to get this team one of the top seeds in the playoffs. Speaking of Kemba, there have been some reports he could miss the beginning of the season due to knee discomfort. The signing of Jeff Teague becomes much more important if this is true. It will be interesting to see how the young stars handle having this be their team entirely. There are a couple of story lines to watch for the Celtics this season, but one thing seems certain: Boston is as the top in the east.