The Celtics roster looks like it’s completely filled out. They now have 15 players for 15 roster spots. NBA free agency is far from over, meaning much of this is still subject to change. There is still a chance Danny Ainge decides to make another trade to open up an additional roster spot before December rolls around.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Celtics didn’t make any major trades on draft night despite a flood of rumors linking them to deals across the league. Nevertheless, fans shouldn’t let the lack of fireworks disappoint them. Though no blockbuster moves were made, fans should reserve their judgement until they evaluate the players the Celtics picked. There’s no sense in lamenting the players based on factors unrelated to their talents. There’s every chance Boston landed a player capable of immediately contributing to a championship run.
Another offseason, another flurry of Gordon Hayward trade rumors. It seems as though fans are more eager than ever to ship Hayward out as he weighs whether to opt in for the final year of his contract. It’s important to remember that though Hayward has battled injury after injury, he still carries a lot of value. There aren’t many players in the NBA who can average 17 points per game on 50% shooting while also being a high-volume three-point shooter. In fact, there are only four who did it last season: Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, TJ Warren and Gordon Hayward.
With the start of NBA free agency still somewhat ambiguous, it’s hard to really get a sense for what it will look like in the era of COVID-19. Will the ongoing pandemic pair with an unappetizing free agent class to result in a less than robust market? Will we see something less than the dramatics we’ve become accustomed to in years past?
If you had any doubts about the player that Jimmy Butler was going into the bubble, those doubts should surely be erased. He took a battered Heat team to the sixth game of the NBA Finals against a buzzsaw of a Lakers team. He became the second player in NBA history, after Lebron James in 2016, to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks in the Finals. His performance was commended by many and he certainly left his heart on the court. After failed stints in Minnesota and Philadelphia following his tenure in Chicago, he seems to have found a perfect fit down in South Beach. Recency bias may have some revisionist historians thinking that the Celtics should have made the Jimmy Butler trade back in 2017 but trust me when I say that would not be the answer.
Alright, I am just going to get it off my chest… I have seen far too many Celtics fans (since the loss) that are just giving me some serious spoiled brat vibes. The toxicity that has overwhelmed Celtics Twitter as of late is absurd. I get it, the Celtics should have won the Eastern Conference Finals. They were by far and away the better team. Straight up, they dropped the ball and didn’t come to play. They got outworked, outcoached, and out-pretty much everything else’d. That said, it doesn’t mean this team is terrible. It doesn’t mean this was a totally failed season. It doesn’t mean none of the guys on the squad are worth keeping. All it means is that this group of guys came up short of the goal… Just like 29 teams do every single year. Did they have a better chance than most teams? Yes. But at the end of the day, it is only one year in the grand scheme of things.