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Author: @phaulkner

Boston Celtics: Draft Reactions

Draft Night The 2019 NBA Draft was hosted by Brooklyn Thursday night. Perhaps fitting, the Nets were the team that helped the Boston Celtics get famously draft pick rich. Boston entered this draft with three first round picks (14th, 20th & 24th) and a second round pick (51st). Boston came away from the draft with the 14th, 22nd, 33rd and 51st picks. Justin Mantegani wrote an in-depth analysis of the Celtics draft for Boston Sports Extra. I will briefly gloss over Boston’s draft picks here for reference. The Celtics picked guard/forward Romeo Langford from Indiana University with the 14th pick. Langford has been described as both a shooting guard as well as a small forward. After a series of trades, the Celtics picked power forward Grant Williams from the University of Tennessee with the 22nd pick, and point guard Carson Edwards from Purdue University with the 33rd pick. Finally, the Celtics picked LSU Tremont Waters with their 51st pick. The Celtics finished the night by signing DePaul guard Max Strus to a two-way player contract. It was also reported today Boston signed University of Central Florida center Tacko Fall to a contract with an Exhibit 10 clause. The Boston Celtics took Romeo Langford of Indiana University with their first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the 14th overall pick. Langford is a special talent, but not necessarily what the...

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Should the Boston Celtics Sign De’Angelo Russell?

The Need at Point Guard The Boston Celtics are moving on from Kyrie Irving. To put it more accurately, Irving is moving on from the Celtics. This means the Celtics enter the 2019-2020 season with one point guard (pg) on their roster: Marcus Smart. Terry Rozier has a $4.3 million (M) qualifying offer, but a cap hit of $9M, which means he’ll be restructured if he comes back at all. The Celtics clearly need another PG, which has been discussed here. What are the Boston Celtics options? The is a lot of potential in tonight’s draft. The question is: Do the Celtics really want to pair a rookie PG with their young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? Even drafting a generational talent such as Ja Morant, an almost impossible scenario, would not solve the Celtics immediate issues. It was reported today the Celtics are shopping Aaron Baynes’ $5.4M contract. If the Celtics lose Baynes their team averages 23.5 years old; even with Baynes the team averages 24.7 years old. The Celtics need a young, veteran point guard to help lead the other young Celtics to the next level. The future of the Boston Celtics is clearly in the hands of Jayson Tatum (Left) and Jaylen Brown (Right). Put Snapchat in the Past One qualifying player that immediately comes to mind is De’Angelo Russell. I’ve written about the...

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Al Horford Declines Player Option

Horford Declines Option Al Horford declined his $30.1 Million player option with the Boston Celtics Tuesday. Speculation about Horford signing an extension has been a topic all season, specifically considering Kyrie Irving’s uncertain status. With Irving all but gone, the team will now likely focus on resigning Horford to anchor their 2019-2020 roster. The five-time All-Star has provided a veteran presence since he arrived in Boston. Horford was also instrumental in the Celtics 2017-2018 playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 68 games on shooting percentage splits of 53.5/36.0/82.1 in 2018-2019. The veteran center is also one of the best shooting big men in the NBA. Horford won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017-2018 and improved his defensive metrics in 2018-2019. He also decreased his turnovers per game by 0.3 turnover per game last season. In declining his player option, Horford becomes one of the top free agent centers available. Al Horford declined his $30.1 million player option Tuesday becoming a free agent. Crunching The Numbers I’ve written about the Boston Celtics cap issues heading into the off-season. Even if the Celtics restructure Horford’s contract, combined with Gordon Hayward’s, those contracts will count for nearly 50% of the salary cap. It could be argued that Boston needs Horford and his restructured contract equally. The Celtics...

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Kyrie Irving Declines Player Option

Celtics Moving On From Irving As expected, Kyrie Irving declined his $21.3 million (M) 2019-2020 player option on Wednesday. Irving’s commitment has been inconsistent, to put it politely, since he arrived with the Boston Celtics two years ago. Now the Celtics will formally move on from Irving and will look to replace him, either through the draft or free agency. Irving’s departure will undoubtedly make it more difficult to draw another superstar to Boston, e.g. the much obsessed-over Anthony Davis. The Celtics cap issues are well known, despite Irving’s $21.3M coming off the books, so does it even matter? As I’ve written for Boston Sports Extra, the Boston Celtics need to keep it in house. Boston Celtics center Aaron Baynes (46) dunks on LeBron James (23) during the 2017-2018 NBA Playoffs. Baynes picked up his 2019-2020 player option Wednesday. (Credit: Aaron Baynes Coming Back Aaron Baynes picked up his $5.9M player option Wednesday. The 6’10” center provides veteran depth in addition to a solid backup to Al Horford. The 32-year old Australian played in 51 games in 2018-2019, averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.7 rebounds per game (rpg) in only 16 minutes per game. In fact, per 36 minutes Baynes averages 12.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, and 1.5 blocks per game, which would make him a top-20 center. Baynes also shot 86% from the free throw line, making him a...

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Is Jayson Tatum Worth Trading?

Pelicans Interested in Tatum Speculation regarding the Boston Celtics trading for Anthony Davis has been a topic of conversation all season. The Celtics don’t have the ability to trade for Davis while retaining Kyrie Irving because of the Rose rule. It also doesn’t make much sense to trade for one superstar as the other superstar leaves. The obvious answer would be the Celtics trading their draft picks or young stars. When the draft lottery dust settled the Boston’s draft prospects weren’t as enticing, leaving the young stars. It has been reported that New Orleans Pelicans GM Daniel Griffin are interested in trading Davis to the Celtics for Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, a filler player and the 14th pick in this year’s draft. The question then becomes, should the Celtics trade that package for Davis? Should the Celtics trade any of their young stars for Davis? Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) and forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrate after a three point shot by Tatum. Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports Rising Star Regression Midway through the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the 2017-2018 Eastern Conference Finals the Cleveland Cavaliers led the Boston Celtics 71-67. Jayson Tatum got the pass at the top of the key, made one move and posterized LeBron James. It was the dunk heard ‘round the World and seemed to cement Tatum’s arrival to the NBA....

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Boston Celtics: Free Agent Targets

The Void at Point Guard Insiders around the NBA don’t expect Kyrie Irving to be playing for the Boston Celtics in 2019-2020. The Celtics could lose one of the best players in the league, but they’ll also lose their point guard. Assuming the Celtics don’t address their point guard issues in the draft, they’ll look to free agency. It’s hard to imagine Aaron Baynes not exercising his $5.5 million ($5.5M) option, and restructuring Baynes’ contract seems unlikely. Al Horford is due $30.1M via a player option this season. and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020-2021 at age 34. If Horford earns that $301.1M, but another team signs Terry Rozier, the Celtics salary cap will still approach $99.9M. The Celtics would have just over $9M in cap space, and $23M in “soft cap” space, before hitting the luxury tax. It would be difficult for Boston to sign a marquee point guard while retaining roster depth with that kind of money. Horford restructuring his contract would not be difficult. Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, left, smiles as he hugs teammate Terry Rozier (12) during a game in 2017. Both point guards are expected to sign with other teams for the 2019-2020 season. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) Restructuring Al Horford The Boston Celtics could restructure Horford to a 4-year $100M contract that paid $20M in 2019-2020. This hypothetical contract would pay Horford...

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Boston Celtics: Potential 2019-2020 Roster

Power Through Draft Picks For the past several seasons the Boston Celtics have been in a position of power. The Celtics “Big Three” of the late oughts were parlayed into an abundance of first round picks by GM Danny Ainge. One of those picks was traded for Kyrie Irving, who instantly propelled the Celtics to the next level. When Irving’s late season injury kept him out of the 2017-2018 playoffs, the young Boston core stepped up. The future looked bright for the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, the Kyrie Irving situation may not have worked in Boston, but the bigger question is: Will any big free agent acquisition end up working out for the Celtics? The situation doesn’t look as promising with Irving reportedly wanting out of Boston, which would hurt the Celtics trade prospects. Losing Kyrie would also make it difficult to lure another marquee player who might be reluctant to take on Irving’s 2017-2019 role. Players also seem to be keying in on a city’s marketability, and even the weather. There’s a reason we only seem to hear about New York or Los Angeles as potential landing spots for superstar free agents. The situation between the Boston Celtics and All-NBA point guard Kyrie Irving didn’t exactly go as Celtics fans would have hoped the past two seasons. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images) A Realistic Future...

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