2018 Boston Celtics Season Preview

BOSTON CELTICS

2016/17 Record:  53 – 29

Playoffs:

4-2 over Bulls

4-3 over Wizards

1-4 lost to Cavs in Eastern Conference Finals

Additions:

Trades

  1. G Kyrie Irving – via Cleveland
  2. PF Marcus Morris- via Detroit

Draft

  1. SF Jayson Tatum – #3 pick
  2. SF Semi Ojeleye – #37 pick
  3. PG Kadeem Allen – #53 pick
  4. SG Jabari Bird – #56 pick

Free Agency

  1. F Goron Hayward 4-year, $128M
  2. C Aron Baynes 1-year, $4.3M
  3. G Shane Larkin 1-year, $?M

Losses:

Trades

  1. G Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland
  2. F Jae Crowder –  to Cleveland
  3. G Avery Bradley to Detroit
  4. 2018 Brooklyn First Round Pick to Cleveland

Free Agency

  1. C Kelly Olynyk to Miami, four-years, $50M
  2. PF Amir Johnson to Philadelphia, one-year, $11M
  3. PF Jonas Jerebko to Utah, two-years, $8.2M
  4. PF Jordan Mickey to Miami, one-year, $1.4M

Roster

Gordon Hayward SF $29,727,900
Al Horford C $27,734,406
Kyrie Irving PG $18,868,626
Jayson Tatum SF $5,645,400
Marcus Morris PF $5,000,000
Jaylen Brown F $4,956,480
Marcus Smart PG $4,538,020
Aron Baynes C $4,328,000
Guerschon Yabusele PF $2,247,480
Terry Rozier PG $1,988,520
Shane Larkin PG $1,471,382
Semi Ojeleye PF $1,291,892
Abdel Nader SF $1,167,333
Daniel Theis PF $815,615
Kadeem Allen SG
Jabari Bird SG
Gerald Green SF

The Celtics are a completely new team headed into 2017/18.  The signing of Gordon Hayward locked up a superstar scoring talent with statistics comparable to 2006 Paul Pierce according to Carmelo.  Hayward was signed to be the new face of the franchise…

Enter Kyrie.

After most initial rumors indicated a few other teams making offers for the disgruntled Kyrie Irving, Boston quietly struck a deal with new Cavs GM Koby Altman.  Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn 2018 1st rounder were packaged to the Cavs for Irving.  The Celtics gave up a lot for an NBA championship level PG and potential scoring leader for at least the next 5 years.

Looking at regular season statistics, Kyrie should provide a similar scoring threat and mediocre defense akin to Thomas.  The main goal here for the Celtics must have been to get a younger star for Thomas.  Irving represents a player less likely to break down and arguably more marketable building block for the team.

Big questions remain.  How will the Celtics newly assembled “Big 3” mesh?  This looks like an offensively talented lineup with room to grow.  Will anyone step up on defense?Major hurdles remain to overcome the Cavs in the East.  With Crowder now on the Cavs, who will contain LeBron?  Does anyone on this team fit a defensive mold?  Can they play physical defense and get rebounds against motivated playoff teams?  Can Irving continue to grow along with Hayward, or have they peaked?

Maybe it won’t matter when the Celtics are a top 5 scoring team?  Expect some great shootouts from this team this year.

The upcoming season will be a whole new team with firepower galore.  Anything short of another Eastern Conference Finals appearance has to be thought of as a failure this year.


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