Who’s Next To Wear Green?
Gordon Hayward, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Jimmy butler, the list goes on and on of potential, “could be” next Boston Celtics super star. As the 2017 NBA off-season winds down we are starting to see the new Celtics roster take shape and we are left with some feelings that we get every year of, “what could have been” if different moves had been made. From the addition of Gordon Hayward to the subtraction of beloved Avery Bradley, let’s take a look and recap what has been one of the busiest/craziest Celtics off-seasons since maybe the Garnett/Pierce/Allen era began.
The One Loss:
First, let’s start with maybe the most substantial loss to any NBA team this off-season on both ends of the floor and when it comes to leadership in the locker room, and that man’s name is Avery Bradley. Whether you loved him for his all-out hustle and dirt dog style of play or hated him due to his inconsistency to stay on the floor due to injuries, there is one thing Celtics fans can’t deny and that is that Avery Bradley the person will be missed on the court and off the court for this Celtics team going forward. Not only did Avery show passion on the court with his hard-nose style of play but he also showed passion off the court for the time and effort he put in with children and fans alike in Celtics Nation. There is NO DOUBT that Avery the person and Avery the basketball player (whom by the way was snubbed from the ALL NBA DEFENSIVE TEAM) WILL be missed.
The MAJOR Gain(s):
Now that we have discussed the one loss that could haunt the Celtics this season let’s talk positive and discuss a few of the additions that were made that Celtics fans may like, not like, or learn to love. First let’s go with the man who was traded for Avery Bradley and that is Marcus Morris. For those not familiar with Marcus or only know his brother Markieff (instigator for the Wizards) let me begin by saying that Marcus should not be slept on because this guy can BALL and will flat out go to war for anyone wearing green next to him. This guy is a tall/long forward who can play and guard the 3 and 4 positions and can pretty much score from anywhere on the floor, although his defense won’t be on the same level as Avery but that’s what we have a guy named Marcus Smart for.
The next big addition on this team for me anyways is going to be this year’s draft selection, Jayson Tatum. Tatum was just voted as the NBA’s rookie that is most likely to succeed which is high praise for a kid who was drafted #3 overall it what could turn out to be a very good draft class. At first I was not keen on the idea of Ainge making ANOTHER draft selection on a team that is already young and looking for another superstar to take some of the load off guys like IT4 and Al Horford. Not only did they get a draft pick in Tatum that can help right away and eventually become a star in this league but also went out and signed one of if not THE biggest names on the Free Agent circuit and that is Gordon Hayward who we will get into further down the line.
Jayson Tatum may not be the best “athlete” from this year’s draft but there is no question after watching him in Summer League play and reading all the reports on this guy that he will be the BEST all-around scorer from this year’s draft. Tatum has the ability to play positions 2-4 and can even handle the ball at the 1 and create a shot and score off the dribble. He is also long enough to guard any position on the floor and although he and Jaylen Brown can be scary together it does make way for a possible trade involving Brown for another super-star that plays in New Orleans and has the last name Davis (just an idea), so Celtics fans be ready because Jayson Tatum is indeed the next BIG THING.
Next up, the major move…Gordon Hayward!!! This guy is an all-out consistent Scorer and a flat out BIG TIME BALLER whom Celtics Nation will have no choice but to love. Gordon Hayward is an underrated player in this league but with this Celtics team the league will have to finally recognize him as one of the better all-around players in the league. Pairing Hayward with the likes of Thomas, Horford and Brad Stevens means nothing but bad news for the rest of the NBA and the Eastern Conference as a whole.
The reason why I love this move so much is the clear indication that this guy has the passion to win and has commitment and loyalty to winning. This is a guy who left a fan base who LOVED him in Utah and decided to come to the best fan base in ALL of basketball just so he could team up with his old college coach and buddy, Brad Stevens. This guys will to win with his former coach that he came within seconds and inches of winning a college title with is incredible and I cant wait to see him perform in Celtics green…..EXPECT BIG THINGS TO COME FROM HAYWARD AND EXPECT HIS CAREER AND HIS GAME TO BE TAKEN TO A WHOLE DIFFERENT LEVEL!
THE MINOR MOVES WITH POTENITAL MAJOR IMPACTS:
I wanted to briefly touch on the MINOR moves this Celtics team mad that could have a sneaky impact on the outcome of how this season plays out and how well this team performs. The moves that stood out for me that could have an impact off of our bench are Aron Baynes, Semi Ojeleye, Daniel Theis and possibly the biggest sleeper of them all, Guerschon Yabusele. Lets start with the Australian Bruiser, Aron Baynes. Baynes is a guy who immediately gives you rim protection on a team that has lacked since the days of Garnett and Perkins. Although Baynes doesn’t provide much offense he makes up for it with his size and presence in the paint and Celtics nation should be excited to see what he can bring to this team as sort of a unknown player coming into this upcoming season.
The other guy who could have a bright future and can offer a lot to this team is Guerschon. Yabusele is a guy that when drafted was relatively an unknown and somewhat of a mystery but let me tell you, after watching this kid play some overseas ball and some games with the Maine Red Claws you can tell this kid can be a major contributor right away on both ends of the floor and has the build and style of play as a guy like Draymond Green who we all know is quite possibly one of the best 2-way players in the NBA not named Lebron or Kawai. Celtics fans need to get ready and be excited to watch this freak athlete hit the hardwood and do some damage for this team and to me could possibly be used as a Lebron type of stopper.
FINAL OUTCOME AND PREDICITONS:
So Celtics fans should be aware by now that this team is being built around the new NBA era and is creating a blue print for teams to follow on what kind of guys are taking over this league and that are big, athletic wing players who can play multiple positions and stretch the floor and help other guys get open.
It will be interesting to see how the new big 3 plays together and who will take over Avery’s spot on the floor whether it’s Jaylen, Marcus, or Tatum, someone will have to step up in a big way to fill that void. This year should be an exciting one and the year we dethrone Lebron and the Cavs.
SG: JAYLEN BROWN
Bench rotation: Smart, Tatum, Morris, Baynes, Guerschon,
-OVERALL RECORD: 51-31
-1ST PLACE IN THE EAST
-LOSE THE FINALS IN 6 GAMES TO THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
NOT FAMILIAR WITH NEW FACES ON THE CELTICS ROSTER? CHECK OUT THE TEAMS OFFICIAL PAGE TO LEARN SOME OF THE NEW FACES AND NAMES YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE THIS UPCOMING SEASON @