The Boston Celtics’ up-and-down season came to a close in a 4-1 series loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Terry Rozier appeared on ESPN’ First Take to say he was leaving the Celtics because of what he sacrificed. Kyrie Irving seems to be already out the door. It is now the time we must ask what the Celtics long-term plan is at the point guard position. Believe it or not, they’re in a much better position to improve this position than you think.
1. Make Gordon Hayward the PG
Gordon Hayward and Brad Stevens history is well documented, and it seemed at a few points this year that Stevens wanted the system to flow through Gordon. He’s not the same wing player he was before the ankle injury. However, he is still a good ball-handler and reliable shooter. Hayward is very experienced in Brad Stevens’ system thanks to his college experience. Hayward would be able to act as an extension of Brad Stevens due to this knowledge, and help the Celtics’ young core acclimate to the system. In the ever-evolving position-less NBA, Hayward seems like the perfect fit at the 1 in Stevens system. This also puts Hayward in a position to succeed and live up to his superstar-level contract.
2. Trade for a low-cost veteran PG
The Celtics are a relatively young team who don’t have a defined leader (unless you count Horford). Younger, more talented players have been driving out veterans and leaving great value out on the trade block. It’s important to note that these are low-cost guys, not high paid Free Agents, that are covered here. Guys like Patty Mills, Ricky Rubio, and Jeff Teague have been around the league for a while. These guys are quality players when surrounded by talent. The relatively low trading cost creates great value. Patty Mills presents the best value and fit for the Celtics. He is a reliable scoring threat and is referred to as a ‘team player’ by his peers. Mills is exactly the type of guard the C’s need following Kyrie’s imminent departure.
3. Trade up in the draft for Ja Morant
Celtics fans have been very happy recently with general manager Danny Ainge’s wheeling and dealing trades. They have brought Boston a surplus of draft picks and quality players. Ja Morant is projected to be the #2 pick to the Grizzlies and the draft. The Celtics best first-round pick currently sits at #14. Boston has a multitude of quality bench guys that are expendable. The C’s also have a stockpile of picks (one of those pics being Memphis’ own pick next year). They have all the resources to make the move for the talented young PG. Morant averaged 24.3 PPG, 10.0 APG, and 5.0 RPG. He’s the first player to average 20+ points and 10+ assists since the assist became a stat in the 1980’s. Morant makes the most sense for the Celtics because he’d mesh with the young core they built already. He’d give the C’s a bright future to look forward to.