The Boston Celtics are a very young team looking up and only scratching the surface of their potential. With young rising stars like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier on the roster locked up long term, one can only wonder how far this team can go in the future.
Right now, Boston seems to have the perfect balance of depth of new and experienced on the team. Still led by stars like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Boston is expected to appear in the NBA Finals this season. Anything less is a disappointment.
If this team reaches the Finals, they should face off against the Golden State Warriors, a squad who has simply dominated the NBA landscape the last five years. With a plethora of All-Stars on their team, they have been nearly unstoppable, especially so since the addition of Kevin Durant.
However, the question begs to be asked, let alone answered. Who has the brighter future? Boston or Golden State?
To properly answer the question, we must analyze the structures of each teams future. Each team has positives and negatives to assess to the situation.
Boston’s Young, Star Talent
Boston is loaded with young, star talent. As mentioned before, the best young players on the squad are Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier. Certainly, don’t forget about rookie Robert Williams III or Semi Ojeleye. Both of those players are extremely talented but probably won’t see the court too much next year.
Marcus Smart just signed a four-year deal this past off-season, locking him up through the 2021-22 season. Terry Rozier will probably be the team’s next target, as his contract expires next season. Brown is good for the next two seasons, Tatum for the next three. Undoubtedly, Boston will sign the two of them to mega deals when their contracts expire.
The Celtics really sit in a good place, firmly in the driver’s seat, with the structure of their roster. Gordon Hayward, one of head coach Brad Stevens former college players, is locked into his deal through the 2020-21 season, providing the team with much-needed leadership and experience. Although Kyrie Irving will probably leave after this season or be traded through the season, Boston has the depth to deal with his loss.
Golden State, however, is running out
Golden State used to rely on young talent to play well. The group of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green won them a Finals series against LeBron James and the full force of the Cleveland Cavaliers the first go around by themselves. However, with the addition of Kevin Durant and then signing Curry to a mega-deal, Golden State now finds themselves in a bind for money.
Golden State has Draymond Green signed through for the next two years, but next year Klay Thompson will be a free agent. Durant may not return for less money for a third straight year. New All-Star addition Boogie Cousins may not stick around either after next year.
This would potentially leave Golden State with Steph and Draymond, and not too much young talent. Two young players have shown potential, those guys being Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney. Neither player is quite the caliber of a Jaylen Brown prospect, but talented nonetheless. Jacob Evans was added this year in the draft and might turn into a fine young player. Regardless, Golden State could lose a lot of depth next year, especially if things don’t work out well for the team this season.
Next season could be a drastically different game
If Klay and Boogie Cousins were to walk next year, here is what the starting lineups could end up looking like next year:
PG Steph Curry
SG Kevon Looney
SF Kevin Durant
PF Draymond Green
C Jordan Bell
6th Damien Jones
PG Marcus Smart
SG Jaylen Brown
SF Gordon Hayward
PF Jayson Tatum
C Al Horford
6th Robert Williams
Let’s just ask the question. Which team are you taking? For the record, I would indeed be taking Boston in this lineup. It has more big-play potential from every corner, while Golden State is relying on its stars to get through the game.
In summary, I think it’s very clear who has the better, brighter future. The Celtics. It’s a runaway conclusion. The era of Golden State dominating the NBA week in and week out is almost to a close. The better news? The Celtics are in a position to capitalize.