A Reflection of the Boston Celtics

Image Courtesy of Cloudfront.net

Image Courtesy of Cloudfront.net

Stefan Erwin, Sports Editor

The Boston Celtics have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs after losing four games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.  What moves can they make this offseason for a potential Finals run next year?  Do they need to make any moves?

The Celtics are a very talented young team led by All-stars Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker as well as All-star snub Jaylen Brown, All-NBA defender Marcus Smart, and former All-star Gordon Hayward.  Young stars 22-year-old Tatum and 23-year-old Brown performed very well in these playoffs exceeding many expectations, but unfortunately, the team could not get the job done altogether.  Walker had struggled throughout the playoffs on both ends of the floor.  Smart played well overall but had his scoring struggles also.  Gordon Hayward had an ankle injury in round 1 of the playoffs, had to miss the entire second round, and ended up coming back for game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  He didn’t fill the stat sheet, but you could see his presence elevated the team’s performance.

As of right now, most would say that the Celtics are in a good place.  They have a great core of Tatum, Brown, Walker, Smart, and Hayward with their two centerpieces being 22 and 23 years old.  Along with that core, they have a number of solid role players in Daniel Theis, Grant Williams, Brad Wanamaker, Enes Kanter, and Robert Williams.  Grant and Robert Williams are 21 and 22 years old and the Celtics have a few more young prospects who are continuing to develop in Romeo Langford, Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters, and Carsen Edwards.  Looking at this team there is a lot to look forward to with their young talent.  The question is will this young talent be enough for a title?

Many have argued that the Celtics need a real NBA veteran who has had some playoff success before to lead them.  It was clear the impact of Udonis Haslem and Andre Igoudala on the young Heat team this year.  Udonis Haslem only played a total of 25 minutes this season, but his leadership and insight to his young team are invaluable.  The Celtics don’t have someone like that so in a way they are figuring things out as they go.  Signing a veteran could definitely be a big help for them.

The Celtics are over the salary cap right now and what many fans want to know is whether or not Gordon Hayward will pick up his $32 million player option.  Reports have said that he plans to pick up the player option to lock him into another season with the Celtics for $32 million.  This seems like a no brainer as right now he won’t be able to get near that much money anywhere else.  This is something for Celtics fans to be happy about because Hayward has shown a tremendous commitment to the team by missing his son’s birth to be with the team in the playoffs.  He’s a great player who’s dedicated to his game and his team, hopefully, he will return to All-star form in the near future.

Although it was a disappointing exit in the Eastern Conference Finals for the Celtics, there is a lot for Celtics fans to be thankful for.  The world can only wait to see what the future holds for this young team.