To be honest, I don’t mind the off-season the Celtics are having. Yeah, I’d love to have kept Evan Fournier. Perhaps if Brad Stevens did not feel it necessary to clear up money for Bradley Beal he would have ponied up the dough for him. But sitting on your hands and crossing your fingers Mr. Covid to not come to your door leaves you alone so that you can finish top-3 in the conference and impress a soon-to-be free agent all-star shooting guard isn’t the worst plan in the world. Of course they’ll be other suitors. Golden State will be at the door. The demons that run the Miami Heat always find a way to free up salary. Boston beat back the opposition for Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker in the past. Maybe they can do it again.
The positives are in what Boston did so far, and the negatives are based around “they didn’t spend money in free agency” which is true. Besides signing Enes Kanter to $2.7 million the Celtics sit on what’s left of their MLE ($3.2 million) on what potentially is going to be used on Dennis Schroeder? Hard to tell. Everything you read on Twitter is 99% scuttlebutt.
It sucks to see everyone else sign someone and achieve that new car syndrome that is all too fun to experience in the moment, but come Christmas time they sour on. It’s like clockwork. I’m sure the Knicks won’t regret paying out the ass to keep Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks. I’m certain the Chicago Bulls won’t pull their hair out over DeMar DeRozan’s one dimensional offensive scheme that only works against the Celtics on a consistent basis.
What Stevens has done was move off a negative asset in Walker for Al Horford. Many lauded the Thunder at the time for this deal and still do, despite the fact they’ve essentially paid $60 million for the sixteenth pick in the draft and paid Walker to fuck off. Yet another win by the immortal mastermind Sam Presti.
Those who are mad it took a first round pick to get off of Walker are the same people who get mad when the Celtics draft anyone in this range of the draft. They’re simply prone to anger and should be ignored. The team isn’t perfect. But the proper authorities on the matter of how the team is run are not them. You wanna get anywhere in this god forsaken landscape of sports media you usually tie yourself to a team and cry about how poorly they are run and run down the players, no matter how accomplished, in an almost sabotage effort. Like you want to run your stars out of town. We have a lot of wannabe Dan Shaugnessey’s on Twitter and that goes for not just Boston.
Tristan Thompson, one of my favorite players because you all hate him so much, traded to Atlanta or Sacramento (I don’t really care to check) for Kris Dunn and a 2nd round pick. Another negative asset the Celtics moved for positive value. A brief description of Dunn is he is Brad Wanamaker beat by beat. Quick, passable as a ball-handler, can get steals on defense and that’s about it. If he stays healthy he’s fine.
Josh Richardson is a solid scorer, and contrary to popular belief was good in Philadelphia two seasons ago, but horrid in Dallas last year. My ￼ submission is he needs to have the ball in his hands and be allowed to cook. He isn’t an off-ball player. Perhaps Ime Udoka put in a good work for him and figured that was the cause for his recent struggles. While a starting backcourt with Smart and his mini-me will make the hallow FleetCenter sound like the Battle of Gettysburg, I can only shrug and say “maybe it’ll all work itself out.”
Look at what the Lakers and Nets did and flatly assume it’s all superfluous. One team signed the best available free agents over the age of thirty thanks to their geographical location. The other picked up shameless ring chasers. But both of them could have ran it back with the same rosters and enjoyed similar success they are likely to embark on this upcoming season. It’s all predicated on health. Health is why these two assholes didn’t meet in the finals last season.
Miami is the perfect combination of location and shameless ring chasing. 2020 hurts despite myself seeing the outcome from a mile away as it happened, because it inflated their reputation beyond the admirable above-average label. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson shot the lights out in the bubble and showed how much of an anomaly that was the following season, yet we insist on the former version of themselves being true. It isn’t. They are fine supporting cast pieces. Pat Riley should look to cash in on them rather than keep drinking the kool-aid. Just like DeRozan you can’t say the Heat are overrated because once every two weeks they meet their expectations against the Celtics and everyone forgets the previous contests where they played like hot garbage.
Attention spans similar of that to a moth attracted to a flickering lightbulb.
Wait and see is all I can say right now. Wait and see. We don’t know what awaits us. Yes, Covid-19 is still here and wrecking havoc on even grander scale than it did the previous year thanks to the influx of the Delta variant. Many players have refused to be vaccinated and the league seems apathetic towards the matter. Fans and writers are too stupid to understand they are drawing their grandiose conclusions due to how their season related to the virus.
Outside of that we don’t know what will be of Marcus Smart or Robert Williams. The former is due for an extension and expects around $20 million annually for his services. Williams is less of a concern due to his restricted free agent status next summer. He is also prone to injury and it isn’t a horrible idea to see what’s out there for him now so you’re not saddled with his aching body combined with eight figure salary.