Photo Credit: AP/ Photo/ Steven Senne
After a busy and interesting offseason the NBA 2017-2018 season is close to beginning. The offseason saw stars such as Chris Paul, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler traded. It saw franchise icons such as Gordon Hayward leave for a new team and rookies such as Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum dazzled in the summer league. With most teams rosters set the predictions have begun and the Boston Celtics are projected to win the East. There are a lot of reasons why this prediction could be right and also some reasons it could be wrong. Even though the Celtics improved this offseason people shouldn’t be so quick to proclaim them as the new kings of the East as this team still has a lot to prove.
One of the reasons the Celtics are predicted to win the East is because of what has transpired with Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers. Kyrie asked for a trade and seems to have a lot of tension with Lebron. They also have the oldest roster in the league and after two straight NBA finals experience the long seasons may start to take its toll on their veterans. The fact of the matter however is that until a team other than the Cavaliers makes the NBA finals from the East the Cavaliers are still the kings. In order for the Celtics to dethrone the Cavs they will have to beat them in a playoff series. It is a very real possibility these two teams will meet in the playoffs and that series will determine whether or not the Celtics are really once again contenders. The Celtics may not have as many stars as the Cavaliers but they are just as hungry with much to prove.
The Celtics also added many new pieces this offseason. They signed Gordon Hayward to a max deal and dealt Avery Bradley to the Pistons for Marcus Morris. The Celtics also traded the first overall pick in the draft for the third pick which they used to draft Jayson Tatum. Even though all these players make the Celtics better it could also open up a weakness. The Celtics saved money by trading Bradley; however he was not only one of the best defenders on the Celtics but also in the whole league. That is something the Celtics may miss in a playoff series. It will be up to the Celtics other players to replace Bradley’s defense. That will not be an easy task and will take more than one player.
The Celtics not only acquired more picks by trading the number one pick to the Philadelphia 76ers but also improved their young core. Tatum and Brown are both projected to impact the Celtics for years to come. This is crucial considering that the Celtics already have two players on max deals and may have a third next offseason when Isiah Thomas becomes a free agent. Having young talented players on cheap deals will be essential in the Celtics remaining competitive.
This offseason the Celtics got better in for both this upcoming season and the long- term. They are not the only team that did. The Timberwolves with the addition of Jimmy Butler will be a force as will the Thunder with the acquisition of Paul George to play alongside Russell Westbrook. The East isn’t as good as the West but the Wizards are a team on the rise and the Cavaliers still have Lebron. The Celtics have a chance to become the kings of the East but it will not be easy. No matter what, this upcoming season will be a fun one and is sure to be full of surprises and maybe some stars such as Irving will change teams but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Written By: Jamie Gatlin
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