In the wake of the Celtics’ early exit in the playoffs, the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard have advanced to the NBA Finals. As people well know, the Raptors took a huge risk by trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard as Kawhi is headed to free agency in a month. But the trade paid off as the Raptors finally got over the hump. With that, the Celtics are going to face a similar decision this off-season. Should they blow up the roster and go ALL-IN for a championship? Or should they rebuild with the young guns? It seems that there will be no in between on this tough decision.
So you have the GO ALL IN OPTION. In which the Celtics resign Kyrie Irving to a max contract and trade for Anthony Davis. Seems simple right? I wish it was. Davis is in the same situation Kawhi is now as he will be a free agent next year. Which means you are going to have to give up Jayson Tatum AND Jaylen Brown for possibly one year of Anthony Davis. Due to the lottery results, the Celtics are no longer the clear favorites to land Davis and its going to take everything to get him. An Anthony Davis trade would look something like this.
Boston: Anthony Davis and Solomon Hill
New Orleans: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, 14th Pick, and 2020 Memphis Pick
With a core of Kyrie, Davis, Horford, and hopefully a healthier Gordon Hayward; Boston should be the favorite in the East next year. But their window closes faster.
Now the other option the Celtics have is REBUILD. Kyrie Irving failed miserably this season and all signs are pointing on him leaving. But even if he wanted to come back, should the Celtics take him back? He’s not a leader and you’re going to have to pay him around $200 million dollars to be a number one guy. It doesn’t seem like he wants to be here so why build around him? If Irving out, Anthony Davis should be completely off the table. That also means that the Celtics will likely let Al Horford walk and try to trade Gordon Hayward.
By doing all of that, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier become the faces of the franchise. The Celtics go from a title contender to a 6th seed. But a 6th seed with 2 young stars and cap room to build around.
So what should the Celtics do? I know most fans don’t want to hear it but the best move is to rebuild with the young guns. I personally think Kyrie is leaving which means I am not trading 6 years of Jayson Tatum for 1 year of Davis. It will be painful in the short term to no longer be title contenders, but if your like me; you know Tatum and Brown and superstar potential. Sometimes the risks are worth the reward, like the Raptors did with Kawhi. But this is not the time or the place.
Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)