The off season comes and goes and there have been a lot of changes in the Eastern Conference.
One of the teams with not so much going on is Boston, they’ve been relatively quiet in the offseason despite losing two off their biggest stars.
I think everybody knew that Kyrie Irving was on his way out the door with reports of locker room arguments. Irving seemed destined to leave even after just last year he pledged to stay if the fans wanted him, loyalty eh?
But one of the bigger shocks was Al Horford leaving. With Horford being Boston’s main line of defence it left them looking very slim at the five.
Enough about guys who used to be on the team, let’s get down to the fresh faces making their way to the Garden.
Boston signed former Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker to a four-year max deal. Walker averaged 25 points per game last year and almost led Charlotte to the playoffs – they just narrowly missed out on the eight seed to Detroit.
Another man they signed to fill the hole that Horford left was Turkish born Enes Kanter. The Celtics signed Kanter on a two-year, $10 million deal. Kanter joined Portland midway through the year and a big impact when it mattered most, after Jusuf Nurkic went out injured. He stepped up in the playoffs putting up 13 ppg and 9 rebounds.
So that’s the main drama of the arrivals in Boston but what about the draft?
Boston went into the draft with no great expectations. They picked Romeo Langford at 14, for a 6ft 6 guard he drives well to the basket, getting a lot off and one calls. He averaged 16 points last year with 74% from the line.
With their next pick they selected Grant Williams at 22. he averaged 15ppg and 6 rebounds.
Boston had another pick but they traded their 24 pick along with Aron Baynes to the Phoenix Suns for a future first round pick.
But arguably the steal of the draft was Carsen Edwards with the 33rd pick for the 76ers but Boston traded for him.
They showcased him in the summer league in Vegas and he put up some great numbers for a rookie averaging 19ppg and shooting 47% from long range. These numbers earned Edwards a shoe deal with Adidas which is rare for such a low pick. Edwards will most likely be the backup point guard for Brad Stevens.
Staying on the subject of summer league we can’t forget about the man himself Tacko Fall, originally from Senegal.
Fall moved to the USA when he was 16. The 7’7” sensation had a rough time at the draft as he was not selected as teams didn’t want to take a risk on a rookie who is 23 years old and an injury risk.
The Celtics threw him a lifeline offering him a 14 day contract. He’s been trying to earn his spot putting up 7ppg and 5 rebounds in the 12 mins per game. He’s still training with the Celtics at the minute but they have a big decision on their hands (literally). I’d say its low risk high reward.
Let’s get down to the real question: can the Celtics win the East?
Most say no but I think if former third overall pick Jayson Tatum can improve on his 16ppg and show that he can be a superstar along with Jaylen Brown, and if Hayward can improve on last year after that bad injury, then why can’t they win the East?
With the new point guard in Walker and the new centre in Kanter, along with a bench full of young talent then I’d say there’s no reason as too why Boston can’t challenge.
Everyone has overlooked Boston and as the old saying goes, work in silence and let your success be your noise. I’d say that could be the case in the Garden this year.