The Celtics made the Eastern Conference Finals last year without All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, and were just a few minutes away from taking down LeBron James and the Cavaliers in TD Garden in Game 7 before falling just short. The team was led by Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, the latter three of whom are young and still relatively inexperienced. So, given the team's somewhat rocky start to the new season despite Hayward and Kyrie being available, should they actually consider trading one or both of them?
They shouldn't rule it out unequivocally just yet.
Here’s how I feel about this season’s Celtics offense. pic.twitter.com/AHoz8TS5SX— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 12, 2018
Something seems off so far, as the Celtics are just 7-6 after losing to the Trail Blazers on Sunday. They currently rank 25th in the NBA in points per game and are in the bottom half of the league in three-point percentage.
While a trade may seem too panicky, it's admittedly fascinating to think about what the Celtics could get in return. While trading Irving would be a tough move to back given that Rozier would constitutes a noticeable step down at point guard, a deal to unload Hayward's lofty contract would actually be beneficial no matter who they got back.
He is still a solid player and he's obviously still recovering from a horrific ankle injury that cost him all of last season, but the team it loaded with two-way talent on the wing. There are other directions the Celtics could go with the almost $30 million they're paying him annually, too-- for starters, this is Horford's age 33 season. A succession plan will be necessary.
The East has gotten legit! Now 4 elite teams - Toronto, Milwaukee, Philly, Boston. Sorry @DonnieWahlberg your C’s ain’t reaching the Finals!— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 10, 2018
Which trade targets would be out there that are better than Irving and Hayward are limited, and the Celtics would need to be getting back star power to remain competitive in a new and improved Eastern Conference. But if Anthony Davis is achievable, they have to go all in, to say nothing of clearing cap space to make a play for Kevin Durant in free agency.
Don't start counting the days until these two are gone, but know that Danny Ainge and the Celtics will leaf through all available moves and not be afraid to do what it takes to win.
This news has been published by title Celtics Beating Cavaliers In Conference Finals And In Kyrie Irving Trade
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