The Boston Celtics were unceremoniously booted from the NBA playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets this past week.
It was a fitting conclusion to an immensely disappointing year.
Days after the season wrapped, Danny Ainge “retired” from his post as team president and Brad Stevens was elevated to replace him.
Ainge reportedly already has his next job in sight – and it’s with a far less dysfunctional group in the Western Conference.
The big question for Boston now is: what’s next?
That is what Michael Scotto of HoopsHype attempted to get to the bottom of this week.
“I think they’ll trade Smart this summer if I had to guess,” one NBA executive told Scotto.
“Retool around [Jayson] Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown if they can get real value for [Marcus] Smart, but a lot up in the air there.”
Kemba Walker is a piece that almost certainly needs to get dealt.
“They need to have internal growth,” a different NBA executive told HoopsHype.
“They’re pretty stuck when it comes to salaries. They’ve been trying to move Kemba Walker for a year now and no one is touching that. Their best bet would be to move Smart, but I don’t know what his market is. They could trade Brown to try to fill a different position, but that would be a bad move.”
And then there is Evan Fournier, who Boston picked up at the NBA Trade Deadline in hopes that he could fill some of the gap left behind by Gordon Hayward.
“He’s going to look for $15-20 million a year,” an NBA executive told HoopsHype.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
“I’m not sure where he gets that from. They’ll have to keep him since they can’t replace him. It’ll be interesting because they have never been willing to pay the tax, so getting around that will be hard for them. If they let him walk, there’s no replacement.”
This has been a rough year for the Celtics. Between trading away Tatum’s best friend and opting out of a trade for James Harden for the oddest of reasons, it has been one misstep after another.
Is blowing the team up this offseason and starting anew the solution? Time will tell.