The Celtics waltzed through the regular season, the Jazz and the Heat in the playoffs, and it all came down to a single game against the Brooklyn Nets to decide the Eastern Conference champions. The Celtics, the team many expected to be on top of the East this season, ended up losing the game. There are obviously some questions surrounding the loss, in particular in regards to the future of Celtics’ General Manager, Danny Ainge.
The Nets won the game, but more importantly, the Celtics lost. After dropping a crucial game to the lowly Nets, Danny Ainge is in a tough situation. He has been running this franchise into the ground for years, and it appears that the Celtics are finally at a crossroads. They can either go ahead and fire the ineffectual Danny Ainge, or send him to the unemployment line.Barely 24 hours after being eliminated from the NBA playoffs, the Boston Celtics have already made some major changes. It all started when Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge left his post and was replaced by coach Brad Stevens. So the obvious question is: What’s next for the Celtics? How will they build around star Jason Tatum, who had such an impressive season? Here are some of the decisions Stevens will have to make in the early days of his new role.
Provide additional assistance to Jason Tatum
Is the Tatum-Camba Walker-Jaylen Brown-Marcus Smart era over? It’s been three years now and it doesn’t seem to be working. It didn’t help that the Celtics were eliminated in the first round in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is a clear indication that the workforce needs to be reformed. Regardless of the fact that this is a one-asset trade, the Celtics need another core player besides Tatum who can help him and Brown offensively. Let’s welcome Jason Tatum to a great season! 26.4 PPG 7.4 RPG 4.3 APG 45.9% FG 38.6% 3PT 86.8% FT (4 games with 50+ PTS) Young superstar pic.twitter.com/oX0ZIl6vS0 – NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) 2. June 2021
Finding the right coach
With Stevens in charge, it’s clear the Celtics need to find the right coach. Not just any coach, but someone who can work with the elements the Celtics have. Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reports that Jason Kidd and Lloyd Pierce are the leading candidates for the job. The Celtics can’t waste this vacant spot. This could be crucial for them, especially if they want to succeed in the highly competitive Eastern Conference. Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd and former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce are reportedly candidates for the Boston Celtics head coaching job, sources in the league told @YahooSports. – Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) 2. June 2021
Ainge had a reputation for taking it easy on his early talents and young core, rather than trading superstars. He became known on NBA Twitter as someone who flinched or gave up every time a deal was on the table. That clearly didn’t help the Celtics. Sure, the team has had to deal with a few setbacks this year, such as COVID-19, injuries and a shortened offseason, but the Celtics are in dire need of an overhaul of the roster. And for that to happen this season, transactions need to happen.
change for Kemba Walker
Speaking of trades, Walker has been a hot commodity since the Celtics picked him up from the Charlotte Hornets. The Celtics had hoped he could become a premier scorer, but he hasn’t shown much yet, especially given the severity of his contract. Walker has also been hampered by injuries, which will certainly affect what the Celtics do with him. A former #NBA executive told @HoopAnalysisNet that he thinks the #Celtics will trade Kemba Walker this season. That’s what they tried to do in the offseason. He had a few sentences on the table and almost pulled the trigger. Kemba will likely switch teams next season. – Evan Massey (@massey_evan) March 30, 2021 Walker has averaged nearly 20 points per game on 42 percent shooting this season. While these numbers are acceptable, they fall short of Walker’s expectations. Sometimes he was too inconsistent. This is the best time to trade Walker, especially since he’s still young and can bring in other key pieces that better suit the Celtics. Ultimately, the Celtics need to rebuild from top to bottom. They found a franchise player in Jason Tatum and saw the emergence of Jaylen Brown. What they need to do is surround these two with an elite coach and a group of role players who can contribute. Build a team around two All-Stars and maybe pick up a few good players in Free Agency to become relevant again. The Celtics have done it before, and with a brilliant mind like Brad Stevens at the helm, there could be a few surprises this season.