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What the Boston Celtics Need Before the 2021 NBA Season
The Boston Celtics are one of the teams that had a good run in the 2019-20 NBA season. Reaching the Eastern Conference Finals certainly is an achievement, but there’s the sense that the franchise has the potential to do more.
I’m sure that the goal of the organization will be to compete for the title in 2021, so I share my thoughts on the biggest Celtics’ needs for the upcoming season and how to address them.
Trade Gordon Hayward
I had high hopes for Gordon Hayward, but his constant injuries have derailed his career in Boston. The guy simply can’t get a break and at this point, counting on him to come back to all-star level is just too optimistic.
There are some rumors that he will decline the last year of his contract, but I can’t see it happening. No one will give Hayward $34 million right now, so he’s opting-in. The strong free agency that’s coming in the next offseason is a reason why there might be suitors for his big contract.
Many teams could use Hayward for a season and still leave enough cap space to go after Giannis or another big star. The Celtics need to utilize that and find a good trade that can elevate the organization right now.
It’s arguably the best way to make the jump to a championship level in the upcoming NBA season.
Acquire a Strong Big Man
I love Daniel Theis and he’s been doing a good job as the starting center for the Celtics, as you can see from his 2019-20 highlights below.
And yet, the Austrian is undersized and simply can’t compare to the best big men in the league on either end of the floor. The other options for this role are Enes Kanter who’s fine on the offense, but a liability on defense, or Robert Williams who’s way too raw.
Simply put, the Celtics need another strong big man if they want to compete for an NBA Championship next season.
Certain reports claim that Boston is after Rudy Gobert and while I don’t see this one happening, it’s the right idea. The team could use Hayward’s expiring contract and possibly throw some first round draft picks to conduct a solid package that could land a strong center.
Improve the Bench
Another huge problem of the Boston Celtics is the bench. The second unit of the team was second-to-last in points scored last season and that’s simply unacceptable. You need more help to win in the playoffs, so the franchise should work on that.
Sharpshooters like Davis Bertans and Joe Harris are free agents this offseason, as well as Montretzl Harrell who is a threat in the paint and ticks many boxes. The NBA Sixth Man of the Year has been working hard in the offseason and he looks ready for 2021.
Another option would be to use the many 2020 draft picks to simply try and get as much offense as possible. If one or two rookies start producing immediately and improve the Celtics bench, that could be enough to make the difference next year.
The Celtics were not that far from a title run in 2019-20, but the next NBA season will be even more competitive. The Nets will have Kyrie and KD back, the Warriors should be a contender once again, and there many deadly opponents in the West.
Boston needs to improve in order to challenge for the championship and trading Gordon Hayward could solve all problems with only one deal. Danny Ainge is one of the most capable GMs in the league, so he might find a solution.
Our team will continue to follow the team and you can always check our NBA betting guide for the latest developments and predictions for the Celtics and all other franchises.