How the Celtics Turned Disaster Into Hope in a Matter of Hours
Irving and Walker leaving their teams
After a week of chaotic NBA Free Agency, players and teams started to fill out their rosters to build a championship tier squad.
The Boston Celtics, had one of the most unique offseasons, in regards to how their team was destroyed and rebuilt.
Going into the offseason, many fans and team executes knew that Kyrie Irving was leaving them in free agency. However, most fans were very shocked to hear that Irving was not going to be the only All-Star to leave the team this week. Al Horford declined his $30 million plus option to stay with the Celtics for one more year. A few days into the frenzy of free agency, Horford decided to sign a four-year, $100 million to play for the Philadelphia 76ers. A crushing blow for the Celtics as not only did they lose a superstar in Kyrie Irving, but also one of the more well rounded big in the league in Horford.
The Celtics also renounced the rights to guard Terry Rozier, who was then signed and traded in the Kemba Walker deal that sent Walker to the Celtics and Rozier to the Charlotte Hornets. In total, the Boston Celtics lost players Kyrie Irving (Nets), Al Horford (76ers), Terry Rozier (Hornets), Aron Baynes (traded to the Suns during the draft) and Marcus Morris (Spurs).
In return, the Celtics had made one of the biggest splashes in free agency, as they lured superstar guard Kemba Walker for a four-year max contract worth $141 million. This move is significant enough to replace the departing Irving. Although this signing may not be the perfect replacement in terms of level of skill, Walker brings back the exciting handles and scoring that Irving took with him to Brooklyn.
The Celtics also signed big man Enes Kanter to a two-year deal worth $10 million, the second year being a player option. Kanter is a tremendous offensive rebounder which the Celtics were badly missing in the past few seasons. Kanter will be a perfect pick setter for Walker, and should be the teams best low post scorer as well.The only downside to Kanter’s game is that he is not replacing Horford’s teamwork ability. He is statistically a terrible defender, and mediocre at best passer for a big man. His game is solely on the offensive end, so we will see what Brad Stevens will do with Kanter on the court.
Even after signing players like Kanter to bolster one of the biggest glaring needs the Celtics need in rebounding, there is still a whole at the Center position. Yes, they re-signed Theis, and signed a French big man in Vincent Poirier; even though many have no idea what he can do in the NBA. They also still have Robert Williams who showed great promise in the few minutes that he played. But these players are not a solution. Unless Williams shows that he can be a dominant player down low on both sides of the ball, and can eventually space the floor then this team will have major problems defending teams that have a big man with any form of offensive talent.