Are the Celtics forming a New Super Team?
It's been one week since Kevin Durant lifted the Golden State Warriors over Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. With the offseason at hand, it is time for the rest of the NBA to make moves in order to ensure that neither the Cavs, nor the Warriors enter the Conference Finals next season with a zero in the loss column. Perhaps the most likely contender is the team that handed the Cavaliers their only loss in the East: the Boston Celtics.
Brad Stevens surprised the NBA community with an impressive run during the regular season which resulted in the Boston Celtics claiming the #1 seed over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Perhaps even more impressive was Isaiah Thomas' performances throughout those games, earning himself the reputation of being the most clutch fourth-quarter star. However, even with such a spectacular regalar season run, the Celtics showed signs of struggle in the NBA Playoffs.
In the first series, against the Chicago Bulls, the Celtics began by losing two home games due to the emergence of a seemingly rejuvenated Rajon Rondo. Yet, Isaiah Thomas returned to form, and they managed to beat a Rondo-less Bulls team after he suffered an injury in game 2. Though, things didn't get easier for them as they faced a hot Washington Wizards team being led by superstar, John Wall, who was having a career season thus far. Though once again the Celtics managed to pull through, although it was only after a physically exhausting seven games. Then came the Cavaliers. The Celtics managed to steal the #1 seed away from the Cavs during the regular season, however the series proved that Lebron James is indeed a completely different animal in the playoffs.
So, how can the Celtics combat such an animal when they already had such an impressive season? According to ESPN reporter, Stephen A. Smith, the Celtics are looking to move forward their rebuild at an even faster rate by signing Utah Jazz Superstar Gordon Hayward, and orchestrating a trade involving the #3 pick to recieve two-way star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. Butler was in trade talks with the Boston Celtics during the season, and many expected him to join them before the playoff run. Furthermore, the Bulls have shown that they are more than willing to trade away their core players in order to obtain younger assets. During the regular season, the Bulls traded away long time veteran Taj Gibson, and shooter Doug Mcdermott for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. Many suspect Hayward would join the Celtics in order to reunite with his former Head Coach at Butler University, Brad Stevens.
If the Celtics are able to obtain these two superstars, the combination of Thomas-Butler-Hayward could be enough to get them out of the East and competing in the NBA Finals. Furthermore, a defensive trio of Butler, Bradley, and Smart would put pressure on any offensive weapons that an opposing team may possess.
For NBA fans, and especially for Celtics fans, F5 season has officially begun.