With the NBA’s season officially suspended, many are questioning if this is a wrap on 2019-20. If this is in fact the case, the Boston Celtics should have their sights set on 2020-21.
The NBA has suspended all games and activities for the foreseeable future, causing some to question whether the league will resume to action at all this year. If this is truly the end of the road in 2019-20, the Boston Celtics and their fanbase should feel proud of what the organization managed to accomplish.
After an offseason that saw two of their top players in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford jump ship, many believed a drop-off season was well on the horizon for this still talented, but very young Celtics squad. Sure, they managed to nab All-Star point guard Kemba Walker to replace their former disgruntled star at the position, but few — including ourselves — believed this to be enough to help them inch closer, or even remain as close to attaining championship number 18 as they were the season prior.
Oh how glad we were to be wrong!
Led by their core group of Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart, by the time of the season’s suspension the Boston Celtics managed to wrangle up a record of 43-21, bestowing them the third seed in the Eastern Conference and their sixth consecutive playoff berth.
2019-20 saw the team once again send multiple players to the All-Star game — Kemba Walker’s fourth appearance, Jayson Tatum’s first –, had Brown perform as a Most Improved Player award nominee (20.4 points and 6.4 rebounds on 49 percent shooting), saw inspiring victories against some of the league’s most dominant lineups and wound up with a top-5 ranking in a majority of odds-charts for this year’s championship.
To say the Boston Celtics exceeded expectations in 2019-20 would be an understatement. Now, if this season winds up officially being over, the team should have their sights set on 2020-21, with momentum and confidence soundly on their side.
With Walker, Brown and, pretty soon, Tatum (should sign a lucrative contract extension this summer) all locked in for the foreseeable future, the team has a solid trio to build around as the years go on.
Add in Smart’s remaining years on his current contract and the development of their young bucks such as Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards &, *gasp*, Tacko Fall and you have the makings of a a potentially great main rotation.
While Gordon Hayward’s — one of their main contributors — contract may be coming to an end (unless he opts into his final year) the team has two routes they could go: 1) they could re-sign the talented forward to a long-term, reasonably priced contract or 2) they could opt to not re-sign Hayward and use that money to address an area of concern on the roster — center, perhaps?
In short: the Boston Celtics have many options this offseason in regard to what they can do with their roster, and none really seem like a bad one.
2019-20 was, and very well still could be, an inspiring and successful campaign for this team. If the league’s suspension is uplifted at some point this year, the Celtics will continue to be in the mix to take home this year’s Larry O’brien trophy.
However, if this is truly the end of the road for 2019-20, fret not Celtics fans, for 2020-21 appears to be as bright, if not brighter than it was during this year’s campaign.