The 2019-2020 NBA season has just come to an end, with the Lakers tying the Boston Celtics and winning their 17th world championship. The good news is 2021’s right around the corner, which means we will not have to wait long for the Cs to attempt to regain the throne as the winningest franchise in NBA history.
Now that the NBA season is over the Boston Celtics can start their preparations towards building this team into a championship contender. Over the next few months, there are going to be some key dates that are going to shape this team into what we can expect to see next season.
Here are some key events on the horizon for Cs fans to look forward to:
1) Gordan Haywards Opt-In Date (TBD)
Gordon Hayward is entering the final year of his 4 years, $127M contract with the Boston Celtics that he signed back in the summer of 2017. This final year, however, is a player option and gives Hayward the ability to stay in Beantown or opt-out and test the free-agent market.
Rumors around the league are that it is all but a done deal that the veteran will opt into the final year of his contract.
By opting in Hayward guarantees himself $34M and locks up more money than he would most likely get should he choose to become a free agent.
Chalk this up as a win for the shamrocks. You now get a player who, when healthy, can perform at a high level and will now be highly motivated in a contract year.
If healthy for a full season there is a chance we could see the All-Star version of Gordan Hayward next year.
Expect the forward to take his guaranteed money and “ball out” in hopes of trying to earn that next big contract.
2. NBA Draft (Nov 18th)
The Boston Celtics once again find themselves in another NBA Draft with a plethora of draft picks. 3 first-round picks and one second-round pick to be exact. This just means that the Cs have multiple ways they can navigate this draft.
It would be very tough, but not impossible, for them to keep all 4 picks. If they went this route they would most likely have to stash most of these players up in Maine to develop with the Red Claws.
Another option that would work for them is trading some picks. Whether it is for players or to move up higher into the lottery to snag an impact rookie that you hope can contribute right away — you guys all know we are high on Devin Vassell here at the Houdini.
Danny Ainge has some tough decisions to make but if played correctly this could be a huge night for the Celtics.
3. NBA Free Agency (TBD)
The exact date for free agency has not been announced yet due to the NBA and the players’ association needing to figure out next year’s salary cap first.
Though, if we are basing it off of previous seasons, free agency always starts one week after the NBA Draft. With that said, expect free agency to open up around the week of November 21st.
Celtics fans, do not expect this team to make a splash as they just do not have the available cap space. Boston should be targeting low-cost veterans who can help make an immediate impact.
4. The Start Of The 2020-2021 Season (TBA)
For the last few months, there has been speculation as to when the NBA might start its next season.
The original thought was that this past season would finish in time so that teams could have ample opportunity to start the 2020-21 season by Christmas Day. As all of you basketball fans know, Christmas Day in the NBA is like Thanksgiving in the NFL.
But now it is looking like there will not be enough time to have an offseason and training camp before Santa Claus comes to town.
So, if I had to make an educated guess, my best bet would be that next season will start in January by MLK day. This has always been a huge day in the NBA and, with the league and the players coming together to speak up and battle against the social justice issues we are facing in our country, I believe this is the perfect day to get back to basketball and to once again have the camera on the players so their voices can be heard.
I would almost lock this in as the start date, though nothing has been confirmed yet.
Next season is still a few months away, but building a championship contender starts now!