2020-21 has been a trying season for Boston Celtics fans. Fans were shuttered out of the TD Garden until just recently, but even then, the Cs have been a live-time disappointment for those able to attend the games in person.
Take last night’s 106-96 loss for example. Down by as many as 17 in the second quarter, this game was never one that Boston had much of a chance in. Joel Embiid predictably dominated with a 35-point performance, but Danny Green was somehow able to torch the Cs from 3, knocking down five of his six attempts from beyond the arc.
That sort of domination is inevitable come playoff time…if the Celtics even make the postseason. Currently sitting in the #8 seed, the team is one bad stretch away from fighting just to make the play-in tournament.
Things are bad, teetering on borderline disastrous. COVID-19 has admittedly been a factor, but no team with as many recent All-Stars as the Cs have–not to mention a former DPOY–should be struggling to this degree against top teams.
Boston being 2-7 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets is damning evidence this team has its work cut out for them this postseason if they even get there.
Next year, though, the slate could be wiped clean. While the Cs won’t have the cap space to be players in 2021 free agency–especially if Danny Ainge follows through on a long-term Evan Fournier commitment–that could change quickly with a couple of cap-clearing maneuvers. It’s not like the Boston Celtics have bad contracts, either, so those shouldn’t be difficult.
HH has taken it to task to come up with three such deals to clear up cap room to make a run for a 2021 free agent:
Why the Boston Celtics do it
Avery Bradley reunion? Perhaps, but the Cs can easily deal for Bradley’s near-$6 million player option for the purpose of declining his team option. Either way, this deal saves millions on the bottom line.
Why the Houston Rockets do it
Houston can buy Thompson out themselves, with Christian Wood serving as the team’s center of the future. They could also use him as a backup big to fortify what could be another thin Rockets frontcourt in 2021-22.