Celtics not Championship caliber yet - will Ainge make a major move?

Danny Ainge didn't bring in Kemba Walker with the intent of merely getting to the Eastern Semifinals. With Kawhi Leonard moving to the Western Division and the Warriors Kevin Durant (now with Brooklyn) and Klay Thompson probably out for the entire 2019-20 season, Danny smells blood. The adage, "Get into the playoffs, and anything can happen", came true in 2019 when the Kawhi Leonard-led Raptors took the Title, aided by injuries to Durant and Thompson.. My feeling is that Ainge wants to get out of the East in the post-season and hope for the bit of good luck that was missing last year. But that may require yet another significant move.


Sportsline.com currently has the Boston Celtics in 9th place with 25-1 odds of taking the 2020 Championship. The Clippers come in first with 3-1 odds, followed by the Bucks at 9-2 and the Lakers at 5-1. Pre-season odds don't determine the Champs, but we agree that Boston is not yet of Champion caliber.

Summer League is proving that this coming season will present even more of a dilemma getting worthy players significant minutes. Although Brad Stevens seems to have an aversion to playing rookies, both Carsen Edwards and Grant Williams already look deserving of at least a few minutes of floor time in the regular season, if they make the final roster.



Eastern Conference rivals Milwaukee and Philadelphia (4th place in Title odds) both are placed ahead of Boston in Sportsline's projections. An injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo would change the odds landscape drastically. Particularly with the addition of Enes Kanter, Boston has the size and strength to deal with the 76'ers Joel Embiid, but the center spot for the Celtics remains shaky in terms of true hope for a Title.

The Celtics seem fine at the point guard position with Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. The adage You can't have too many wings has been overdone by Boston. Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Daniel Theis, Semi Ojeleye, Guerschon Yabusele, Grant Williams and possibly Romeo Langford all fighting for playing time just seems redundant and is a situation that begs for remedy.

The gap left by Kyrie Irving's departure has been filled by Walker. How does Danny Ainge cover the loss of Al Horford - his defense, ability to hit the long ball and locker room presence? Look for Danny to try to fill that void with a stretch-the-floor, mobile big man, if such a thing is possible. The Pacers Domantas Sabonis has been thrown out there. That would almost surely mean sending Jaylen Brown to Indiana, and that would be painful and a high price to pay. Let's face it - luck in the playoffs often means injuries to opposing players. We saw that unfold last post-season. Danny's goal is to get out of the East and face whatever Western power survives - and then hope for the luck that has escaped Boston the last couple of years.

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Photo via Charles Krupa/AP Photo






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