BOSTON’S GOT A BIG 3 AGAIN! The Celtics have managed to reel in two big time players at the start of the Free Agency period in the past two years. Al Horford made it official tweeting 18 four leaf clovers back on July 2, 2016
And on the birth of our great country in the state where we dumped the tea so graciously into the Harbor, Gordon Hayward, who coming off a career year averaging 22 points a game, moves east after 7 years in Utah to link up again with college coach Brad Stevens in Boston, Massachusetts citing “unfinished business” to win a championship which he penned in The Players’ Tribune on the 4th of July.
A team in the Celtics who were the 3rd to last team standing this past NBA season adds a reliable playmaker that can create his own shot to further compete with the Cavaliers in virtually a rematch next year barring any injuries. Hayward along with Al Horford who is one of the best shooting big men in the game and of course the leader in Isaiah Thomas, voted 5th in the MVP voting, a tenacious competitor who drives to the basket, now has the ability to kick out the ball to 2 versatile players that can be counted on shooting from the field.
With elite superstars like Paul George moving to the West and a very good player when healthy in Blake Griffin remaining in the West it only begins to create a monopoly at the top of the Eastern Conference headlined by the Cavs (for the time being) and the Celtics being the only true contender to them.
Obviously if we are comparing Big 3’s in the East its still Cleveland with the advantage and furthermore the Celtics still need to make some moves on the roster to clear cap space for Gordon Hayward’s 4 year/$128 million deal. That would mean the fiesty Marcus Smart, an elite defender in Avery Bradley, and/or talented young Terry Rozier could be on the move. Although its unclear right now who Danny Ainge values the most it is very likely at least one of those players will be playing elsewhere along with others on the roster. That of course cuts into the deep bench that Brad Stevens likes to play 9 to 10 deep at times but that is the sacrifice when you sign a would-be superstar and could quickly become a fan favorite at the TD Garden and throughout New England. However, signing a rebounding big man will go a long way and even with the impending moves the Green have themselves a deeper bench than Cleveland when they go only 6 deep (currently). Alas, the signing of Hayward convinces me that we are looking at a 7 Game Series in the Eastern Finals and if it’s in Boston. Anything is possible!
Next July, Boston will look to snag a 3rd big free agent in as many years to compete with Golden State and truly consider themselves title contenders yet again. Free agent big men next year such as Brook Lopez or Greg Monroe could undoubtably put Boston over the top in the East as LeBron grows a year older, but that would mean coming to terms with Isaiah Thomas and the Brinks truck.
Anyway back to present day, the relationship between Brad Stevens and Gordon Hayward was and is so strong originating back at Butler University that a fringe superstar for the second year in a row decided to come to Boston and leave an extra 5th year of guaranteed money at around $30 Million in Utah. 2017’s version of The Boston 3 Party are in their prime and have reincarnated the city as a destination for NBA’s big names to go to.