The Boston Celtics enter the 2021-22 season with low expectations for the first time in years. They are coming off a mediocre season last year going 36-36 and losing in the first round of the playoffs. General Manager Danny Ainge is being replaced by Brad Stevens, who is being replaced as head coach by Ime Udoka. A culture change is happening in Boston and the future looks bright for the Celtics. This is a Boston Celtics season preview for the 2021-22 season.
Boston Celtics 2021-22 Season Preview
As soon as Brad Stevens became the general manager, he began making key trades that have improved the Celtics already. Kemba Walker and his awful contract are gone and former Celtic center Al Horford has returned. The Celtics fortuitously were able to get free-agent point guard Dennis Schroder on a mid-level exception. Other key signings include shooting guard Josh Richardson and center Enes Kanter. One of the problems the Celtics have had is a lack of depth, which they have fixed this offseason. A projected starting lineup of Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford should make the postseason. The Celtics will have Schroder coming off the bench with young talents such as Aaron Nesmith, Robert Williams, Payton Pritchard, and Romeo Langford joining him. Celtics fans have to be feeling a lot better about this group of players compared to last year’s team.
Potential Trades and Roster Moves
One potential move that the Celtics can make is to go get John Wall. It was reported that Wall would not play for the Rockets this season while they search for a trade partner. Wall’s contract is tough to stomach for any team, as he is owed almost 100 million dollars over the next two seasons. The Celtics should try to get him for the veterans minimum if he gets bought out. Another move that the Celtics should consider is trading for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Tatum and Beal have always been rumored to play together since they are friends. With Beal potentially hitting free agency next summer, the Wizards may want to trade him by the deadline. If the Celtics can manage to get him without having to give up Jaylen Brown, then this type of move could vault the Celtics back into title contention.
The Celtics will finish this season as the fourth or fifth seed in the eastern conference. Many have written the Celtics off, and with the team and situation they had last year, it was warranted. However, this year will be a fresh start. Ime Udoka will bring a desperately needed new energy to this team. Dennis Schroder will be a finalist for the sixth man of the year award as he will be motivated. The trade for Al Horford will help defend elite big men such as Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Bam Adebayo that they will face in the eastern conference. While the Celtics won’t be in the top tier of the eastern conference teams, they have a chance to make it to the second round of the playoffs if all goes well.
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