It’s a done deal. Kyrie Irving is a Boston Celtic. So, now what?
Not only did the Boston Celtics just get younger, but they got better at the guard position and solidified the early team chemistry needed for Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and the other players to get off to a good start without the contract chatter of Isaiah Thomas. Clearly, Irving and Hayward have a good relationship and have discussed this pairing before. Atop of that, GM Danny Ainge has coveted Irving for some time now, while Coach Brad Stevens has yearned to reunite with Hayward. At this point in time, everyone loves everyone. From what we know of the Golden State Warriors, players getting along behind closed doors is a key step toward playing solid ball on the floor.
Many argue whether or not Kyrie is an upgrade over Isaiah at the guard position. The short answer is yes. Kyrie can both create and finish his own shot in the biggest of moments (yes, he got LeBron James a third ring!), and his height alone allows him to guard bigger players. Defensive comparisons aside, Isaiah simply cannot match up with taller guards, as they can either back him down in the post or shoot over him.
What the Boston Celtics got in Kyrie Irving more than anything is an additional marketing piece to go after the final player needed to make this team elite. With Irving, Hayward, Brown and Jayson Tatum all under contract, not to mention Boston being a historic basketball destination and major city, the cards are in order for a big trade or free agent signing. GM Danny Ainge has both draft picks to dangle and veteran assets such as Al Horford, who at this point, doesn’t fit with the younger core.
Neither Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward can be the face of the Celtics franchise. In fact, neither is even the best player on the team at this moment in time. That accolade belongs to Jaylen Brown. Even still, Brown may not be the face of the organization. For all intents and purposes, the Celtics need both a face of the franchise and a big man to solidify this team. That player is either Anthony Davis or Karl Anthony Towns. The Kyrie acquisition alone can help GM Danny Ainge to achieve such a signing.
Should the Celtics be able to land one of the Anthony centers, then all bets are off for another LeBron James-led finals versus the Golden State Warriors. The matchup easily becomes the Celtics and the Warriors for the foreseeable future. In fact, the only team that could disrupt such a rivalry would be the 2018 Los Angeles Lakers. With free-agents-to-be in LeBron James, Kevin Durant and a host of other big names, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we could return to the 80’s magic of Boston versus L.A. should the Lakers land several superstar players.
For now, the unlikeliest person, Kyrie Irving, has shifted the balance of the league by opening the spigot for endless basketball possibilities.