The Boston Celtics are a top team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, but in three seasons their starting 5 could look drastically different.
Gordon Hayward was the prized free agent for the Boston Celtics this offseason, and he’ll pair nicely with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. In three years though, heading into the 2020-2021 season, I don’t think IT or Al will be playing in Boston.
Boston still has a ton of draft picks piled up, and in 2018 they could again land the No. 1 overall pick. If they do, I think they’d keep it this time and select the (right now) consensus top pick Michael Porter Jr.
Yes, the Celtics are already loaded with forwards, but the NBA is no longer relying on typical positions. Guys can play all over the court and their skill sets allow them to play both outside and inside. Boston can continue their methodical “rebuild” while maintaining a top spot in the East.
Jaylen Brown has the skills to crack the Celtics starting lineup this season, but they may also give him plenty of time to improve to become the leader of this team one day. I truly believe that Brown will become the face of the Celtics franchise within the next three years. They also have the luxury of allowing their top draft pick from this season to mature. Jayson Tatum has the potential to become a dominant player in the NBA if he is able to refine his skill set.
Boston could become the next powerhouse team in the NBA, competing with LeBron James (wherever he is by then) and the Golden State Warriors. Most of their team could actually be built internally as well, with the exception of a few key free agents.
In 2020-2021, I see the Celtics lineup featuring 3 home grown players and one major free agent to go alongside Gordon Hayward. Here is my starting 5.
- Jaylen Brown
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Jayson Tatum
- Gordon Hayward
- Karl-Anthony Towns
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KAT!? Yep. In 2020 the then 24-year old center will become a restricted free agent. While that makes things tricky, Boston should do everything they can to lure Towns away from an up and coming Minnesota team. While the Timberwolves may be even better by that point, the Celtics will still have so much more to offer KAT. They offer a bigger market, and a better chance to win an NBA title. Towns would not be asked to carry the team, he’d simply be the big man presence needed to complete the squad.
A team with this starting lineup would be incredibly scary in the NBA. They could have the chance to win an NBA title before Hayward’s contract expires. If they do, maybe Hayward comes back at a discounted rate, with tons of money poured into Towns, Brown and Tatum. Porter Jr. would still be on a rookie deal, but his money would need to come soon as well.
Boston would likely be able to find plenty of veterans willing to come play with them for less money than they could get elsewhere, like Eddie House in 2008.
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While I know I may be in La La Land and this is a crazy dream, I’d love to see this lineup on the court for the Boston Celtics a few years from now. How dominant do you think this squad could be? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @CandCFanSided or @JakChowder!