This is a great move for Boston and very exciting for the NBA.
I wonder though how much Boston still lags behind Cleveland. The Cavaliers are a one man team, and while that one man is the best in the league, Lebron has a lot weighing on him. Cleveland has to have gotten a little worse this summer- next spring Lebron will be another year older, and they haven’t changed their supporting cast at all. They added nothing. The Cavs, without Lebron dominating, probably don’t even make the playoffs (unlike losing 1 guy for the Warriors or Celtics). Lebron also could get pissed and mail it in if he knows he is going to LA- and after this offseason, where the biggest thing the Cavs did was resign Kyle Korver- it increasingly looks like they know he is gone. I don’t see how the Cavs could be better than last year (in an unrelated note, PG13 for Love seems better than what Pacers got)
The Celtics have improved. I am huge a fan of Hayward, and not only his close relationship with Stevens, but also Stevens ability to get the most out of guys could catapult him to elite status (I like your article saying he was under-utilized in Utah). Hayward’s scoring his risen for 7 straight years. I don’t know if there is anyone else in the league who has done that. Jaylen Brown may take the leap between year 1 and 2, he is showing real glimpses and this is the time players jump. I like Tatum, but rookies generally don’t contribute much. The celtics have the deepest roster in the NBA, and the deepest roster I’ve seen in a quite a long time. Terry Rozier/Smart/Tatum/Crowder is something like their 10th man- I expect them to finish clearly with the number 1 seed and win alot of those January 4 games 5 nights. I also like some of the foreigners Zizic and baby draymond I think can give NBA minutes. Perhaps the celtics will run out lines of players. This is besides the fact that for the future they are set up very nicely.
I think the Celtics can contend. I’d say there odds to win the East are 2/1, while the cavs are 2/1- or something along those lines. The Celtics have a lot of possibilities.