After dud trade deadline, what's next for Celtics?
After dud trade deadline, what's next for Celtics?
By Jimmy Toscano
The Feb. 18 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and after months of whispers, rumors, and reports, the Celtics did . . . nothing.
That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your stance on the Celtics' Brooklyn draft picks.
DeMarcus Cousins, Al Horford, Kevin Love . . . they all sounded good, anyways.
So now that the Celtics are basically set as is (save for mybe a David Lee buy-out and an end-of-bench signing) for the rest of the season, what can Celtics fans look forward to down the road? Let's take a look.
MARCH 1: PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY WAIVER DEADLINE
Basically, any player signed by a team after this date is ineligible to play for that team in the playoffs. There are a couple of exceptions that we won't get into, but generally speaking if you're a player who played on an NBA team earlier in the season, you better be on waivers or on a roster by this date or you ain't helping any team in the playoffs.
This may or may not be an important to the Celtics. As mentioned in the last slide, they'll need to make a decision on David Lee before this date. Will they buy him out? And how will the Kelly Olynyk injury affect both sides’ decision? Lee may not be playing much, but he’s on one of the best teams in the East, believe it or not. It's not like there's another contender begging for his services. And if they do open up a roster spot, they'll want to fill it by then.
APRIL 16: NBA PLAYOFFS BEGIN
It's here! The No. 1-seeded Boston Celtics will beat the crap out of whatever sorry team they're matched up against in Round 1. OK, maybe that's not exactly how it'll go, but it's safe to say the Celtics will at least be a playoff team. They were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round last season, but they should put up a much better fight this time around. If the playoffs began today, the C's would play the Pacers. But there are seven teams within 4.5 games of each other, so that can easily change.
MAY 11-15: NBA DRAFT COMBINE
Ah, the combine. Seeing as the Celtics will have a very high pick coming in this year's NBA Draft, plenty of eyes will be here, which will take place in Chicago and feature the very best NBA prospects. LSU's Ben Simmons, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, Providence's Kris Dunn . . . the list goes on and on. And the Celtics will have a legit chance at one of these studs.
MAY 17: NBA DRAFT LOTTERY
What a time to be a Celtics fan! Not only will the Conference Finals be underway on this day (and we can assume the C's will be a part of them), but the organization will also find out what spot it will pick from in the NBA Draft. The lottery has not been kind to Boston over the years, but this year it's different. It's not the Celtics’ pick, it's Brooklyn's. They didn't have to tank to get it. There's absolutely zero bad karma going into this thing! Come on! Biggest question is who will represent the C's.
MAY 25 - NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline
This later date is new this year. In the past, players had to declare in April which was before the NBA Draft Combine. The new proposal to push the date back was approved by the NCAA, and allows players to get their feet wet in the draft process. It also could add for a little extra drama. Let's say a couple underclassmen have bad combines . . . they've got ten days to think about it before making a decision on entering the draft. Also, they get to see which teams have the top picks in the draft before they commit. That's an interesting wrinkle.
JUNE 2: NBA FINALS BEGIN
Whoa, congrats to the Boston Celtics. Did not see this coming. It won't be easy to take down the Warriors, but if Isaiah Thomas can continue to average 30 points per game in the playoffs, who knows.
But let's say the Celtic AREN’T in the Finals. Let’s say it's the Cavs. Watching LeBron James totally ignore Kevin Love as Cleveland once again loses to Golden State will be great for the C's continued pursuit of Love. And perhaps that will finally be what it takes to make the Cavs trade him.
JUNE 23: NBA DRAFT
I want to hear NBA Commissioner Adam Silver say one of two things with the Celtics on the clock for the first time . . .
1. "With the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select…"
2. "We have a trade . . . "
Come on, Danny!
JULY 1: NBA FREE AGENCY BEGINS
When the clock strikes midnight on July 1, we will have ourselves the craziest spending spree in the history of the NBA. Teams are lined up with much deeper pockets thanks to a new TV deal that kicks in, and that means bigger contracts to players who either do or do not deserve them. You can bet Danny Ainge will be burning up the phone lines in hopes to land a star of some magnitude, whether in free agency or trade. Who? How much? How MANY?! We're just going to have to wait and see . . . and hope we're not left with as little news as we were left with after the trade deadline this season.
Did somebody say . . . fireworks?