Celtics

Celtics' Grant Williams, Romeo Langford seem fired up to be in Boston

Celtics' Grant Williams, Romeo Langford seem fired up to be in Boston

The Boston Celtics' offseason may be off to an ominous start, but don't tell that to their new draft class.

The Celtics' four selections in the 2019 NBA Draft are descending on Boston on Monday for their introductory press conference at the Auerbach Center.

Before meeting with the media, though, they took to social media to share their excitement upon arriving in our new city.

Here's Romeo Langford, Boston's top selection out of Indiana at No. 14 overall:

Tennessee's Grant Williams, whom the Celtics selected at No. 22, arrived in Boston on Sunday night and already is calling the city "home."

Williams has an extra tie to Boston, as the Celtics happen to be his grandfather's favorite team.

"I’m proud of you, boy, you’re going to my team," Williams said his grandfather told him after the C's drafted him, via The Athletic's Jared Weiss. " ... I’m gonna come see you, now."

No. 51 selection Tremont Waters seems pretty fired up about his new hometown, too.

The No. 33 overall pick, Carsen Edwards, has kept quiet on social media, but the good news is that all four Celtics rookies appear to have made it safe and sound to Boston, where they'll aim to add some excitement to a team that could undergo significant changes this summer.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Danny Ainge reacts to Al Horford joining rival 76ers: 'It's a different era'

Danny Ainge reacts to Al Horford joining rival 76ers: 'It's a different era'

Many Boston Celtics fans were surprised, and perhaps a bit upset, too, when they learned Al Horford had taken his talents to the Philadelphia 76ers in NBA free agency.

Not only did Horford leave the Celtics, he went to one of their top rivals and competitors in the Eastern Conference. Horford also had been Boston's most effective player against Philly over the last two seasons, especially in the Celtics' second-round playoff win against the 76ers in 2018.

Throughout most of the league's history, a player of Horford's caliber leaving one team to join one of its hated rivals would be a huge deal. But with today's players changing teams so often, it's not really surprising that there hasn't been much of an uproar around Boston over Horford's decision.

“It’s a different era,” Ainge said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich" radio show. “I can’t imagine that would have ever happened in my time of playing, but it’s a different world that we live in. It doesn’t seem to be those kinds of same rivalries. There’s rivalries with the fans, but sometimes not as much with the players.” 

Horford's potential departure was not talked about much during the season. Many people assumed he would stay, either by exercising his player option or by declining it and signing a new long-term contract with Boston.

Ainge also was asked if Horford's choice to go to the 76ers was a shock. Clearly, he wasn't too surprised.

"No," Ainge said. "I think that Al -- he really likes to play the four (power forward) more than the five (center). He liked playing with Aron Baynes. He didn't mind playing some five, but he prefers playing the four and I think that going to Philadelphia will allow him to be exclusively at the four."

Horford should see a ton of time at power forward in Philly as long as superstar center Joel Embiid is healthy. However, Embiid has battled injuries his entire career and durability is not one of his best talents. He's never played more than 64 games in any of his three pro seasons. So, Horford might actually end up playing a decent amount of center with the Sixers.

The main thing for Horford in Philly is being able to win a championship. He's 33 years old and has never won a title. The 76ers, with Horford in the fold, arguably are the favorites to win the Eastern Conference next season.

Click for the latest Eastern Conference title odds>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBA odds: Here's where Celtics rank among Eastern Conference contenders

NBA odds: Here's where Celtics rank among Eastern Conference contenders

The 2019-20 NBA season doesn't begin until October, but the craziness of the recent free agency and trade transactions already have fans fired up for the new campaign.

The flurry of surprising offseason moves that have seen many superstar players change teams has resulted in an evening of the playing field. There's no longer a Golden State Warriors-like super team. There are seven to 10 teams with a legit chance to win the NBA Finals next season, which should create one of the most unpredictable and exciting years of basketball in recent memory.

The Eastern Conference will be competitive, but it also could be top-heavy.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with the league's best record in the regular season a year ago, are the favorites to win the conference at -120. They are followed by the Philadelphia 76ers (+175), who signed former All-Star Al Horford and re-signed Tobias Harris amid a wild summer for the franchise. The next team on oddsmakers' list in the East is the Boston Celtics at +700. The Celtics lost Kyrie Irving, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Horford this summer, but they signed Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Vincent Poirier and added two first-round picks (Romeo Langford and Grant Williams) to the mix.

Here's where the C's stand in the latest Eastern Conference odds from Caesars Palace.

After the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, there's a huge gap in the odds. Las Vegas isn't optimistic about any other teams realistically competing for the conference title, and it's hard to blame the oddsmakers. Many of the third- and fourth-tier teams in the East should provide plenty of exciting action, most notably the Atlanta Hawks, but these clubs are still a few steps away from being legit contenders in the conference.

Ainge: Celtics 'trying' to get contract done with Tacko Fall>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.