More Celtics bold predictions for 2019
Here are five predictions, some bolder than the others, for the Celtics in 2019. And if 2018 was a nonstop roller coaster filled with all sorts of peaks and valleys then 2019 will feature far more highs than lows if some of these predictions come true.
1. Marcus Morris will be selected as an All-Star reserve
Morris was supposed to spend February dancing in trade rumors, the potential odd-man out for a team overstocked with talent entering the season. Instead, Morris has emerged as an invaluable piece this season, maybe Boston’s most consistent two-way player. If Kyrie Irving gets a Celtics sidekick in Charlotte, it’s because the East coaches voted Morris a reserve.
2. Gordon Hayward keys Boston’s deep playoff run
Hayward and his $31 million contract have endured the wrath of frustrated Celtics fans after many of their losses this season. He’s understandably struggling to find his pre-injury form and it might ultimately take him most of the season before he consistently impacts games at both ends of the floor. But by the playoffs, he’s going to provide @OldTakesExposed with plenty of content.
3. Celtics settle for No. 3 seed, win Game 7 of East finals in Toronto
The Celtics have shown they can compete with the East’s top dogs but their uneven play has them on pace to finish behind both Milwaukee and Toronto in the standings. That means the possibility of having to win two playoff series without the benefit of homecourt advantage. Playing their best basketball of the season when it matters most, Boston upends the Raptors north of the border to earn a trip to the Finals.
4. Al Horford declines big-money option then re-signs with Boston
Horford has a $30.1 million option for the 2019-20 season but it might benefit both team and player for Horford to opt out and re-sign a longer-term deal. It’ll be hard for Horford to turn down such a big payday, but something like a three-year, $60 million pact would give the veteran security and allow Boston to keep payroll manageable as younger talent starts to cash in.
5. Celtics will trade for Anthony Davis in July
Danny Ainge is never one to sit on the sidelines when a star talent becomes available. The Celtics were ready to pounce when Kyrie Irving came on the market in the summer of 2017 and, should New Orleans have to entertain trade offers, Ainge will be first in line with the best assortment of talent to offer. It’ll be a steep cost — a deal probably starting with Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and draft picks — but Ainge assembles a bonafide super team.