The Celtics’ roster is excellent. It’s one of the most talented collections of players in the NBA, and with all things equal, Boston should be even better than its record indicates.
Chris Broussard joined FS1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Tuesday to discuss the Celtics’ current situation, which looked rather bleak over the weekend when Boston dropped back-to-back games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers after establishing sizable leads in each. And he raised an interesting point about the Celtics’ roster construction.
The Celtics currently are built around Kyrie Irving, a six-time All-Star who already owns a championship ring, and a couple of high-priced veterans in Al Horford and Gordon Hayward. But they also have several talented, up-and-coming players — like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier — who haven’t received their big NBA contracts yet, making for an interesting dynamic.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said recently on “The Hoop Collective” podcast there’s been “gossip” that Tatum wouldn’t mind being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a blockbuster for Anthony Davis, as it would give the Celtics sophomore an immediate opportunity to become the face of an NBA franchise.
We obviously don’t know whether this is true, but it’d be hard to blame Tatum, even if his chances of winning a title are far greater in Boston. As Broussard notes, young stars rarely are criticized for not winning, and securing championships often becomes a player’s top priority only after establishing his brand and landing his first significant deal.
In an ideal world for the Celtics, this wouldn’t be an issue: Tatum, Brown and Rozier all would thrive in their roles while Irving, Horford and Hayward lead the way. Accepting a reduced role — less playing time and fewer opportunities to stuff the stat sheet — requires an unselfish mindset, though, and one even could argue it’s poor business for Tatum, Brown and Rozier to prioritize the Celtics’ championship potential over their own accolades, as it theoretically could cost them millions of dollars in the long run.
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