The Celtics are loaded with talent, so much so that one talking head believes Boston could win an NBA championship even without its best player.

Despite being one of the league’s top talents, Kyrie Irving’s value to the Celtics has been called into question quite a bit over the course of the campaign. The C’s are 9-2 this season with Irving sidelined, which was the star point guard’s status throughout Boston’s postseason run to Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference finals.

So if the Celtics kept this current group together and Irving walked in the offseason, ESPN’s Max Kellerman still believes the green could win a championship.

It’s easy to point to the Celtics’ success last season while making an anti-Irving argument, but let’s not forget why they fell one win short of reaching the Finals. Boston’s lack of a true closer became alarmingly apparent against LeBron James and Co., and Irving certainly could have helped fill that void. The six-time All-Star is a proven postseason performer and tends to elevate his game under the bright lights.

So let’s not get confused. While the Celtics have experienced some success with Irving out of the picture, he’s capable of taking the team to the next level.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports