The NBA offseason has been a mixed bag thus far for the Boston Celtics.
The loss of Kyrie Irving could wind up being a blessing in disguise, as the C’s struggled under the guidance of the superstar point guard. Boston, however, will be hard-pressed to replace Al Horford, who was an invaluable presence throughout his three-year stint in green. The Celtics also lost above-average depth via the departures of Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.
The C’s softened the blow of the aforementioned exits by acquiring All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, but Colin Cowherd believes their collection of knocks taken this summer will prevent them from being a true title contender in 2019-20. During Thursday’s episode of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1, Cowherd tucked Boston just barely inside his list of the top 10 NBA teams following the flurry of free-agent moves.
“I think Boston is about No. 10,” Cowherd said. “I don’t think they can win a championship. I think they lost too much offense. They lost Al Horford, very good playoff guy. They lost Kyrie Irving, their most talented guy. They lost Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris. I think they lost too much offense. So I think they’re good and I think they’ll get to the playoffs. I think their chemistry will be better, but chemistry gets you so far. Toronto had great chemistry for years, then they got Kawhi Leonard and won a title. You need a guy, and so I think Boston is not a championship team. They’re a good team, they’re No. 10.”
It’s tough to argue with Cowherd’s billing for the Celtics, who likely will mirror the scrappy, Isaiah Thomas-led squad from three seasons ago. But if Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can take their games to the next level and Gordon Hayward returns to being even a fraction of his former All-Star self, Boston might just exceed expectations. This probably still wouldn’t be enough to earn banner No. 18 next season, but it will help set the tone for a team that appears to be building around its young core.