It was talked about for a weeks, and it’s finally official, Isaiah Thomas is now in a Celtics uniform. Danny Ainge has been coveting Thomas since the offseason, and now that he’s got his point guard, what’s next for the rebuilding Boston Celtics? Ainge has made a flurry of trades leading up to the trade deadline throughout the year, swapping for draft picks and finding players who fit the ever evolving puzzle. What does the future hold for this team for the rest of the year and moving forward?
The Celtics are only a game and half behind the 7th and 8th spots in the East, and with the news of Chris Bosh possibly missing the rest of the season with a blood clot in his lungs, there is a growing chance that Boston will be hosting some playoff games late in April. However, the Celtics face their own issues with Jared Sullinger being out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his foot. Thankfully he won’t need surgery. Kelly Olynyk is not expected to play on this road trip with a sprained ankle, so everyone will have to step up their games to fill in the voids in the front court.
The playoffs are definitely within reach, and the Celtics could very well be playing any of the top teams in the East this April. But what is the goal for this season, and heading into next year? Ainge doesn’t seem to be too keen on this year or next year’s drafts, and by trading for Thomas he’s given Boston the opportunity to compete for the 7th or 8th spot this year. However, there are still pieces missing that Ainge is bound to find this offseason.
DeMarcus Cousins is another player on the Celtics radar, and with the uncertainty of his future in Sacramento, it’s possible that he could be parting ways with the Kings this offseason. Cousins would be a great addition to the front court, and by rejoining Thomas, his former teammate in Sacramento, they could become a dynamic duo in Boston. But I’m getting ahead of myself there.
Clearly, the Boston Celtics are a team in transition. They’re rebuilding on the fly while also contending for a playoff spot in the East. That’s not a bad way to move on from the Big Three and Rondo era, considering that was only two years ago. They’re a few pieces away from being really good, and a year and a half in as head coach, it’s apparent that Brad Stevens knows how to coach at this level.
After what Ainge pulled off in the closing minutes of the trade deadline, it’s clear that he has an objective and path towards becoming contenders again. It’s going to take some more patience, but the second half of this year is going to be very entertaining.
So buckle up Celtics fans. This is going to be a very wild 30 game sprint into the playoffs.