Well, it’s official. Kyrie Irving has opted out of his contract with the Celtics and all signs point to him making an exit from Beantown. While it is sad to see such a great player leave the team, his constant antics and trolling of the media proved that he cared more about playing with our hearts than he ever did about playing basketball. Just not worth the trouble.
So with Kyrie gone… who is going to be the starting point guard? Terry Rozier is an option, but the general consensus has been that he is not ready to lead the team just yet. So what does Danny Ainge do? Who does he reach out to in free agency or for a trade? There are many viable options that would be great fits for Boston.
Kemba Walker– First Choice
Danny Ainge has done a change of sorts when it comes to Boston’s team building strategy. Instead of massing assets, he has cleared as much cap space as possible and can now go after some of the biggest free agents. The number one in particular is Kemba Walker. Coming off a 25.6 point, 5.9 assist all-star season, Boston needs to do whatever they can to secure their point guard for the future. Someone like Kemba is exactly who Terry Rozier needs to learn from. He is truly a selfless player that knows exactly when he needs to take over a game and when he needs to keep everyone involved. According to Woj, the Celtics are the favorite to land him so, LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN, DANNY.
D’Angelo Russell– Next Best Option
Since all signs are pointing to Kyrie signing with the Nets, D’Angelo Russell is going to need a new team. If Kemba Walker somehow falls out of Boston’s grasp then D’Angelo Russell is the next best option. After a breakout season in 2018-19, DLo will be one of the steals of this summer’s free agency. Another 21 points and 7 assists per game would make him a fine addition to the Celtics young core that Ainge and Stevens love so much. Even if the Celtics do get Kemba and no longer need Russell, I pray that he does not go back to the Lakers.
Ricky Rubio– A Fine Consolation Prize
Ricky Rubio is hitting free agency this offseason and, in a recent interview with EuroHoops, he mentioned that he is interested in joining the Celtics this offseason. Rubio has so many positives that it would be hard not to be interested. First, Boston would never have to worry about him playing the “me-ball” that Kyrie did. Rubio averages 7.7 assists per game in his career. He is the perfect embodiment of Kevin Garnett’s “We Not Me” mentality. Next, Rubio is the veteran guard that the young core needs. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum would flourish with a facilitator who does not care if he scores. Lastly, Rubio would be one of the cheaper options. His last contract with the Timberwolves and Jazz paid him $55 million over 4 years. Definitely an affordable option for the Celtics and allows them to go after a top center.
Any of these players would be great for Boston. Each bring a unique playing style that Brad Stevens could mold into a contender in the East. Even if all of these fail, Rondo could be an option and even turning over the keys to Rozier may prove us all wrong.