The Next Point Guard of the Boston Celtics

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.

Image result for d'angelo russell stats

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.

Image result for ricky rubio

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.

Follow us on Twitter @soft7sports for more Boston including who the next center should be and me @soft7wic for a follow back.

Celtics Are the Frontrunner for Kemba Walker

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics are now the favorites to land All-star guard Kemba Walker.

Coming off a 25.6 point and 5.9 assist season, Kemba is one of the hottest names in this year’s offseason. And with Celtics losing their star point guard Kyrie Irving to free agency, they need Walker now more than ever.

Danny Ainge has changed up his team building strategy as of late to free up as much cap space as possible as opposed to collecting assets like normal. The Celtics have $30+ million in cap space to work with leaving plenty of room to sign the 29 year old All-star and still have room to surround him with talent.

Kemba, being a great ball handler and excellent facilitator, would make him a great fit in Boston. The young core led by Brown and Tatum needs a veteran leader to allow them to grow as a unit. While he may not be the offensive presence that Kyrie is, he still demands attention and his selfless playing style can unlock his teammate’s untapped potential.

Brad Stevens also knows just how good Kemba is. Having played him in the NBA for years, and also in 2011 when his Butler Bulldogs met Kemba and UConn in the NCAA Championship. I am sure that Stevens wants his revenge, but having him as his starting point guard would suffice.

Buck’s Wild Wednesday (11/21/18) – Fultz Says His Body Hurts…and That He Wants a Trade

…um…yikes…

Talk about a bad situation to say the least.  Imagine trading up to draft a guy with the yips, fixing him, trying to give him confidence…and then he decides he hates you all because you misdiagnosed an injury…or two.

So it turns out the 76ers somehow misdiagnosed a shoulder and wrist condition with Markelle…of course this is Markelle saying this, so maybe someone in his camp is telling him that this is the reason he can’t shoot.  Who knows.

But with this trade request, we now can get to the best part about this: potential landing spots!

DISCLAIMER: Of course, what the 76ers need from this trade is a guard that can shoot.  Another primary shot creator that can help get more buckets for them.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much for this team since the potential teams they would be dealing with are…well, in need of a point guard lol.  They could finally realize Ben Simmons is their point guard and get more wings and big men, and improve their bench.  However, let’s dive in with my potential three teams looking to add Fultz, and maybe we can unearth a trade that (possibly) benefits both teams…

Phoenix Suns

It wouldn’t be a trade for a point guard if the Suns didn’t make the list haha.  The Suns went from having a glut of point guards to now hitting up G League players to fill their need.  Their new coach Igor Kokoskov (aka the man responsible for the mentorship of Luka Doncic) has Devin Booker running it in some sets, but that is merely a bandaid holding back the breaking dam.  They need a guard in a bad way, and they may be willing to give up pieces to make that happen.

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Suns Trade – F Josh Jackson (3 yr/$6 mil per), F Dragan Bender (1 yr/$4.6 mil per)

WHY? – Pretty simple to be honest.  All three people involved in this trade cannot shoot to save their lives.  I have heard that maybe Mikal Bridges is the player that gets sent back, and if I am Philly I would want him back.  However, I don’t think the Suns would trade back the player they gave up two first round picks for.  Suns get a point guard that they need with the “Guard Whisperer” head coach, and the 76ers get another wing defender and four and a half mil that wipes off the books next season (which they now need to pay Jimmy Butler or a different star).  Maybe a 2nd round pick gets added either way, so who knows.  But I can’t see it happening.

Orlando Magic

So this is a team, while I don’t WANT to see Markelle go here since no one that goes here ever learns how to shoot, I want him to go here badly.  Out of the three proposed teams, this is the best team he could go to.  They have intriguing pieces, and they desperately need a point guard.  76ers need people anyway, and they can get some pieces that are pretty nice.  What they really need, of course, are shooters…

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Magic Trade – G/F Terrence Ross (1 yr/$10.5 mil per)

WHY? – Without adding picks to this (which I assume would have to happen), this is a trade that actually benefits both teams.  Magic need a guard desperately, so bad that they moved Terrence Ross from small forward to shooting guard.  I also have heard that maybe they decide to move on from Aaron Gordon, but I find that unlikely.  76ers, however, get another shooting guard who can reasonably defend, and (once again), wipe the money off the books next year.

Charlotte Hornets

This is the team that would be a grand slam for the 76ers.  The Hornets are desperate enough to start a rebuild, but they do not want to do Kemba wrong at all.  He’s the best player to ever come through their franchise.  How do you fix that?  Easy, with a trade to a contender for a nice building block of the future…and draft picks.

76ers Trade – G Markelle Fultz (3 yr/$8.4 mil per)
Hornets Trade – G Kemba Walker (1 yr/$12 mil per)

WHY? – So, there will be draft picks added.  With how Kemba is playing coupled with the fact he is an All-Star, he should net the Hornets a bunch of pieces they need to launch their rebuild.  Markelle, Monk, Bridges, Kidd-Gilchrest, and Hernangomez are a tantalizing starting lineup for the future.  The picks they get in this draft (or the next ones) can help them plan ahead and draft better players for their team.  The 76ers get another All-Star that they desperately need, and their starting lineup becomes ridiculous.  It’s an upgrade (in a sense) for both teams.  While the 76ers may have the tough decision to pay Walker or Butler, they can cross that bridge when they come to it.

The Charlotte trade that is best for the 76ers, hands down.  I’ve actually even seen and heard some reports that this trade has been talked about.  Let’s see if the 76ers can actually make it happen.