Although it’s been less than two months since the Los Angeles Lakers captured the 2019-20 title, the 2020-21 season will kick off soon. It’s been a short yet action-packed offseason with the draft and the bulk of free agency having already taken place..
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Despite losing Gordon Hayward for nothing more than a conditional second-round pick, the Boston Celtics should still be one of the best teams in the East behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.
Tatum took the leap many hoped he would in Year 3 and now has a new five-year, $195 million max contract that will kick in next season. Now 22, Tatum may not yet be ready to be the best player on a championship team, although he’ll have plenty of help on this roster.
Tristan Thompson, 29, should get the starting center job over Daniel Theis, especially coming off a season in which he averaged 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds. He’s already started for one championship team and has always been fine with limited offensive touches while doing the dirty work franchises need to win.
Jeff Teague will be a fine veteran backup to Walker at point guard, but a lot of this team’s attractiveness is still in its youth. Players like Robert Williams III, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams and now Aaron Nesmith are all recent first-round picks who could turn into valuable rotation pieces or be used as trade bait.
The Celtics are good as-is, but they could also be a sneaky trade destination for the next star player to hit the market.