Great vibes, past trades, and TPE options: Mailbag answers (Part 2 of 3)

You had questions about the Boston Celtics and I have a few answers (results may vary)

A subjective one for you: Besides the winning, what’s your favourite thing about watching these Celtics this year? What’s the thing that puts a smile on your face the most when you see it happening during a game?

I actually think my favorite thing has been the Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis budding bromance. Jaylen has always been a little hard to read and I’m not close enough to the team to know what the dynamics are between him and the rest of the team. But seeing him obviously click with KP has been a lot of fun. You can see the chemistry on the court as well, in particular with their pick and roll connection. That’s just a lethal option to turn to.

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Beyond that, it also makes me smile to see the way the team seems to have bought into the concept of sacrifice and making the next right play. Much easier said than done.

I haven’t seen any reporting on the work that Jeff Van Gundy is doing for the Celtics. Do you have any information or insights on what he is accomplishing?

 

I’m with you, I haven’t seen any reporting on this either. He’s obviously available as a resource for Mazzulla to reach out to. For one thing, coaches are always talking to other coaches to soak up more information and perspective.

My best guess is that he’s been most valuable as someone who’s very well versed in how a coach communicates with the media. At times last season Joe was either defiant or defensive or outright aggressive toward the media. The year he seems a lot more comfortable in his own skin. Perhaps Jeff helped in that regard.

Okay, first a basketball question. We all know that the Celtics will have a number of contact decisions to make over the next couple of years with Tatum, Holiday, White and Hauser in particular. I assume Tatum is a lock to be extended, but what are the chances that the others are all playing with the Celts on their next contracts? Who would we be most likely to lose? Do we look to trade any of them after this season?

This team is set up to become very, very expensive very soon and for the foreseeable future. If they win a title, everyone will be happy paying the bill (at least for a while). If not, then you could see some more changes to the roster, perhaps fundamental changes. It really might be that simple (even though it seldom is). The most likely thing is that they keep this core together, but you might see Brad look aggressively for cheaper options to replace players as they age (Horford, Jrue?) or look to cash in on their next contract (Hauser?).

In the past twenty years, what Celtics front office moves did you like a lot in the moment and then soured on as they aged? And vice versa – didn’t like in the moment, and then liked more and more as they aged.

The obvious one that I didn’t like initially was trading Marcus Smart. I could see the thought process but I was worried about the fundamental shift in the team’s chemistry. Turns out it was a needed change and (so far) a great fit.

On the other end of the spectrum, I thought adding Dennis Schröder for the MLE was an obvious win for Boston and he ended up being a bad fit all around. Hats off to Brad for seeing that quickly and not being shy about moving on.

Can this team keep this starting five together and stay under the 2nd apron in the coming years?

Nope! They are already over the 2nd apron and I don’t know how they get under it any time soon.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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