Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Celtics first jumped to No. 3 in 2016, back when they were coming off a first-round sweep. Since then, Boston has never finished outside the top three, having made back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference finals. With Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, this is the Celtics’ most talented roster yet. And there’s still more room for internal development from young wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, plus as many as three extra first-round picks on the way — including the Sacramento Kings’ pick, which Boston gets in June, unless it’s No. 1 overall.
The big iceberg on the Celtics’ horizon is Irving’s free agency next summer. If he leaves, Boston won’t have any cap space to sign a replacement, and they would have to rely on their young talent stepping up. However, we trust their second-ranked management team to handle that or any luxury-tax woes if Irving does re-sign.
No surprises here. The Warriors and Celtics lead the pack in ESPN’s annual rankings of teams with the most promising three-year window.
The one troublesome tidbit from the Celtics projection is the lack of cap space to sign a free-agent should Kyrie Irving walk away. Yes, I’m aware that Danny Ainge is keeping Terry Rozier around for that very reason but it would suck, suck, suck if Irving walked for nothing.
I’m calling BS on the Rockets (3rd) and Lakers (4th) rankings. I don’t know how the math was jiggered, but teams with 33-year-old centerpiece stars shouldn’t fare so well in a ranking based on the future.
It’s funny how no one can envision LeBron James slowing down yet talking heads at ESPN have been predicting Tom Brady’s demise for at least 5 years.
On Page 2, an assessment on Kyrie’s recent workouts.
That someone could have been the towel boy, but it doesn’t take an advanced scout to know that Kyrie looked pretty damn good.