The Celtics entered the Eastern Conference Finals as slight favorites to beat Miami, but for the third time in four years, Boston couldn’t get over the hump and advance to the NBA Finals after becoming one of the last two teams standing in the East.
As Bobby Marks details in an Insider-only piece for ESPN.com, the next steps for the Celtics this offseason will be to lock up Jayson Tatum to a maximum-salary rookie extension and to determine how best to upgrade the roster around Tatum and their other core pieces.
According to Marks, determining what to do with their three first-round picks this year also represents a key decision for the Celtics. A year ago, the team used three picks in the top 33 and got mixed results from the trio of Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, and Carsen Edwards. With three of the top 30 selections in the 2020 draft, Boston will have to decide whether to draft three players again, attempt to trade up, or look to turn one or two of those picks into future assets.
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- Asked after Sunday’s loss about the possibility of a rookie scale extension, Tatum deflected the question, indicating that he hasn’t seriously considered the idea yet. “I was just focused on this season,” Tatum said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “The front office and my agent gotta talk about it. But I’m not thinking about that right now. We just lost a series. Just thinking about the guys in the locker room and the games. That’s what I’m thinking about. Stuff like that, going to happen, if it happens, (is) not really my concern.”
- Once his extension goes into effect in 2020/21, Jaylen Brown‘s first-year cap hit will be $23.73MM, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). That figure includes a $22.99MM base salary and $744K in likely incentives. Brown can earn further incentives in future seasons on that deal if he achieves certain individual accolades.
- Despite the disappointing end to their playoff run, the 2019/20 season should only serve to fortify the Celtics’ direction going forward, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who says the club still has a very promising future.