So many things have gone wrong for this team so far this season, that I can’t bring myself to predict any more doom and gloom. So I’m declaring this an all-positivity SWAG column!
These are my predictions for the 2nd half of the season. Enjoy responsibly.
Danny Ainge will use the TPE to trade for Harrison Barnes at the deadline
This just feels like it should happen. There are bigger targets to go after at the deadline (Nikola Vucevic) and bigger names that we could hold out for (Bradley Beal) but there are complications that seem difficult to impossible to overcome in either case. The Celtics could also go smaller and safer by splitting up the TPE and addressing the depth issues by grabbing a couple of players (George Hill and Larry Nance Jr.). But I like the sweet spot of grabbing Barnes as a clear upgrade to our rotation.
What will it take to pry him away from the struggling Kings? It would likely cost us either Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford and perhaps a 2nd rounder. As much as I like both of those young players, I don’t think the team can afford to wait for them to mature enough to be consistent playoff performers for this team. Barnes can provide that on a contract that is declining for the next 2 years.
Robert Williams III will the starting center by the end of the year
There’s just too much amazing goodness that he brings to the table. He’s quickly reducing the number of mistakes too, so Brad Stevens is running out of reasons not to play him.
This isn’t meant to be a knock on Daniel Theis or Tristan Thompson either. Theis is the most versatile of the bunch and Thompson has that old school game and vet experience that could come in handy. Also, one of the 3 could be traded within the month and I’m rolling the dice on Williams sticking around.
Bottom line, Robert is growing by leaps and bounds and he’s going to help this team with his leaps and bounds.
Romeo Langford will make a big impact
We’ve said it all along. The Celtics could really use a guy just like Romeo Langford. He can get into the teeth of the defense and kick it out to open shooters. He can get himself to the line. Hey, maybe he can hit a few 3 pointers without even needing ping pong paddles. Oh, and he’ll provide solid defense off the bench as well.
Or maybe he’ll get traded... which would still make an impact.
The Celtics will finish with 41+ wins and finish 3rd in the East
At Boston’s current pace they’d only end up with 38 wins this year. I’m betting that the 2nd half goes a bit better than the first half for the Celtics. Marcus Smart alone should be able to turn a couple of close losses into wins.
I’m also counting on one of the 3 teams above them in the standings to cool off a bit. That might be a bit of a reach, but weird stuff happens every year.
And since we’re being optimistic...
COVID vaccines will be effectively distributed to everyone by the end of the season
One can only hope.