The Boston Celtics have unexpectedly found themselves at something of a turning point. When Gordon Hayward went down on opening night, everybody immediately wrote them off. We gave them even less of a chance after Kyrie Irving was ruled out of the playoffs toward the end of the season.
Then, they surprised everyone when they pushed the Cavs to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. It turned out those injuries cleared the way for a trio of young stars — guys like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier — to announce their presence on the biggest stage, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But with Irving and Hayward both set to return this season, the question remains as to how all of those pieces will fit together. To be certain, it’s enviable problem to have, and right now, everyone is saying all the right things about sacrificing for the good of the team. But the looming possibility of Irving’s free agency next summer has undoubtedly cast a pall over the proceedings.