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Boston Celtics ready for “Big 3” 2.0

Brilliant but strange has often been used to describe Kyrie Irving both and off the court since he was drafted with the first overall pick to the NBA in 2011.

You’ve probably heard all about his flat earth theories and his reasons to leave LeBron James only to call him and apologize for doing so. The Boston Celtics Point Guard possesses some of the game’s most devastating moves and his brilliant basketball mind can’t seem to get around Boston’s up and down play this season.

After an impressive debut season with Celtics, this season was supposed to be that year Boston returned to the NBA Finals with its marquee players-Irving and Gordon Hayward- returning from long term injuries to lead future star Jayson Tatum. However, with fewer than 35 games remaining on the regular season schedule, there is little to believe Boston can actually go the whole way.

Toronto Raptors have looked very good to the point of resting Kawhi Leonard seven times already. Milwaukee Bucks owns the best record in the league and has front runners for the Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year Awards in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mike Budenholzer respectively. The not so smooth season has opened up the possibility of Irving teaming up with LeBron again but this time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Giannis-Kawhi

By calling, apologizing to and acknowledging his fault to James, Kyrie has wiped out any major issues there is between the duo.

Some quarters believe looking at the level of thawed ice, Kyrie would be willing to strike out on resigning with Boston during this offseason as a free agent for the first time in his career.

There is a lot of truth to such reports beside the discomfort in play; Irving left LeBron’s side for the glorious chance to lead his team but the Celtics aren’t his team but Brad Stevens’ team. And Irving is too savvy not to notice the lack of team leading opportunities in the league except in hopeless franchises like Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. Maybe he gets that and is willing to play little brother to James once again come the offseason and indeed sign with the Lakers.

May 14, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen (20), small forward Paul Pierce (34) and power forward Kevin Garnett (5) react as they take on the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 82-81. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Conversely, winning changes a lot of things including a player’s tolerance capacity and that is the way out of a no Kyrie extension situation in Boston. Little over a decade ago, Boston splashed big on the league by trading for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to team up with Paul Pierce to form the “Big 3”. They swept all before them and won Boston’s 17th title and that scenario could pan out again.

Unlike the Lakers, Boston has a ton of fine pieces to make a trade for New Orleans Pelicans Forward / Center Anthony Davis plausible. The transcendent talent of Davis puts New Orleans in a top position to demand a hefty price most teams would struggle to meet. But Boston has Hayward, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and Jaylen Brown available for Davis. Should Kyrie sign the five year max contract worth $189 million with Boston as he verbally indicated he would this offseason, the Celtics would have the second version of its “Big 3” in town.

Davis

Tatum would be the third guy in that equation though he is the team’s transition foundation from the present group to the group of the future. He is the Paul Pierce of this group as an all round scorer who excels in different facets of the game as Davis takes Garnett’s role.

While the latter is a Hall of Fame inductee in waiting, Davis is a Hall of fame inductee in the making with his incredible ability to play two way basketball, score three pointers and score like a traditional center does close to the basket, he is a special talent who would certainly have had Celtics in his ear a lot already. Elements in the Derrick Rose rule prevent Boston from trading for Davis until the season is over due to Kyrie Irving’s designated player contract on Boston’s roster.

Tatum

Though Irving doesn’t possess the sharp shooting skills of Ray Allen, he sure does deliver in big moments like Allen did playing alongside James in 2013 at Miami Heat. Irving played a key role in delivering the Cavaliers only NBA title to Cleveland in 2016 with a picturesque deep shot over Steph Curry. Celtics are primed to win it all beyond this season and irrespective whose team it is, Boston is on the verge of making something big happen again.

By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter

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