‘Irving & Davis in Celtics’ Scenario

John Karalis and Tom Westerholm present their Celtics scenarios and comment on all possible developments in the team’s lineup.

Constructing the Celtics — How Would Experts Do It?

Have you ever wondered how hard it would be to write down in detail all the scenarios that an NBA team could go through? Maybe you have already done that at some point? Whatever the case, we believe that you agree with us when we say that making such scenarios would be a demanding and challenging task. However, two experts have done precisely this, and their analysis, prognosis, and opinions are what we will talk about.

Our first expert is John Karalis, and the other one is Tom Westerholm. Now, we are going to present their two scenarios which they constructed separately. They had to build a team around Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving. If you have ever wondered how hard it was to manage an NBA team, these two expert analyses will be a real treat for you! Soon, you’ll find out what it takes to form and lead a professional basketball team.

So, our two experts speculated about possible outcomes of the Irving’s and Davis’ trade. Before we present to you the two scenarios, let’s see how the two experts solved the trade. They started with these three options:

  1. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum for Anthony Davis
  2. Jayson Tatum, 14th pick (selected and signed, then traded post-signing) and Marcus Smart for Anthony Davis
  3. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Semi Ojeleye, Guerschon Yabusele, Robert Williams, 14th pick, 20th pick (both selected and signed, then traded post-signing) for Anthony Davis

The third solution is not highly likely since it involves a large number of players. Now, it’s hard to say which of the remaining two options is the likeliest one; there are too many factors that can influence the outcome. Let’s see what our experts have to say. One of the crucial factors (besides the obvious — building the right strategy with new players) could be financial. This can influence the final decision in the trades. So, let’s say that the trade can bring the Pelicans team the following deal:

  • Jayson Tatum
  • Zion Williamson
  • Marcus Smart
  • Robert Williams
  • Someone who could be of some help on a rookie deal

After careful examination of all the possibilities and financial aspects, our experts ruled this as a very likely outcome:

Boston gives Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, the 14th pick, Robert Williams, and the Memphis pick for Anthony Davis. The Memphis pick goes to New Orleans. Now, let’s go to the scenarios!


John Karalis’ Scenario

In John Karalis’ vision, Boston’s roster would look like this:

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Anthony Davis
  • Gordon Hayward
  • Aron Baynes
  • Al Horford
  • Jaylen Brown
  • Semi Ojeleye
  • Guerschon Yabusele
  • The 20th selection in the draft
  • The 22nd selection in the draft

John Karalis would offer Al Horford a contract for five years starting at $15,000,000. Also, Karalis makes one interesting decision, as he excludes Brad Wanamaker and Daniel Theis from his team. Karalis would offer Marcus Morris a three-year contract and $30 million, starting at $10 million. John believes that Marcus Morris is an essential addition to the team since Marcus Smart is traded. He likes Marcus Morris’ game and considers this player’s “dirty” approach vital in this scenario. Judging by the financial situation of Boston, Karalis believes that there is a high likelihood of this team re-signing Mook. The expert believes this could happen because Mook is not harmful for Boston’s financial situation and taxes, but at the same time, he is the best addition that the team can hope for regarding the circumstances.

At this point, Karalis is ready to conduct a little experiment of including Cory Joseph in the team and seeing how that plays out. He believes that Cory Joseph can play great defense, and for that reason, can strengthen the team. As for the next player on the list, Karalis chooses Jared Dudley and offers him $2,393,887. Also, this expert would make the same offer to Jamal Crawford, as he believes that such a decision is entirely risk-free.

Karalis chose Keldon Johnson for his draft pick. He makes this decision because of Johnson’s strong defense and his commitment to the game. For the same reasons, i.e., commitment to the game and strong spirit, Karalis goes with Chuma Okeke and puts his name on the list. The expert believes that young players in their early twenties are an excellent addition to the team due to their physical abilities that peak at that age. Karalis expects them to train hard, work hard, and motivate the team with their passionate approach to the sport. Finally, for the next pick, Karalis is going with some unknown European player and leaves the 15th roster spot unresolved. Let’s see what Tom Westerholm prepared for us.

Tom Westerholm’s Scenario

Tom Westerholm’s scenario is built on a very different strategy. After the Davis trade, he picks Mfiondu Kabengele and Talen Horton-Tucker. His list looks something like this:

  1. Anthony Davis
  2. Jaylen Brown
  3. Gordon Hayward
  4. Guerschon Yabusele
  5. Aron Baynes
  6. Semi Ojeleye
  7. Talen Horton-Tucker
  8. Jalen Lecque
  9. Mfiondu Kabengele
  10. Kyrie Irving
  11. Al Horford
  12. Marcus Morris
  13. Ish Smith
  14. Brad Wanamaker

Tom Westerholm adds Jalen Lecque to his team mainly because this player promises a lot and offers a lot of skill and athleticism. All in all, Lecque is a dedicated athlete, and it seems that’s reason enough for Tom to include this player. Tom goes after Irving immediately, as he can guess that Celtics can give this player a great offer. Irving can get a five-year contract and about $189 million. In this scenario, the player would start at $32.7 million.

In Tom’s version of events, Horford is offered a renewed deal with Celtics with Bird Rights. Tom believes that that would be a natural and reasonable action since Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are in the Eastern Conference, and Celtics need a way to straighten their lines. This expert thinks that Celtics would be ready to improve Horford’s deal by $42.8 million. Tom decides for Marcus Morris because he thinks that a player who’s this good is of vital importance for Celtics, as they evidently wish to go after the title. However, Tom believes that Celtics wouldn’t be able to offer more than $25 million to Morris.

After reinforcing their wings and offense, Celtics would be left with small funds to invest in their defense. Tom sees this as a problem since he predicts that the team would be left with around $6 million to spare on another player. Since Tom is sure that Celtics would prefer a good shooter, he goes with Ish Smith and offers him $11.6 million for two years. Tom adds Brad Wanamaker to Bird Rights. Just as John did, Tom also leaves the last spot unfilled and counts on new possibilities that will emerge after the season is over. Tom believes that this lineup would work quite well because every player has precisely determined roles. In fact, he believes that here lies the biggest asset and strength of the team.

So, these were John’s and Tom’s scenarios. They are both cleverly designed, and both of the experts thought every detail through. Their opinions and predictions say a lot about how it looks to manage an NBA team — it looks pretty hard and demanding! After all, that’s a business that doesn’t forgive, and every mistake made in the planning process can sabotage a lot of hard work in the future. However, it seems that these two experts managed to create smart and intriguing scenarios, thanks to their experience and a lot of knowledge on the matter.