Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum

Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum


Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum

The Boston Celtics have made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Among those who will not join them are teams who usually do, like the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Among those who believe the Celtics will have it easy going to the NBA Finals is former ex-Lakers guard Nick Young.

Young posted on his X account that returning to the NBA Finals will be easy for Boston, writing, “Boston cake walk to the finals,” on May 2.

The Celtics’ next opponent will either be the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Orlando Magic. The Cavaliers have not won a playoff series since their last year with LeBron James in 2018, and the Magic have not won a playoff series since their days with Dwight Howard back in 2010. Needless to say, neither team is that experienced.

If they beat either of those teams, their next opponent would either be the Indiana Pacers, who just won their first series since 2014, or the New York Knicks, who haven’t been to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1999.

The Celtics have garnered plenty of experience since pairing Jayson Tatum with Jaylen Brown. They’ve been to four Eastern Conference Finals, including a Finals appearance in 2022. They have plenty more experience compared to their potential opponents left in the playoffs. It’s up to them to prove if that will have any bearing on their playoff chances.

Young played for the Lakers from 2013 to 2017. The ex-Laker won a title with the Warriors in 2018.

Ex-Laker Floated as Celtics Top Free Agent Target

The Celtics don’t have to think about the offseason yet. However, with multiple big men like Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman set to become free agents, they must consider who could be their replacements. One possibility is ex-Laker Andre Drummond.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley explained why the Celtics should look into Drummond.

“If Boston is in the market for a big, Andre Drummond should be on the short list. While he is a limited player away from the basket, he is hyper-active around it. He flirted with a double-double average (9.0 rebounds and 8.4 points) while getting just 17.1 minutes per game this season.

“With his 31st birthday on the horizon and precious little postseason success behind him, he might be open to ring-chasing on a minimum contract.”

Drummond played for the Lakers in 2021. The Celtics have expressed interest in Drummond in the past. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that the Celtics made a trade offer to the Bullsat the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.

Celtics Retaining Big Men Called ‘Toughest Decision’

One reason the Celtics could consider Drummond is if they potentially lose one of their free agent big men. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes explained why the Celtics’ toughest decision will be what to do with Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman.

“The ninth, Luke Kornet, and 10th, Xavier Tillman Sr., could present Boston with an either/or decision, as it may not be worthwhile to retain a pair of centers on a roster that already has Kristaps Porziņģis and Al Horford, not to mention Neemias Queta, whom the Celtics viewed as valuable enough to convert to a standard contract in April with a $2.2 million team option for 2024-25,” Hughes said in a May 2 story.

If one or both leave, someone like Drummond could help.

Matt John covers the NBA for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Boston Celtics. A Massachusetts native, he has covered the NBA since 2018, with stops at FanSided, Basketball News and Basketball Insiders. More about Matt John

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