Boston had a very eventful National Basketball Association (NBA) off-season—from losing two veterans in Al Horford and Kyrie Irving, to landing Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, and Tacko Fall. Competing for an NBA World Championship will surely be in the minds of all Celtics players this season. Boston has all-around team that will need to match good chemistry with clutch performances to have a good season. With the heavy mix of good talent it makes it difficult to see one breakout star.
Walker joins the Celtics, filling the void left behind by Irving—as Bostonians hope that the 29-year-old Walker can better hold the light for the youthful Celtics roster. Walker is already off to a good start getting the opportunity to play along side three of his new Celtics teammates in the FIBA World Cup. Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart have all been getting reps for team USA.
Team USA has traveled around the world and are competing in China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. They played some exhibition matches in Australia, and the team USA Celtics players are surely using this period to their advantage building their connection. Jaylen Brown has proven to be an offensive threat so far in the World Cup and expect to see him continue that into the Celtics season. Newcomer, 6’ 11’’ center, Enes Kanter has taken to the media to express his tasteful personality to the Boston public, and it appears the 27-year-old could become a fan favorite.
Kemba Walker NBA Most Valuable Player Odds (MVP) +5000
Walker will need to have an immediate impact on the Celtics proving he can keep them at the top of the Eastern Conference. He will have help through the versatile lineup, but everything would need to line up perfectly if his efficiency legitimately gives him a shot at NBA MVP. Boston saw something similar a couple years ago with Isaiah Thomas playing out of his shoes and ending up 5th in the MVP voting. Walker is leading team USA figuratively and statistically in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and this could be the perfect preparation for the Celtics 2019-20 campaign.
With Walker assimilating to the Boston Celtics via team USA, it allows him to have a smoother transition. Though they are all playing for their country in this unique experience, it is integral time spent with each other on and off the court. As far as difficulty goes in joining a new team, the opposite will be true; Kemba will seemingly fit in very well and it appears the Celtics should have higher team chemistry than imagined following the exits of Horford and Irving. When the preseason rolls around in October expect the four USA boys to be high impact players when they are on the court, and assume they will help glue the locker room together.
The Smart Bet: Marcus Smart Defensive Player of the Year Odds— Marcus Smart +6500
Smart nearly missed out on the team USA final roster cut as he battled a calf injury, but the now 25-year-old lockdown guard defender gets his nod for team USA. This will go a long way for his confidence, and with sportsbooks at +6500 for Smart to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year, he is going to need a lot of it. With that being said, if the Celtics pan out to be a top team in the East, he will play a key role with his defensive spunk—sneaky smart pick.
Gordon Hayward MVP Odds and Jason Tatum MVP Odds at +10000
Unsure of what exactly to expect from Hayward this season, it surely is not an MVP year. The sharp shooter will bode very well in the Celtics starting lineup, and will need to put forth a lot of production in order for the Celtics to be a top tier team. He is coming his second season off a tough leg injury and he should be much more on top of his game. Bet on him knocking down the open three-pointer, but he is going to need to overshadow the other stars on the court with him to be in the running for MVP.
With Tatum coming off a potentially strong showing on the FIBA circuit, proving a coercive duo with Walker as they roll through the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Tatum will need to continue his diligent work through the 2019 regular season and make his rise to stardom. If there was one young guy to pick as the breakout star this season it is Jason Tatum. He has shown sparks of greatness throughout his young career. At just 21, Tatum is on the brink of a breakout season.