Boston Celtics lineup and rotation following the Irving trade

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17: Kyrie Irving /

By now you’ve heard the news, Kyrie Irving is a member of the Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas is packing his bags. So, how will Boston’s lineup look with Kyrie?

The Boston Celtics have acquired Kyrie Irving in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets 2017 1st round pick are all heading to Cleveland. That much you already know.

Now, I will start with saying that I’m really going to miss seeing IT and Crowder in green at the garden. I wish Boston could have held on to that Nets pick. That said though, I think this is a great trade.

The Celtics were never going to pay Thomas “Brinks truck” money after this season, and now they have Irving for at least three years (plus, he’s only 25-years old). Cleveland likely wanted either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, and I’m glad Boston gave up the Nets pick instead. Both teams will likely face off in the Eastern Conference Finals again this year, but now the Celtics might have a better chance. They may even have a chance against the Golden State Warriors.

Kyrie has the ability to take over games, and at 25 he could get even better. Now, let’s take a look at Boston’s possible starting lineup and rotation. Of course, this is all my opinion, but it’s my best guess at what this Celtics team could look like.

The starting 5

  • 1. Kyrie Irving
  • 2. Marcus Smart
  • 3. Gordon Hayward
  • 4. Marcus Morris
  • 5. Al Horford

The Boston Celtics will return just one starter from last season, Al Horford. Isaiah Thomas is gone. Avery Bradley is gone. Jae Crowder is gone. Amir Johnson is gone. That is a crazy turnover for a team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016-17. Still, they actually got even better.

Kyrie Irving is an improvement over Isaiah Thomas in the long term, and adding Gordon Hayward is spectacular. Marcus Smart will likely get his chance to start now that Avery Bradley is a member of the Detroit Pistons, and he will bring toughness and grit with him on the court every single night.

There were questions as to who would start between Morris and Crowder, but now it’s clear. Marcus Morris should be the starter on opening night, although he has a hearing set for August 28th in an assault trial.

This is an extremely strong starting lineup, especially in a weaker Eastern Conference.

Coming off the bench

  • 6. Jaylen Brown
  • 7. Jayson Tatum
  • 8. Terry Rozier
  • 9. Aron Baynes
  • 10. Shane Larkin
  • 11. Abdel Nader
  • 12. Guerschon Yabusele

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The Celtics should stick with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as a dynamic duo off the bench. It was great to see the two play in Summer League, but the regular season will be a true test for Tatum as a rookie. Both players could become starters by next year, and they have potential to become NBA superstars.

Terry Rozier should improve in year two as a ball handler, and he is a solid option to aid the Celtics second unit. Aron Baynes should be in to rebound. He is the team’s best rebounder, and in games when a big is needed, both he and Yabusele could be huge.

Shane Larkin and Abdel Nader should also get their shots, although their minutes will likely be limited somewhat.

Next: Kyrie Irving is heading to Boston!

Do you agree with my take on the Celtics lineup and rotation following the Kyrie Irving trade? I think I’ve gotten it right, but we’ll really know on October 17th when the NBA season starts with the Celtics visiting Cleveland on TNT. That should be extremely interesting! Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @CandCFansided!