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Any free agent wishing to be "THE GUY" in Boston need not apply

 Danny Ainge tried this, and it failed miserably. In  2017, he acquired Kyrie Irving (trade) and Gordon Hayward (free agency), both of whom wanted to be "THE GUY" to lead the Celtics to Banner 18. Boston fans know how that went!


The main point here is that the 2021-22 season will determine if Jayson Tatum will take control of on-court leadership of The Green. Damian Lillard's name has surfaced as a potential target for the NBA teams, including the Celtics, but there is no way he ends up in Beantown. Dame coming to Boston at the expense of losing Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart negates any such deal immediately, but Lillard would take over the reins of the Celtics in a season that is do-or-die for Tatum-as-on-court leader.

Jayson will be 24 mid-way through the 2021-22 season, and at that age Larry Bird had control of The Green quite firmly. And at that same age, Paul Pierce was well on his way to leading his crew, unfortunately as a one-man show. The Celtics faltered until the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007, but The Captain persevered through it all.

So 2021-22 will be critical for Jayson Tatum. He is clearly the Celtics best player, but the question remains whether he can be an effective on-court leader. Brad Stevens chose not to name a team captain, and it remains to be seen what path Ime Udoka might take. What is for sure is that Tatum needs to have a shot as team leader, so this is not the season to bring in a star that wants to be "THE GUY" in Boston. The time is not right.



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