The Celtics have found themselves toward the middle of the pack when it comes to those teams Las Vegas believes can win the NBA championship. It's a far fall from a year ago. That prediction is obviously a product of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford leaving town.
But Paul Pierce doesn't believe the Celtics' situation is all that dire.
"Let’s put it this way, I like the direction they’re headed," Pierce told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald at the Las Vegas Summer League. "I’m not sure if they’re a championship caliber team. That all depends on developing (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown. But, you know, if these guys can emerge into All-Star players, then we’ll see."
During Pierce's conversation with Bulpett, it is clear that the former Celtic believes the presence of Kemba Walker might be a better fit than what Irving represented.
"I mean, talent don’t always win. We’ve seen that plenty of times. It’s about fit," he said. "Who knows if Kemba’s going to be the right fit because it’s always about more than basketball. It’s about how you get along with your teammates and how the chemistry is. And that’s a strength of Kemba’s, so hopefully, it’ll work out."
Pierce also understands where the Celtics were coming from when allowing Horford to sign a four-year deal with Philadelphia.
"Yeah, it’s a tough loss," the ESPN analyst noted, "but he’s an aging player who’s been on the decline. They weren’t ready to commit that much money to him, and I probably wouldn’t have either."
To read Bulpett's entire conversation with Pierce click here.