Mentality heading into next season

What is your expectations on the future of this team

  • One off run. Next year is back to pre-January mediocrity. Need an overhaul.

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • They’ll contend in the East but a finals loss is an overachievement. This is the ceiling

    Votes: 16 8.2%
  • With a few moving parts this team has a puncers chance to take the next step

    Votes: 60 30.6%
  • They’re very young. This was a learning curve they had to cross before becoming a title worthy team

    Votes: 89 45.4%
  • Zero doubt. They’ll put up a banner within the next few years

    Votes: 29 14.8%

  • Total voters
    196
  • Poll closed .

JFK35

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A lot of people trying to find the silver lining of this loss are harping on how young the team is and so on.

Am I the only one that thinks there is a better than 50% chance this team doesn’t see the finals again? The East is stacked and this team just doesn’t learn. They don’t make adjustments. So much promise on paper but that’s where it stays.

Whats everyone’s assessment of the future
 

bsan34

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They don’t learn and don’t make adjustments? This is an Adam Jones level take. They just overhauled both their offensive and defensive systems. Tatum went from ISO scorer to playmaking wing. In year 1 of implementing those changes they got to game 6 of the finals.
 

lexrageorge

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The team's stars are still very young. I recall nearly everyone thinking that the Celtics would never win a title with Paul Pierce after his bandage episode in a playoff loss in a series in which they were heavily favored. Actually, all 3 of the stars of the last Celtics title team came with some baggage around maturity and "softness".

No team relied more heavily on their starters during the season and again in the playoffs, and it showed. The NBA is first and foremost about roster talent, and the Warriors rotation players were simply better than their counterparts on the Celtics. The team that wins in 6 games in fairly convincing fashion is almost always (as in 99% of the time) the more talented team in the NBA. I remember the Lakers getting slaughtered in Game 6 in the 2008 Finals; that didn't prevent them from winning the next 2 titles.

Stevens has some assets to play with, including a $17M trade exception. And Boston has become attractive to ring chasing vets again. Upgrading the bench will go a long way. Maybe Stevens makes a bolder move; his track record already shows he's not afraid to do so.

EDIT: And things can certainly go pear-shaped. Injuries (Rob Williams' knee is obviously a concern), age-related decline by Horford (likely) and Smart (possible we've seen his peak), roster changes not working out, coaching, improvements by other Eastern teams, etc. But the same can literally be said about every other team in the league. The Celtics are as well positioned as anyone to make it back, IMO.
 
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PRabbit

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Apr 3, 2022
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This team is pretty much there, but was obviously gassed coming out of the gauntlet of the East. Get Richardson back with the TPE, kick the tires on an upgrade at Guard (they need a reliable 3rd scorer, Smart and White didn't get it done), but otherwise run it back.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think they will be contenders but to me it makes no sense to vote untik the off-season plays out plus we know more about health, particularly TL. He's so important to making this team the best version of themselves.
 

Devizier

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Love the position where this team is building from, but let’s not fool ourselves about the competition. There is a lot of parity in the league and a team like MIL is in just as good a position (if not better). Going to be a tough run no matter the year but fun to see them in contention again.
 

BigSoxFan

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It's reasonable to be disappointed about how this series finished. They likely had a championship in their fingers during Game 4 (or, who knows, maybe they blow 3 straight like they just did). However, it's hard to be anything but optimistic about the next 4-5 years. Tatum is 24. Jaylen turns 26 in October. Our best 2 players aren't in their primes yet. Smart is probably teeing off on the back 9 soon but he's right around his peak. Time Lord is young but figures to be a serious question mark for the entirety of his career given the state of that knee. White is right in his prime. Grant will be entering his (if he sticks around). The only guy who will age out soon is Horford. And he may not even be around given that his salary slot may be needed for a move.

In any event, they're close. We all know that close doesn't guarantee you squat in the NBA but they have a committed ownership group, a very smart GM, a very good coach, and young talent up and down the roster. I'd kick the tires on a Smart deal if a good one ever developed (it likely won't) but otherwise we're talking about improving the team on the margins. Definitely need more shooting and another distributor. I've pretty much given up on Nesmith at this point. Good news is that Brad has picks to work with if he decides to go all in on someone.

Will be interesting to see how they attack this offseason but I presume our 2022-2023 team will look pretty much the same outside of a few new faces.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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My mentality is to suggest we stop making threads about their mentality following a loss because it hasn’t worked yet.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I put “very young.” A championship is never guaranteed given the high level of competition in the league. But the Celtics are better situated than the vast majority of teams, and their stars and their team as a whole are young enough to have plenty of room to improve.
 

Mooch

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Very young as well. Look, this is a championship contender with its two best players still on the upswing. I think the next step is to lure some veteran leadership to the team in key bench roles and the ownership needs to recognize that they are now in the window and spend way above the luxury tax. We’ve just seen Warriors team that wasn’t afraid to break the bank to build meaningful depth and pay any penalties to get there. Wyc needs to do the same.
 

mikeot

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Young stars still on a learning curve, Brad soon to have his pick among ring chasers to solidify the bench. Only potential downside I see is TL not making a full recovery.
 

BigSoxFan

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Very young as well. Look, this is a championship contender with its two best players still on the upswing. I think the next step is to lure some veteran leadership to the team in key bench roles and the ownership needs to recognize that they are now in the window and spend way above the luxury tax. We’ve just seen Warriors team that wasn’t afraid to break the bank to build meaningful depth and pay any penalties to get there. Wyc needs to do the same.
The Fournier TPE will be a nice test of this. They can’t let that slip away.
 

BaseballJones

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This team is pretty much there, but was obviously gassed coming out of the gauntlet of the East. Get Richardson back with the TPE, kick the tires on an upgrade at Guard (they need a reliable 3rd scorer, Smart and White didn't get it done), but otherwise run it back.
I don't know how we can say they were "obviously gassed coming out of the gauntlet of the East". They had a 2-1 series lead, and had a lead very late in game 4 that would have put them up 3-1. That was the night Curry went absolutely bonkers. They sure didn't look gassed through 3.9 games.
 

Eastchop

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I am optimistic, but I really think they need another significant piece.

I dont think they get past the Bucks this year if Middleton plays.

They’re close, but too many question marks. Hopefully ownership opts to capitalize on the window and Brad makes a big move, alongside the expected adjustments
 

TheGazelle

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I put “very young.” A championship is never guaranteed given the high level of competition in the league. But the Celtics are better situated than the vast majority of teams, and their stars and their team as a whole are young enough to have plenty of room to improve.
I think this is exactly right.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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The Fournier TPE will be a nice test of this. They can’t let that slip away.
I don't believe that Wyc will spend to the level needed to keep the team competitive. They have dodged the luxury tax every year despite being very close multiple times. They might go slightly over the tax but they aren't using that TPE without shedding Smart, White, or Theis plus. I hope he proves me wrong, but history says he won't spend.
 

bsan34

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I put “very young.” A championship is never guaranteed given the high level of competition in the league. But the Celtics are better situated than the vast majority of teams, and their stars and their team as a whole are young enough to have plenty of room to improve.
Yup, exactly this. Fingers crossed that Rob's knee doesn't disintegrate.
 

lovegtm

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I don't believe that Wyc will spend to the level needed to keep the team competitive. They have dodged the luxury tax every year despite being very close multiple times. They might go slightly over the tax but they aren't using that TPE without shedding Smart, White, or Theis plus. I hope he proves me wrong, but history says he won't spend.
They kept dodging the tax because they didn't want to hit the repeater prior to having a title contender. This year, it wasn't fully clear at the break whether they were won, and they were able to acquire help anyway.

Now they have to spend. Tatum and Brown are on the clock. I expect Wyc to bust through the tax now, and will angrily/sadly eat my words if I'm wrong.
 

BaseballJones

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I can't say with confidence that I have "zero doubt" about them hanging a banner soon, because the NBA is just too hard, and the league has been littered with all-time great players who never won a ring: Barkley, Stockton, Malone, Ewing, Harden, Nash, etc.

But I do think that there's a pretty good chance they'll get a championship with this core of Tatum and Brown. While Tatum seemed to shrink from the moment, Brown didn't (other than a bad game 5). But again...Tatum is just 24, and in his age 23 season did things that Jordan, Curry, LeBron, Giannis, and a bunch of other all-time greats didn't do. It's not an excuse (he's "just a kid"). It's just the reality that unless at that age you are already paired with an elite player - like Magic had with Kareem, and Bird had with Parish and Tiny (we forget he was a HOFer), and excellent support in Maxwell and McHale - 24 years of age is really too young to carry a team to a title, historically speaking. Or else we'd have seen lots of these other great players do it.

It took all of them til their mid- or late- 20s in order to win a championship. There's no reason to think that Tatum *CAN'T* get there. Al probably stays one more year, but in some ways all they really needed was a healthy Time Lord (a sketchy proposition, I know) and a productive bench (more on that in a second) and they could have won this series.

Top three bench players (White, Grant, Pritchard), last 3 games:
- Game 4: 5-16 (.313), 19 points, 3 reb, 1 ast, 4 to
White: 4-12, 16 points, 1 reb, 1 ast, 3 to
Grant: 1-2, 3 points, 1 reb, 0 ast, 0 to
Pritchard: 0-2, 0 points, 1 reb, 0 ast, 1 to

- Game 5: 1-9 (.111), 4 points, 5 reb, 4 ast, 4 to
White: 0-4, 1 point, 1 reb, 3 ast, 0 to
Grant: 1-2, 3 points, 3 reb, 1 ast, 3 to
Pritchard: 0-3, 0 points, 1 reb, 0 ast, 1 to

- Game 6: 2-10 (.200), 5 points, 4 reb, 2 ast, 3 to
White: 1-6, 2 points, 2 reb, 0 ast, 1 to
Grant: 1-2, 3 points, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 to
Pritchard: 0-2, 0 points, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 to

So in the last 3 games, all Celtic losses, these three bench players COMBINED for:

8-31 (.258), 28 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, and 11 turnovers

They were virtually invisible in the last three games, putting ALL the responsibility for production on the starters. And since Rob was hobbling, that put a TON of pressure on, really, Tatum and Brown. Smart, as usual, tried to step up, but when Marcus Smart is one of your go-to scorers, you know you're in trouble. And they were.

So they're going to need to upgrade their bench considerably - either by acquiring different players or by having these three all grow significantly over this next year so that when the playoffs come around again, we don't see that kind of disappearing act.

And of course we did see each of these guys have their quality playoff moments, for sure, so we know they're CAPABLE. But man, these last three games, they disappeared completely (White did score in game 4, even as he shot poorly overall).

Smart gives Boston a TON, but for sure, trading him, since they do have White (at 6'4", he's longer than Smart), who can approximate what Smart does, might be a way to acquire scoring help off the bench. Who knows.

So I don't know if they'll win a title, but if nothing else, they'll be right there in the mix for a while with Tatum and Brown, who are, I believe, still ascending players (and they're already really good). They do have things to work on and areas to grow in, but again, they're still young.

I'm very hopeful.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I don't believe that Wyc will spend to the level needed to keep the team competitive. They have dodged the luxury tax every year despite being very close multiple times. They might go slightly over the tax but they aren't using that TPE without shedding Smart, White, or Theis plus. I hope he proves me wrong, but history says he won't spend.
There really isn't a case to be made that Wyc has held the team back trhough lack of spending, in all of his time owning the team. This is just a perrential Boston fan gripe.
 

BigSoxFan

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They kept dodging the tax because they didn't want to hit the repeater prior to having a title contender. This year, it wasn't fully clear at the break whether they were won, and they were able to acquire help anyway.

Now they have to spend. Tatum and Brown are on the clock. I expect Wyc to bust through the tax now, and will angrily/sadly eat my words if I'm wrong.
Yeah, there's no excuse not to spend now. You have to improve the team and spend what's necessary. Milwaukee did this with Holiday and got a title. GSW spend like crazy. You obviously don't want to be foolish but the time is now to pay some serious luxury tax. I'm optimistic that Wyc will spend what's necessary.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Now they have to spend. Tatum and Brown are on the clock. I expect Wyc to bust through the tax now, and will angrily/sadly eat my words if I'm wrong.
POBOBS intentionally kept the Fournier TPE that expires this summer versus splitting it up into two, smaller TPEs that expire months later. I he did this because he intends to use that TPE. I'll be interested in seeing what he does with that.

Obviously, if he lets that expire, that's a pretty bad look.
 

8slim

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There’s every reason to be optimistic about the future. I’d never “expect” a title because sports doesn’t work that way. It’s not linear.

I learned my lesson on that dynamic with the ‘96 Pats. After they lost the Super Bowl I thought with Bledsoe, Martin and Glenn we were set to contend for years. We weren’t.

Some guys don’t improve like we hope. Injuries happen. Money changes some players. Fluke stuff occurs. So there’s no guarantee.

Still, there aren’t many NBA franchises you’d rather be than the Cs right now.
 

bankshot1

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Very young.
I expect they learn and grow and hope they get tougher.

IMO they were a bench player away (I don't feel likely assigning blame-but the bench no-showed) or a totally healthy TL away from winning this year. By the Finals they seemed gassed .

My mentality is very optimistic.
 

amfox1

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The core is there for another championship run, but the bench needs to be strengthened so that the stars aren't gassed at the end of the playoffs. That's doable. Doesn't mean they'll win a championship, but losing at the highest level is normally a prerequisite to taking the next step. Hopefully, they'll learn to value each possession.
 

Devizier

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Again, the real issue with "spending now" is that there's a ton of competition right now. The NBA is in a different place than it was in the 00s when only a handful of teams could seriously consider themselves as contenders. Front offices for >10 teams can convince themselves that they are one or two moves away and with good reason.

The Derrick White trade was brilliant not just because of the reasonable price, but because Brad was able to identify a not-obvious acquisition that really bolstered the team's depth. He'll need to pull that rabbit out of the hat again.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The narrative that they blew this series (omg, a six point lead with three minutes left) is unfair to the Celtics (and the Warriors), IMO. Sure, they could have won the series but they didn’t- and their lack of experience showed at inopportune times. Nothing to be ashamed of; they went further than anyone could have expected and it will be fascinating to see what they do next year. Seems like the questions about the Jay’s being able to play together were answered. Hope RW is healthier. Other than that, seems like any of the other pieces around that core could change; the bench scored fifteen pints total in the last two games, although I’d be hesitant to make rash decisions just based on a six game sample.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't believe that Wyc will spend to the level needed to keep the team competitive. They have dodged the luxury tax every year despite being very close multiple times. They might go slightly over the tax but they aren't using that TPE without shedding Smart, White, or Theis plus. I hope he proves me wrong, but history says he won't spend.
When Ainge signed Hayward and traded for Kyrie, he did so expecting to be paying luxury tax when they resigned Kyrie. Hayward getting hurt obviously derailed that plan, and since then you had the Kyrie drama year, the bubble year, and then last year's team where no amount of spending was going to get them out of the first round past the Nets. This past season Stevens made the moves the team needed to make in acquiring White.

They will certainly be a taxpaying team next few seasons.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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When Ainge signed Hayward and traded for Kyrie, he did so expecting to be paying luxury tax when they resigned Kyrie. Hayward getting hurt obviously derailed that plan, and since then you had the Kyrie drama year, the bubble year, and then last year's team where no amount of spending was going to get them out of the first round past the Nets. This past season Stevens made the moves the team needed to make in acquiring White.

They will certainly be a taxpaying team next few seasons.
Well, I guess my point is there are luxury tax teams and then there are luxury tax teams. Will the Celtics go a few million into the tax? Probably. They are already a few million in with just the existing salaries. Will they go 15+ million above the line, use the TPE and MLE? That's where I'm doubtful.
 

lexrageorge

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Well, I guess my point is there are luxury tax teams and then there are luxury tax teams. Will the Celtics go a few million into the tax? Probably. They are already a few million in with just the existing salaries. Will they go 15+ million above the line, use the TPE and MLE? That's where I'm doubtful.
Wyc is not Paul Gaston; he had no problem writing checks for Pierce/Garnett/Allen. The only thing that will prevent the Celtics from going deep into the tax, and potentially using the full TPE, is if they feel there's a favorable sign-and-trade to be had, which will cause a hard cap scenario for a season. I don't think that scenario is likely.
 

RedOctober3829

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I don't believe that Wyc will spend to the level needed to keep the team competitive. They have dodged the luxury tax every year despite being very close multiple times. They might go slightly over the tax but they aren't using that TPE without shedding Smart, White, or Theis plus. I hope he proves me wrong, but history says he won't spend.
Wyc has repeatedly said he'd pay through the tax for a contending team. This would be it. I think the emotion of the way the season ended and it being only 2 weeks until free agency will help in this regards. The flaws of the team will still be very fresh in everyone's head.
 

EL Jeffe

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As long as Tatum's shoulder is okay (or will be okay by next season), this team will very much be in the mix. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Tatum is headed for some sort of surgery (labrum?). Something was clearly off; between the weird finishes at the rim and FT shooting, he wasn't TATUM. Did he ever dunk after the Miami collision? Normally he has at least one Poster Moment per series where he's dunking on someone (or an entire team's) head, but after the collision, all his finishes at the rim seemed very awkward like he didn't trust his body. There was no aggression in his drives. Whether that's physical, mental, somewhere in between, or a complete misreading on my part, I have no idea. But this version of Tatum we've seen the past 2 weeks limits the ceiling, IMO.
 

Jimbodandy

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They kept dodging the tax because they didn't want to hit the repeater prior to having a title contender. This year, it wasn't fully clear at the break whether they were won, and they were able to acquire help anyway.

Now they have to spend. Tatum and Brown are on the clock. I expect Wyc to bust through the tax now, and will angrily/sadly eat my words if I'm wrong.
Well, I guess my point is there are luxury tax teams and then there are luxury tax teams. Will the Celtics go a few million into the tax? Probably. They are already a few million in with just the existing salaries. Will they go 15+ million above the line, use the TPE and MLE? That's where I'm doubtful.
It would be a huge surprise if they don't blow through the tax wall now. There will be teams shedding salary and others looking to the future, trying to bottom out before rising back up. The Wood deal is an example of low-hanging fruit. There should be others. We have mad TPE.
 

Humphrey

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As long as Tatum's shoulder is okay (or will be okay by next season), this team will very much be in the mix. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Tatum is headed for some sort of surgery (labrum?). Something was clearly off; between the weird finishes at the rim and FT shooting, he wasn't TATUM. Did he ever dunk after the Miami collision? Normally he has at least one Poster Moment per series where he's dunking on someone (or an entire team's) head, but after the collision, all his finishes at the rim seemed very awkward like he didn't trust his body. There was no aggression in his drives. Whether that's physical, mental, somewhere in between, or a complete misreading on my part, I have no idea. But this version of Tatum we've seen the past 2 weeks limits the ceiling, IMO.
Combine that with the bench's inability in Games 4-6 to convert wide open shots (which is really all you need them to do) off of Tatum set-ups and they were screwed.
 

lovegtm

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As long as Tatum's shoulder is okay (or will be okay by next season), this team will very much be in the mix. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Tatum is headed for some sort of surgery (labrum?). Something was clearly off; between the weird finishes at the rim and FT shooting, he wasn't TATUM. Did he ever dunk after the Miami collision? Normally he has at least one Poster Moment per series where he's dunking on someone (or an entire team's) head, but after the collision, all his finishes at the rim seemed very awkward like he didn't trust his body. There was no aggression in his drives. Whether that's physical, mental, somewhere in between, or a complete misreading on my part, I have no idea. But this version of Tatum we've seen the past 2 weeks limits the ceiling, IMO.
Imo it's a lot like 2016 Finals Stepeh: no one wants to use injury as an excuse, and he was able to play, but clearly something was wrong.

I think the only way this injury affects planning is that the team will load up around him, since they think he's good enough and that this series wasn't representative.
 

tims4wins

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A few scattered thoughts:

1) Sometimes we get lost in the weeds during these series and playoff runs, but the Celts were really banged up by the end of this. Tatum, Smart, and TL were not 100% physically. It's the nature of the beast, and while Steph was banged up too, I'm not sure we are giving proper "credit" to the Celts injuries. I'm not saying they would have beaten GS even if 100% healthy, but health was a major factor here IMO. Hopefully they are able to manage it well during the regular season next year. Which leads me to...

2) I think we are in for some frustration during the regular season next year. Another mediocre start wouldn't surprise me, as they will need to limit minutes for the Jays, give Al and TL games off, etc. They need to manage this well enough so that they still win games during the first half of the year while keeping guys fresh. Can't get into a situation where they are under .500 through 47 games and have to put the pedal to the metal for the final 35. Need to find a happy medium there. While having home court through two rounds was nice this year, this team also proved they have no problem winning on the road in the playoffs. So while I don't think they can just completely cruise for the regular season and try to pull a Brooklyn and get in through the play-in games, I'm just looking for a top-4 finish and home court in the opening round. Health trumps all.

3) Agree with others in this thread and the PG thread that they need to find a bench wing more than a new or backup PG. Ime's options were too limited with having to either go guard in White/PP or big in Grant/Theis.

4) Hoping that Tatum has another level in him. Not so much physically, but mentally. Where nothing fazes him. Where he is just on a mission. I think he can get there.
 

tbb345

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As long as Tatum's shoulder is okay (or will be okay by next season), this team will very much be in the mix. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Tatum is headed for some sort of surgery (labrum?). Something was clearly off; between the weird finishes at the rim and FT shooting, he wasn't TATUM. Did he ever dunk after the Miami collision? Normally he has at least one Poster Moment per series where he's dunking on someone (or an entire team's) head, but after the collision, all his finishes at the rim seemed very awkward like he didn't trust his body. There was no aggression in his drives. Whether that's physical, mental, somewhere in between, or a complete misreading on my part, I have no idea. But this version of Tatum we've seen the past 2 weeks limits the ceiling, IMO.
Tatum himself said he doesn’t expect to have any procedures done on the shoulder this off-season
 

Helmet Head

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I learned my lesson on that dynamic with the ‘96 Pats. After they lost the Super Bowl I thought with Bledsoe, Martin and Glenn we were set to contend for years. We weren’t.
In reality, we were just looking in the wrong places as to the future of the team. That Super Bowl run was valuable for the young defense that ended up being the linchpin for early Brady years. I have heard McGinest, Law and Bruschi talk about how valuable that experience was for their future. Let’s hope the same can be said about the Celtics in a few years.
 
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tims4wins

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In reality, we were just looking in the wrong places as to the future of the team. That Super Bowl run was valuable for the young defense that ended up being the linchpin for early Brady years. I have heard McGinest, Law and Bruschi talk about how value experience was for their future. Let’s hope the same can be said about the Celtics in a few years.
True, but let's also hope it doesn't take another 5 years to get back there
 

ZMart100

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TL is very important to this team. It's hard for me to say they will be perennial competitors when they need to rely on his health.
 

The Social Chair

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The 95 Magic, 96 Sonics, 12 Thunder were young (or youngish) teams that never got back. This current version of the team is one season away from Jaylen entering a contract year (as a UFA). Not a ton of time to figure this out.

Tatum enters his contract year the following season, and I'm sure the Lakers have noted that the Anthony Davis contract expires when Tatum's does.
 

lexrageorge

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The 95 Magic, 96 Sonics, 12 Thunder were young (or youngish) teams that never got back. This current version of the team is one season away from Jaylen entering a contract year (as a UFA). Not a ton of time to figure this out.

Tatum enters his contract year the following season, and I'm sure the Lakers have noted that the Anthony Davis contract expires when Tatum's does.
The good news is that if Tatum makes at least one 3rd team All-NBA over the next 2 seasons, the Celtics can pay him a lot more $$$ than the Fakers will be able to do. Of course, that will not matter if Tatum sees a front office that did nothing while letting Brown walk; not likely, but it is the downside scenario that Stevens is being paid big money to avoid.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The 95 Magic, 96 Sonics, 12 Thunder were young (or youngish) teams that never got back. This current version of the team is one season away from Jaylen entering a contract year (as a UFA). Not a ton of time to figure this out.

Tatum enters his contract year the following season, and I'm sure the Lakers have noted that the Anthony Davis contract expires when Tatum's does.
Figure what out? They just came two games away from the title, were the best team in basketball for half the season, have all their players under contract, and flexibility to add more good players. Who cares about contract situations 2-3 years from now?
 

reggiecleveland

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Long term they need a big. Al and Rob picked together, good to great play, but hard to rely on either next year. Grant has maxed out as a valuable bench guy.
 

The Social Chair

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Figure what out? They just came two games away from the title, have all their players under contract, and flexibility to add more good players. Who cares about contract situations 2-3 years from now?
Well this is the NBA and next season is when Jaylen will start thinking about his future. He will let the FO know by this time next year if he intends to stay or go, and most young players not eligible for the super max go.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Well this is the NBA and next season is when Jaylen will start thinking about his future. He will let the FO know by this time next year if he intends to stay or go, and most young players not eligible for the super max go.
That's fine but the championship window is open for those two seasons so I imagine they will try to win one in that time regardless.
 

bosockboy

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Well this is the NBA and next season is when Jaylen will start thinking about his future. He will let the FO know by this time next year if he intends to stay or go, and most young players not eligible for the super max go.
If it comes to that I’m sure we will engineer a sign and trade for players to add around Tatum. Atlanta comes to mind.
 

Toe Nash

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The 95 Magic, 96 Sonics, 12 Thunder were young (or youngish) teams that never got back. This current version of the team is one season away from Jaylen entering a contract year (as a UFA). Not a ton of time to figure this out.

Tatum enters his contract year the following season, and I'm sure the Lakers have noted that the Anthony Davis contract expires when Tatum's does.
"One season away from entering a contract year" is a nice rhetorical trick. I don't think anyone is saying they shouldn't go all out next year.

The Sonics were older than this team, we don't have a Shaq entering free agency, and we all know what happened with OKC. But other than that, yeah good point.

Plenty of teams fell short and then broke through with the same key pieces, the Shaq Lakers come to mind or the Spurs in Parker's rookie year.

They might fall short, the league is good. But, they would have won with a better bench (either allowing them to finish off Miami earlier, or helping in the Finals) and I trust Stevens to make good upgrades there. Also, hopefully, they can start out a little hotter than under 500 halfway through the year which might allow them to take a mental and physical break before the playoffs instead of going hard for 6 months. They will be right in the thick of things.