If there is something that fan bases will always fall for is the talk of assets and cap space. I should say every fan base except for the Washington Wizards. Unlike the New York Knicks fan base, Wizards fans NEVER believe that they’ll ever convert assets or cap space into anything. Luckily for them, due to John Wall’s contract, they don’t even have to entertain the thought.
But for places like Boston, they should start to realize that they were sold a song. Where is the big haul from the Brooklyn Nets trade? The trade that was supposed to land them a Paul George, Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard. They’ve ended up with none of them. Fans will say they fleeced the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving? Did they bro? Did they? Irving started his Boston career by missing the bulk of the season. After the Celtics failed to achieve anything of note in Irving’s second season, the enigmatic Irving looks like he’s headed to Brooklyn. At least that’s the story today.
The easy argument is, the Celtics were four minutes away from making the NBA Finals without Irving and Gordon Hayward. But the East has changed. Milwaukee has replaced Cleveland at the top of the heap. Indiana will be getting Victor Oladipo back. Brooklyn could add Irving to a playoff team.
There’s no guarantee for the Celtics to ever take advantage of the packages they received from Boston and Cleveland.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in the same boat. After selling the fan base on assets there are questions if they will ever cash in. Unlike Boston, the 76ers tanked for years to get to this point. They gave their tanking ways a clever little slogan, “Trust the Process”.
The process was trusted but where’s the big cash? Joel Embiid can’t stay healthy. Ben Simmons can’t buy a jump shot. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris could leave via free agency. Where does that leave the Sixers?
Both Boston and Philadelphia are signature franchises from the 1980s. Both have loyal fan bases that want to believe that they’ll get back to their dominant ways and they might.
But, for that to happen, they’ll have to fill their gaps with more than just assets.