There have been many great players who have played for the Boston Celtics in years past. Sometimes, they end up staying, and other times they end up leaving. Such is life in the NBA in the era of player empowerment: players can switch teams at a moment's notice. The Boston Celtics consistently have talented players on the roster, but some talented players eventually leave for better situations.
Recently, there has been a Tweet that showed some former Celtics who are doing well in their current situations. The Boston Celtics have had plenty of talent in the last few seasons, and it is interesting to see that they are still succeeding despite leaving the Celtics. Oftentimes, a change of environment and an increase in touches can do wonders.
4. Al Horford
Al Horford is having a bit of a renaissance year in Oklahoma City, averaging 14.0 PPG and 6.7 RPG, while playing some solid defense and providing mentorship on a young Oklahoma City team. Al Horford was viewed as "washed" after his struggles with the Philadelphia 76ers, and it's good to see the 5-time All-Star continuing to ball out. While he isn't quite what he was during his All-Star days, he is still a capable contributor. Al Horford originally left the Celtics to team up with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, though the chemistry just wasn't there.
It is tough to tell whether Al Horford will continue playing for the Thunder in the long-term, but this season, he has been a key contributor to the team. If he stays on the team, then hopefully he can continue his rejuvenation, and continue to be impactful.
3. Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier has been one of the revelations of this season, averaging solid numbers on a Charlotte Hornets team that could potentially make the playoffs. Terry Rozier has been a huge part of their run, being one of their leading scorers with 20.5 PPG. While no-one could have foreseen how good Terry Rozier would have been on the Hornets, it is good to see him find a place that aided his development. He wouldn't have had the touches he wanted on the Celtics, meaning that he wouldn't be able to blossom into the elite guard that he is today.
After Terry Rozier left the Celtics during the offseason of 2019, Michael Jordan was clowned for giving him a big contract, as people didn't think that Rozier was worth the money. Looks like the GOAT has an eye for talent. After all, considering he knows what a good basketball player looks like.
2. Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward is another Michael Jordan reclamation project. After Gordon Hayward's gruesome leg injury, many wondered if he could still be the same player. Hayward showed signs of returning to form during the 2019-20 season. During the offseason Michael Jordan ended up taking a risk on Hayward, acquiring him via a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics and giving him the opportunity for a higher usage rate. Hayward has delivered on Jordan's trust, as he is currently averaging elite numbers with 21.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 3.9 APG. Those are All-Star caliber numbers.
While the Charlotte Hornets were stuck in mediocrity until very recently, some sleek offseason moves by the GOAT have made them a potential playoff team. Gordon Hayward is a huge driving force behind that, and Michael Jordan knows that he was worth every penny. The Boston Celtics could use a player like Gordon Hayward, but he simply wouldn't have had the huge role in the offense that he wanted in Boston.
1. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has always been one of the best point guards in the league. Originally getting traded to Boston from Cleveland, Kyrie Irving was supposed to lead the Boston Celtics to the promised land. While that didn't happen, sometimes it is simply a question of fit, and Kyrie Irving left the Celtics at the end of the 2018-19 season. This year, Kyrie Irving has shown that he is still one of the best point guards and scorers in the league, averaging 27.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 6.0 APG. Were Irving not on a team with two other superstars, he'd probably be considered an MVP candidate.
Kyrie Irving surely doesn't doubt his decision to leave the Boston Celtics. While it took them a while, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are finally taking to the court together this season, and showing what they can do. Aside from them being on the roster, they even managed to recruit James Harden to the team. Kyrie Irving leaving the Boston Celtics turned out to be better for the point guard, as evidenced by this season.