It was an up and down month of August for Boston Sports fans. From talks of the Patriots going 19-0, the Red Sox winning the World Series, the Kyrie Irving drama, and the Bruins shopping their most talented young player, Boston has certainly been in the spotlight.
So let’s look back at the month of August and the state of all four beloved Boston Sports teams.
The biggest story surrounding the Bruins right now is the David Pastranak contract extension.
After years of being scrutinized for being unable to develop young talent, or keep their good young talent, the Bruins have been trying to change the narrative. But once again they find themselves at risk of losing another talented young player.
David Pastranak is still a restricted free agent with less than three weeks to go before the Bruins first pre-season game. Negotiations have not gone as planned for either side and talks seem to be at a standstill.
The Bruins offered Pastranak a six year, $36 million dollar extension earlier this summer followed up more recently by a seven year, $42 million dollar deal. Pastranak’s camp declined both and were “not impressed by either offer” (via CSNNE.com).
The Bruins seem to be sticking to an AAV of $6 million, while Pastranak’s camp is looking at the deal Edmonton gave to Leon Draisaitl (8 years with an AAV of 8.5 million dollars) as a base. Although their numbers are very similar, Leon Draisaitl plays center which is much more valuable. He was also the number three pick while Pastranak was the 25th pick in the 2014 draft., so Draisaitl should have a higher ceiling in the long term.
The Bruins are really in a lose-lose situation, they either meet Pastranak’s demands and overpay him, (because let’s be real he’s not a $8 million dollar player) and put themselves in cap trouble, or trade him away and continue to sprinkle the young talent across the league.
Best case scenario is the Bruins get Pastranak to sign a two year bridge deal to prove he’s worth eight million plus a year. But that’s highly unlikely.
The Bruins are going be forced to make a decision either to pay him or not as the start of the new season is slowly creeping up.
It’s finally official: Kyrie Irving is a Boston Celtic. After questions arose about the seriousness of Isaiah Thomas’s injury, the Cavs were seeking further compensation from the Celtics. At one point it was reported they wanted either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.
This report quickly led to a serious question…
How hurt is Isaiah Thomas and is he going to miss significant time this season?
The Celtics were rightfully frustrated with the Cav’s delay of the trade. After all, the entire reason the Celtics were willing to cough up the 2018 Nets pick is because of the fact that Thomas had a bad hip. If Thomas is fully healthy the discrepancy between him and Irving isn’t that great albeit it is a gap. So trying to swindle more out of the Celtics was a bad look on the part of Cleveland. Not because they tried to get more from the Celtics, but rather the way they approached it through leaked reports in the media.
The final package for Irving ended up being, Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected pick in the 2018 draft along with a 2020 second round pick.
It does say a lot that the Cavs were only able to get a second round pick out of Boston. It highlights that Boston had far and away the best package out there and they were to deep into it to reverse the trade at that point.
Saying either team won the trade is purely speculation at this point because the 2018 Nets pick could turn into a trans-formative player. But here and now the team who gets the best player in a trade wins the deal, and Irving is clearly the best player in this deal. Although Boston did overpay for him, (it’s kind of hard not to considering your trading your 25 year old stud point guard to the team you just faced in the Conference finals) I’d do this deal 100 out of 100 times because Irving makes that big of a difference both this year and for years to come.
The Celtics are no longer a bridge team piling assets while waiting for an opportunity to make a big move. They are a real team now with real expectations. Win or lose you better bet that the spotlight is going to be on Irving just like he wanted it to be.
So let’s see if he can live up to the pressure of being a true NBA superstar.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox presented us with their best and worst sides in the month of August. They got off to a blazing 11-2 start and continued to beat good teams night in and night out as the month kicked off. The offense was producing, the starting pitching was great, and the bullpen was lights out. All of a sudden the Red Sox were a trendy pick to win the World Series.
Then… they lost four in a row and got swept at home by Baltimore. Sale proved once again that he has a weakness and their name is the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox couldn’t get out of the first two innings without giving up at least three runs, and when Nunez and Devers went cold their offense couldn’t do anything.
All of a sudden now the Yankees were 2.5 games back of the division lead and many wondered if the Red Sox were even going to win the division.
Then… they swept the Blue Jays and now have a 4.5 game lead in the A.L East heading into New York for a huge series.
I’d say the team we saw at the beginning of August isn’t the team you should expect regularly, neither is the team that lost four in a row and got swept at home. It’s somewhere in between closer to the team that won 11 out of 13 however.
The Red Sox are going to be a factor this October. I’ve believed that for a while now. This team is talented to say the least, they’re also sneaky deep. The lefty combo of Sale and Pomeranz is a great weapon to have in the postseason, along with the ability to have players like Moreland come off the bench in a key at bat (like he did the other night when he blasted a two run shot in Toronto) or Davis when you need a big steal.
The Red Sox are for built for October now the question is “will the lack of playoff experience or their incompetent manager derail the?” All I can say with certainty is seeing Sale pitch in a playoff game is going to be must see TV.
New England Patriots
Not many teams can lose their most valuable receiver and arguably offensive player (besides Brady) and still be far and away the best team in football.
That’s the Patriots for you, but don’t be fooled they certainly took a major hit. Granted they have a really deep receiving corps and should be in a good position to withstand the loss of Edelman. But they really don’t have anyone to replace what Edelman does.
Cooks and Hogan are better suited playing outside the numbers, so are Amendola and Mitchell. Although Cooks can play the slot he doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of yards after contact that Edelman does. Even before he got hurt against Detroit he was dragging defenders for those extra couple of yards.
Another question that has risen this month, is what are the Pats going to do at defensive end. After Ninkovich retired and now with Kony Ealy being cut, there is a noticeable hole at defensive end. Trey Flowers has potential to have a big year, but they lack bodies at the position and starts to make you miss a true pass rusher like Chandler Jones.
But the biggest concern on an otherwise flawless roster is health. Amendola, Lewis, Gronk, and Cooks all have problems staying on the field. So while they can be productive are they going to produce for 16 games? If Gronk goes down the Pats could be in big trouble. Although Dwayne Allen is a good player, he’s not Bennett and that insurance proved to be huge for that Pats last year.
I fully admit I’m nitpicking at this point, but the Patriots look so good what else are you suppose to do? With the start of the regular season right around the corner we’ll be able to better evaluate the Patriots and see if they can live up to the hype.