SALT LAKE CITY — The players who comprised the Boston Celtics’ 2016-17 roster have a group text they have used to communicate since the start of last season. The messages slowed a bit after Boston’s season ended in the Eastern Conference finals in late May — save for the occasional 1 a.m. ET meme that Vegas-residing Amir Johnson might fire off — but picked up again this week as the NBA’s offseason kicked into overdrive with the start of free agency.
Even as players excitedly discussed the rumors about Boston’s pursuit of free agent Gordon Hayward, they were bidding farewell to key members from last season’s team. For second-year swingman Jaylen Brown, it only hammered home how fast things can change in the NBA.