Who will lead the Celtics in total points next season?

Kawhi? LeBron? Now you’re just being mouthy.

Jayson Tatum, JR Smith
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum celebrates his 3-point basket during the second quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. –Michael Dwyer / AP

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Who will lead the Celtics in total points next season? – Me

Yes, this question is actually my own. I was poking around basketball-reference Wednesday morning for some reason I now forget – wait, I remember, I was looking up the Dennis Johnson-Rick Robey trade, which happened 35 years ago today and worked out all right. RIP, DJ.

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Anyway, I eventually meandered over the 2017-18 Celtics page, and something jumped out at me that shouldn’t have surprised me but did:

Despite missing 22 games, Kyrie Irving led the Celtics in total points this season, and by a wide margin. He scored 1,466 points – a 24.4 average – in 60 games.

Jayson Tatum was second in points (1,112, 13.9 average), and Jaylen Brown was third (1,017. 14.5 average).

Gordon Hayward was 18th (2 points, 2.0 average). Dammit.

All of that got me wondering about what’s to come with this group. Barring a blockbuster for someone like Kawhi Leonard, the Celtics will feature a starting five of Al Horford, Hayward, Tatum, Brown and Irving next year.

Imagining that lineup makes me wish the season started tomorrow, or at least after the Uncle Drew national premiere.

But it also made me wonder who will lead the Celtics in points next year, because there are a lot of variables. Irving is the obvious choice … presuming his knee is fine. He has missed at least 10 games in every season of his career but one.

Hayward? He averaged 21.9 for the Jazz in 2016-17 despite their slow-paced offense. If he’s healthy, he’s a candidate, though he’s also remarkably unselfish.

Tatum? He could have a scoring title in his future – the kid has every shot in the repertoire already – but he’s probably still going to be deferential next season, with such a variety of talent running with him on offense. It won’t be Brown, either, given that he’s either the fourth or fifth option.

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Horford? Right. With his passing skill and unselfish nature, he’ll  probably average 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 17 assists per game next year.

Here’s hoping the Celtics points leader is Irving, because that means he’s healthy. But I wouldn’t completely bet against Tatum.

Kawhi? LeBron? Now you’re just being mouthy.

What do you guys think? Who will lead the Celtics in total points next year? I’ll see you in the comments.

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