The 2018-19 Boston Celtics were an experiment gone wrong. The NBA expected the Celtics to be a strong force in the East, especially with the return of Kyrie Irving. But his presence just brought an evident lack of chemistry and disappointment.
So it's no surprise that the Celtics are actively looking for trades and draft scenarios that would better focus their team around the younger rising stars that have had success and chemistry with the other guys on the roster.
The Celtics are preparing for life without Kyrie, and want to focus on building around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown should Irving depart during the offseason.
At the same time, the Celtics are aware of how unlikely it is that Kyrie will return next season given all of the struggles with the team. So the switch in focus for the Celtics seems more like a plan-b option, somewhat like a safety net.
Given all of the rumors surrounding Kyrie and what team he might be headed to next season, this is a smart move for the Celtics. If they were to stay fully dependent on the hope that Kyrie would return next season, they would most likely end up disappointed and unprepared for the upcoming season.