Who is the Boston Celtics biggest threat in the Atlantic Division this year? Arguably every team in the division improved this offseason, including the Celtics.
The Philadelphia 76ers made a nice move by acquiring Andrew Bynum in a blockbuster four team trade over the summer from the Los Angeles Lakers. He should give them that star player that they have often lacked over the past few years. It did come at the expense of Andre Igoudala and it will be interesting to see if Evan Turner can become a number two guy on a contending team.
The Brooklyn Nets made headlines as they managed to retain Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Gerald Wallace, and also acquire Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks. I didn’t love the Johnson trade as he could be the most overpaid guy in the league, and he has been on the decline these past few seasons. They also made some nice moves to their bench, including signing former Chicago Bulls backup point guard CJ Watson.
The Toronto Raptors made one of my favorite off season moves by acquiring Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets for a future first round pick. I have always felt Lowry to be one of the most underrated players in the league and he also comes with a great contract. The team also drafted Terrence Ross out of Washington in the draft this past summer. It will be interesting to see if Demar Derozan can take that next step, as he has often teased us with inconsistent play. He also needs to improve his outside jump shot.
The New York Knicks in my view downgraded this off season, as they watched Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields leave the team basically for a swap of Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd. If people think the Celtics are old, wait until they get a look at this Knicks team. Their front court is just a tad old, with Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace joining Camby.
I think the Nets are the Celtics biggest threat in the Atlantic, but the team that I think has an excellent chance to make some noise this year are the Raptors. They got Lowry and Landry Fields, and also welcome in former first round pick Jonas Valanciunas, a talented center who spent this past year overseas. The Raptors also have a great defensive minded coach in Dwayne Casey.
Overall, I don’t think any of these teams are a true threat to the Celtics, but if I had to pick one, I think Brooklyn would have the best chance to overtake the Green.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for rant sports. For all Celtics news check out the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter @rlunder18