Everyone expected the Boston Celtics to fall off at the end of January when it was announced that Rajon Rondo would miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, but they continued to fight and persevere. Everyone expected the Celtics to fail miserably in the NBA Playoffs after they struggled and fell behind three games to none, but they ended up just falling short of forcing a game seven.
The Celtics as an organization have shown remarkable resilience as a team over this season and over the years. In the early 2000s, it felt like the Celtics might forever be in the cellar of the league; that’s when they brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to eventually bring the organization another NBA Championship.
As the Celtics head into this off-season, though, they will possibly need more of that resiliency than ever before. They come into this off-season not knowing if Rondo will be able to start next season because of the aforementioned knee injury. That’s obviously a big deal, but the even more pressing issue is that they have to decide whether or not they will bring back Kevin Garnett, an emotional leader, and Paul Pierce, a player who has been a leader and has stuck with the Celtics for his entire career, for next season.
With the way their contracts are structured for next season, Boston is likely to be over the hard-cap if they keep both Pierce and Garnett. Basically they are left with deciding which player they should keep or if they should even keep either of them at all. Head coach Doc Rivers has said publicly that he doesn’t know which way the organization is leaning and general manager Danny Ainge has also remained mum on the subject.
It’s unclear what the Celtics plan to do this off-season and which way they are leaning at this point. This undoubtedly leaves an air of uncertainty around the team and what they are going to be like next year. However, if the Celtics have taught us anything over the past decade and over this past season, it’s that they won’t go away and that they will keep fighting, even if you don’t expect them to.