Rebuilding is the name of the game for the Boston Celtics. With a pick out of the lottery in the 2013 NBA Draft while also dealing with the departures of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics selected Kelly Olynyk, took on a bunch of salary, and buckled in for what was a bumpy—to put it kindly—2013-14 season for the boys in Beantown.
For their trouble and incompetency last season, the Celtics ended up with the sixth-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and also the 17th pick that they got from the Brooklyn Nets in the Pierce-Garnett trade. The Celtics were able to turn those selections into two solid prospects in the form of Marcus Smart and James Young. The only real concern is that they didn’t secure another big man in the draft to help sure up a shaky frontcourt going forward.
In terms of big men in general, though, the Celtics did make some moves in that department this summer. Veteran center Joel Anthony, who did next-to-nothing for Boston last season, chose not to opt-out of his $3.8 million deal for the upcoming season. Moreover, the Celts also acquired Tyler Zeller in a three-team trade most notably including Jarrett Jack.
Also in that three-team trade, the Celtics were able to pick up veteran gunner Marcus Thornton. Thornton is certainly a mixed-bag that you don’t necessarily give much value to on a rebuilding team like the Celtics, but he’s also a guy that can score in bunches on occasion which could have some sort of value if you’re a glass-half-full type of thinker.
Other than losing Kris Humphries in free agency, the Celtics’ biggest move of consequence this summer was the re-signing of guard Avery Bradley to a four-year, $32 million deal. Bradley, when healthy, has shown solid progression over the past few seasons as an offensive player to complement the stellar defense he showed earlier in his career. Now Boston just needs him to put those two ends together.
The interesting sub-plot of the Celtics’ offseason, though, is how Boston’s backcourt is going to function. They now have Bradley locked-up for a while, have a great talent in Smart, and also have All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in-tow still. Rondo has been involved in the expected trade rumors, but he’s still in Boston for now. Though those three guys can be a defensive nightmare for opponents, you have to wonder who is going to make outside-shots and how the trio will coexist in the rotation.
However, it’s clear that the Celtics are still rebuilding and are more in the business to acquire talent and assets at the present time. That’s not a bad strategy, but also isn’t one that’s likely going to result in a lot of wins for the upcoming season. Having said that, things are going relatively according to plan in Boston.
Final Grade: B-