Offseason Preview: Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics (48-34)
*Photo via Yardbarker
Every team that hasn’t enjoyed sustained success over the past decade, *cough, *cough*, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Sacramento Kings, and there’s more, should aspire and desire to be where the Boston Celtics are in present day. They’ve got it all. An All-Star. A solid bench. Talent. Team chemistry and the best part of it all: they’re all young. No to mention, the head coach Brad Stevens is 39 years old, the second youngest coach in the NBA. You have a team whose average age is 25 and finished 2nd in the Atlantic Division last season with a 48-34 record. The Celtics did lose to Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs but that’s one more playoff appearance that the Knicks don’t have. All in all, the Celtics are here to stay and will be a thorn to not just the Knicks but to every team in the Atlantic Division. Can I also mention the fact that the C’s own the 3rd pick in this June’s draft? It’s not fair, but life isn’t right?
Restricted – Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger
Options – Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko
Unrestricted – Evan Turner
Who Leaves, Who Stays
*Photo via Getty Images
Because of Zeller and Sullinger’s restricted free agent status, the Celtics are in complete control of their destiny and can match any offer from other team to retain both players, so they are safe for now. The decision the Celtics have to make is whether or not they would like to keep Evan Turner, who is an unrestricted free agent. Turner could probably take the award for most versatile player on the Celtics. This past year, Turner, at times played the point, the two and the three. Last season Turner averaged 10.5 ppg, 4.4 assts and 4.9 rebs and against the Hawks in the first round, averaged 13.2 ppg, 4.5 assts and 5.7 rebs. Turner will have plenty of suitors once he hits the market and the C’s will have to decide between keeping the former no.2 overall pick or not.
*Photo via Deadspin
At the trading deadline this past season, the Celtics tried to go after the Philadelphia 76ers talented big man Jahlil Okafor and pretty much offered their most coveted asset, the no.3 pick in June’s draft. That’s probably what it would’ve taken to get Okafor at the time, but now, it might take a little more. The Sixers will probably ask for some backcourt help along the lines of James Young, maybe even Terry Rozier or R.J. Hunter. According to multiple reports including CSN.philly and CBSsports.com, the Celtics are aggressively shopping the no.3 overall pick and in addition to having Okafor in their sights, Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler has also entered the picture as a possible target. If the Celtics can get their hands on a player like Okafor or Butler, they could use that as trade bait to obtain an even greater star, pointed out brilliantly by Chad Finn of Boston.com. Al Jefferson to the Timberwolves along with several teammates like Gerald Green and others for the “Big Ticket,” Kevin Garnett, remember that? KG joins Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce? Championships? You never know but this could be exactly what the C’s are thinking and it could work. All in all, the Celtics need a legitimate star to put them in the conversation for title contenders in the east.
*Photo via Bleacherreport
Kevin Durant – You never know
Hassan Whiteside – Would answer all of their frontcourt problems
Pau Gasol – Would be a great fit
Marvin Williams – Solid stretch four
Bismack Biyombo – He’s asking for a lot coming off of his playoff production but I don’t think he’s worth the max