Where do Boston Celtics go from here
Boston over the past year has been through some very tragic events starting with the bombing at the Boston marathon (R.I.P to the victims). Recently though, Boston has encountered one of the worst sporting weeks a city could have. The Brewers lost the Stanley cup, Aaron Hernandez was arrested, the Celtics biggest rival in the east won the NBA championship, and the Celtics lost Doc Rivers, Paul Peirce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. Any city after this would just crumble to their knees. Not Boston though, Boston is strong.
The Celtics have the most championships in NBA history, but this year they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs. Their roster is going to make or break them.
At centre, they have a great prospect in Kelly Olynik who is killing it in the Summer League, and also two others at that position. Then, at power forward they have the explosive Jeff Green, along with Jared Sullinger. After these positions, quality drops and they only have one small forward, and it’s the aging Gerald Wallace.
Next, at the shooting guard position, they have (four) average players, who really don’t have the talent to start. Finally, Rajon Rondo occupies the point guard position. The projected starting line up is Rondo at point, then Bradley at shooting guard, with Green at the small forward position, and Jared Sullinger holding down the power forward position, with Kelly Olynik bringing up the centre spot. This isn’t a bad lineup, but what they do with it is key. They have two options, tank this season and bank on the 2014 off-season, or finish-cleaning house by trading Rondo, and create a new face for the Celtics.
A lot of people will accuse Danny Ainge of already tanking this season because he traded away his stars, so he can restart the Celtics. This is an untrue statement, and not a very smart move if they do.
Hypothetically, if this statement were true, tanking this season would be a very risky move. If they lost most games this season, they would only have a 25% chance of getting the first pick. In the draft, they would probably get a point guard, a shooting guard, or a small forward.
The top draft prospects at these positions are: Daunte Exum, Marcus Smart, Andrew Harrison, Mario Hezonija, Glen Robinson III, and of course Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is supposedly the best player in the draft, and is probably going first pick; which in this case is going to be the Celtics.
After the draft, there is free agency and we all know how big the 2014 free agency will be. At this point, the Celtics will have $16 million of cap room, which will make them able to get one big star, or a few small ones, without having to pay too much in luxury taxes.
That would be the best-case scenario. Worst-case scenario, they get a low draft pick, and pick a bust, while not being able to land anyone in free agency, or getting a player who doesn’t live up to his contract. So this option is a toss-up situation.
The other option is to trade Rondo, and have a new player be the star of the organization. Rondo is a great player and one of the best passers ever, but his hotheaded attitude and a new coach are not winning combinations. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Rondo, and I have mad respect for him, but people for years have been saying these things about him, and Danny Ainge has been itching to trade him for a long time.
Right now, the Pistons are very interested in him, and so far they have offered Brandon Knight, but the Celtics want Andre Drummond included. If this deal goes through, they’ll have a great new point guard, and a double-double machine. Rondo has incredibly high trade value, so if this offer falls through the cracks they will have plenty of more.
This way the Celtics could go in a total new direction, and everyone can move on from the big 3-championship era. Also, with a new star Boston could be playoff contenders in the weaker Eastern Conference.
Boston is seen as a resilient city that can come back from any situation, and this applies to sports as well. The Celtics are entering rough waters, but I’m positive they will come back stronger, and be ready to chase their 18th title.