NBA.com's David Aldridge posted his breakdown of NBA Free Agency winners and losers. The Boston Celtics ranked 4th as far as the best off season. Below in bold are Aldridge's breakdown as well as commentary on his commentary.
2013-14 RECORD: 25-57, did not make playoffs
Yea. It wasn't a great season. Fun... but not great.
ADDED: G Marcus Smart (first round, 6th pick overall); G James Young (first round, 17th pick overall); F Evan Turner (two-year deal); (G Marcus Thornton (acquired from Brooklyn); C Tyler Zeller (acquired from Cleveland)
Marcus Smart is looking pretty good so far. He showed a lot of promise in the Orlando Summer League and has been garnering praise for his contributions to the USA Select team as USA Basketball gears up for the FIBA World Cup later this summer. So far, so good. James Young has been sidelined with a concussion, but if Bill Simmons' fist pump on draft night can be sited as a source, the Celtics lucked out by getting him at 17.
LOST: F Kris Humphries (sign/trade to Washington); G Jerryd Bayless (signed with Milwaukee)
I am going to miss Humphries this season. Has any other athlete made the transition from heel to face as fast as Humphries did this season? This was a modern day retelling of the Macho King switching back to Macho Man. All we were missing was a dramatic proposal to Miss Elizabeth, which I guess in this case would have been Kim Kardashian, but that fizzled out way before he relocated to Boston. At any rate- best of luck on the Wiz, Hump.
Jerryd Bayless - we hardly knew ye.
RETAINED: G Avery Bradley (four years, $32 million)
One of the most polarizing moves of the off-season. Opinions are split almost completely down the middle. If AB stays healthy and continues to improve on both sides of the ball, this is looking like a pretty good deal. If we're really playing fantasy GM here, IF Rondo, Jeff Green, Bass, and Wallace wind up getting traded or walk during free agency AND the Celtics don't make a big move for a superstar, AB would have the highest salary on the Celtics in the 2015-16 season at $8M, meaning lots of flexibility to build around a healthy Bradley. If, and, if, and, if, and if. Get used to those peppering every Celtics article between now and the dawning of the next championship era.
THE KEY MAN: Assistant general manager Mike Zarren. Well-respected around the league, Zarren's creativity will likely be at the centerpiece of the next big deal the Celtics pull off in the next year. Zarren and GM Danny Ainge will have lots of assets they can package if they want to accelerate the rebuild.
Trust Danny Ainge. If Danny trusts Mike Zarren, then Trust Mike Zarren.
THE SKINNY: Ainge couldn't engage the Wolves in Kevin Love talk, but he managed to add numerous assets without dealing Rajon Rondo. Yet. With Smart the obvious heir apparent for Boston at the point, Ainge can now take his time and make the best deal for Rondo he can.
The Celtics will likely have to move one of their surplus of guards before the season starts, but they'll be dealing from a position of strength. Bradley may have been a little overpaid considering the team's standing, but he's a terrific defender and certainly worth retaining.
Most important to Boston's future, the Cs got another future first in the three-team deal that brought Thornton from Brooklyn; Boston has at least seven first-round picks outright in the next four years. Combined with the significant cap room that's just around the corner, Boston could rebuild in a hurry -- especially with the potential of a Smart-Young backcourt developing in the coming years.
Well, it would have been cool if Kevin Love came to Boston for longer than a weekend. He would have loved it here. But oh well. To paraphrase Sean Sylver- the newest contributor at 98.5 The Sports Hub- there is a new premier NBA free agent or near free agent being discussed every six months. This time around it is Kevin Love... but it will be someone else before you know it. The Celtics, with their massive collection of assets, upcoming financial flexibility, and revamped cast of young core pieces, will be in play for one of these guys- whomever they may be.
Photo Source: NYPostPadraic O'Connor 8/04/2014 03:21:00 PM Tweet Edit