Experts are praising the Celtics' offseason for good reason. The addition of Al Horford gives Brad Stevens and his crew a big-man who can shoot and pass, something that was certainly lacking last season from the C's front court:
ESPN's Chad Ford had this to say:
ESPN Insider Chad Ford gave the Celtics an A- for their offseason. Here's his summary: pic.twitter.com/J428sGl1Vl— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) September 1, 2016
Insider hands out offseason grades and Celtics are at top of the class in the East. (📰: https://t.co/JSpOIEToHo) pic.twitter.com/0VQ96LN00G— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 1, 2016
Although I see where Ford is coming from, I would give the Celtics' offseason a B + and here's why:
Failing to land the big fish:
You can't deny it. The Celtics couldn't, for whatever reason, convince Kevin Durant that Boston was his best option. Nobody, except those close to the situation, really know if the Celtics were seriously on Durant's radar, but the fact remains that the team failed at priority number one this summer.
Danny Ainge and the C's brass would have been nuts to give Evan Turner $70 million over four years like Portland did. But putting money aside the team was unable to replace Turner's bench production with minor moves this summer. Gerald Green is not the answer.
Now I will eat crow if Jaylen Brown is that guy to replace Turner's numbers, but the two are completely different players so don't expect that.
A lot will fall on the shoulders of Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. That is a lot to ask for, especially in the case of Rozier after having a very quiet year until the playoffs when Stevens' was forced to give him minutes. Rozier did have a strong Summer League, but that competition is just a step above the D-League, so one should pump the brakes with getting over excited about those games.
The 2016-17 season is put up or shut up time for Smart. If he can start by filling up the box score like Turner did, the doubters will start dwindling.
Jared Sullinger's rebounding:
Before the comment box fills up about how happy everyone was to see Sullinger leave, just remember one key point. Sullinger was the C's best rebounder for the past few years. The 24-year-old averaged 8.3 rebounds per game in 23 minutes last season. Those are solid numbers. In contrast, Horford averaged one less rebound in almost ten more minutes for Atlanta.
Don't get me wrong, I won't miss Sullinger's awful decision making on the offensive end, but fans will realize this winter that his ability to clean the glass is missed inside the TD Garden if others don't step up.
Follow Rob Welch on Twitter @CelticWelch
Photo credit: Charles Krupa/AP Rob Welch 9/06/2016 10:30:00 AM Tweet Edit