ESPN Insider grades Celtics 'B' for offseason, ranks as 4th best 'young core'

The Celtics haven’t had the miracle offseason that many were hoping for that would catapult them into contention right away. If anything, the past couple offseasons should put into perspective how unbelievable it was to find deals for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the same offseason and win a title that very first year. That was not normal.

But what should be encouraging for Celtics fans is the fact that this year’s offseason and the young core it’s brought to Causeway Street is getting some positive reviews.

B grades aren't all that exciting, but they get the job done. They don't sandbag your resume and prevent you from getting where you need to go. All it takes is one F, and the whole franchise building process can go up in smoke. The Celts didn't over extend themselves this offseason and that's only going to help them in the long run. They have a ton of flexibility in terms of cap space in the years to come, and they keep getting younger. And that's a good thing.

The Celtics sitting at number 4 on a ranking of each team's "young core" is huge. They are that one signature player away from rising even further up the list. But the amassing of young talent is getting noticed around the league. The C's trail the Bucks, Pelicans, and Jazz here and for what it's worth find themselves ahead of fellow Atlantic Division rebuilders the Sixers.

They're this high on ESPN Insider Bradley Doolittle's list because of their young depth. Whether or not there is a star here or Ainge finally finds the right piece to empty the coffers for, there's a breadth of young talent here that few teams have. There's no reason Marcus Smart or one of the young guys can't make the Bill Simmons coined "leap" next year. Avery Bradley is being treated as the elder statesman in the locker room and the guy is only 24. As long as Stevens continues to develop the young core and Ainge stays nimble enough to take advantage of future opportunities, there's a lot to look forward to for Celtics fans.

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