Boston makes a double-digit leap in ESPN's "Future Power Rankings"

The future of the Boston Celtics is very bright. They've got a ton of good young players, a great coach, ownership willing to spend and a general manager who has cleared out cap space and has a knack for seemingly always getting the better end of a trade.

This has not gone unnoticed by ESPN which recently put out its "Future Power Rankings" (Insider). Last year, Boston came in at No. 24. This year they are pegged at No. 10.

From the piece:

Boston took the largest jump of any team in our rankings. The roster, while lacking a star, has rounded into a collection that appears much more capable than it did a year ago, when the Celtics ranked next to last in the player category, ahead of only the Lakers.

The Celtics' management score jumped up to third overall thanks in part to the brilliant coaching of Brad Stevens and the continued patience and shrewd asset collection of Danny Ainge -- the Celtics rank second overall in the draft category thanks to as many as five first-round picks in the next two years.

The team is also looking at massive cap room the next few years. So the Celtics are well-positioned to add stars via trade, free agency or the draft.

-- Chad Ford

This really comes down to two things. The first is that very few expected Boston to make the playoffs last year especially after trading away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. They ended up with the No. 7 seed with their scrappy, never-give-up attitude, despite the lack of a "star." The second is that Stevens is rightfully starting to be recognized as one of the best in the league. Everyone knew Stevens was a good basketball coach given his Butler resume, but would his style and personality translate to the NBA? They have in spades.

The work is far from over. Boston still needs a couple stars either through development of who they have on the roster now or trades. But it's nice to see all the hard work that has already been done getting some recognition from those outside of Boston.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the L.A. Lakers also climbed the list. From No. 28 last year all the way up to... No. 26.

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