Boston Celtics Offseason Is A Big Win For Danny Ainge, And Others Agree
The Boston Celtics have had a good offseason despite what some have said over the last day or two.
Some writers aren’t as crazy as others though with writers over at Sporting News declaring the Celtics as one of the winners in NBA free agency.
The Boston Celtics join the likes of James Harden ($230 million deal) and Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti (landing Paul George in a lopsided trade) on the winning side of the NBA’s frenzy, according to Sean Deveney.
Boston got the big score of the offseason by signing Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward, pairing him with his former college coach, Brad Stevens, and putting the Celtics that much closer to the Cavaliers in the East. The Celtics now have a core of Hayward, Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas, as well as some young players who shined in summer league—No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum, last year’s No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown and rookies Semi Ojeleye and Ante Zizic. They still have, potentially, two top five picks in next year’s draft, so the Celtics have emerged from this summer with an all-star caliber core of veterans and a budding group of youngsters behind them.
What the Celtics did this offseason is hard to comprehend for many. It really all comes down to how high you think Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can go in terms of their ceiling. Essentially moving Avery Bradley, a second round pick and Kelly Olynyk for Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris is a win.
In a vacuum the Bradley trade to Detriot is a loss, it makes the Celtics worse this season. But that is completely ignoring the addition of Hayward whose profile fits the Brad Stevens system perfectly.
Trading The No.1 For No.3 Without Moving For George Was Fine, They Got Thier Guy In Tatum
It is easy to see how trading the No.1 pick for the No.3 and FFP is a loss. But if they were going to take Tatum at No.1 anyway, what was the point of keeping it?
Was missing out on Paul George a loss? Could Boston have made the trade with the Pacers before the Hayward signing? Yes, but Danny Ainge didn’t want to be pressured into trading off assets to clear the room to sign Hayward. He wanted to do it on his own terms, and when the Pacers made the move to trade George they did it getting well below face value if you believe what is coming out of the Boston camp.
The Boston Celtics are trying to follow up a No.1 seed 53-win season. A tall order. But there are reasons to believe that they will be much better this season. No longer will Isaiah Thomas shoulder the load on offense.
IT now has Hayward on his wing who averaged 21 points last season for a slow Utah Jazz offense. In Boston’s system, Hayward could average 25 points a night. Thomas, on the other hand, could see his point totals fall, but his efficiency as a scorer rise.
As a whole, the addition of Tatum, Hayward, Morris, and Aron Baynes is one that will help Boston improve.
They might have missed out on Paul George, but Brown and Marcus Smart still have a good amount of room for growth and Tatum’s moves should make him a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the court.
This offseason was a win for Boston and a win for Ainge.
If SI is handing out a C-, Trifecta Network is handing the boys in green a B+.