Welcome back to day four of the Sports Scripts NBA Preview, yesterday we had the Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks, so make sure you check them out here, and here. But enough on that, lets focus on the task at hand, one of the most historic franchises in professional sports, and they have been reduced to rubble. They dealt away one of the greatest players in franchise history and lost their coach to a west coast team. It’s time to talk about “my” team, the Boston Celtics. This is going to be a tough one.
Key Additions: Gerald Wallace (Trade via Nets) Marshon Brooks (Trade via Nets) Kris Humphries (Trade via Nets) Keith Bogans (Trade via Nets) Kelly Olynyk (Draft) Brad Stevens (Coach)
Key Departures: Paul Pierce (Nets) Kevin Garnett (Nets) Jason Terry (Nets) Doc Rivers (Clippers)
Projected Starters: PG Rajon Rondo, SG Courtney Lee, SF Jeff Green, PF Jared Sullinger, C Kris Humphries
Oh. My. God. First off, a moment off silence for Paul Pierce leaving the team he had helped rebuild from the ground up, leaving for the Brooklyn Nets alongside Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. The “Big Three” era is officially over, and did Danny Ainge ever blow it up. The guys coming in don’t inspire a lot of confidence which is fantastic! Gerald Wallace probably has the worst contract in the NBA right now with a whopping three years and 30 million left on it for the Celtics which a nice parting gift left by Pierce and Garnett. Marshon Brooks was once a commodity in his rookie year, but then fell off the face of planet last year, and will be competing with Jordan Crawford for who can take the worst off-balance, contested 19 footers for the team this year. Everyone hate Kris “Kardashian” Humphries, but he does have a massive expiring deal and is a competent rebounder. If only he didn’t have such a punchable face, I would be a bit more excited about him. No one cares about Keith Bogans so I won’t talk about him. The one interesting piece comes not from this blockbuster trade, but from the NBA Draft. Kelly Olynyk is an intriguing player, an almost 7-footer with guard skills, and a great jumpshot. I’m hoping he finds a permanent spot in the Celtics rotation this year so we can see what he’s capable of. He’s also Canadian which makes me love him even more.
The starters are… Depressing. But lets deal with the question that everyone wants to know about the Celtics: What happens to Rajon Rondo? Spoiler Alert: He’s getting traded. That’s almost a 99% guaranteed thing to me if he can come back healthy and show he’s somewhat the same player. Danny Ainge is blowing everything up meaning that Rondo WILL be the next and last piece to go, hopefully along with Wallace’s albatross contract and Humphries face to somewhere, anywhere really is good, so long as they give a legitimate package back. But when he does get back, he’ll be the same Rondo, great passer, defender, rebounder and a terrible shooter. Nothing new here. The shooting guard position is pretty deep, Avery Bradley is the most talented, but hopefully he’s developed a corner jumpshot so defenders actually respect him on offense. Lee will start, and brings good shooting and perimeter defense, and is hoping to bounce back from a bad season. Jared Sullinger will hopefully be able to pick up where he left off last season before being shutdown with a back injury, but I’m not being that optimistic right now about him. Humphries is as mentioned above, a very good rebounder and can provide somewhat of an inside presence, hopefully without too many people trying to punch him for existing. The one I’m most excited about is Jeff Green. Last year Green had a number of breakout games, where he showed off how good he could hopefully be. He’s a point forward player at 6’9, can play both forward positions, defend multiple positions and can score from anywhere on the court, but the question is whether he can show any consistency throughout the season.
I’ll admit it, I’m a pretty pessimistic person when it comes to sports, but I don’t know how even the biggest of optimists think this team can make the playoffs. They hardly got there last year with Pierce and Garnett, so how do they make it in a jacked up Eastern Conference? Rondo needs to get traded to truly begin the rebuilding process, and give them a shot at the real prize: Andrew Wiggins. So come on Celtics fans, say it with me: #WinlessForWiggins!
Final Prediction: 33-49, 12th Eastern Conference