By John Pinto
Last season, the Boston Celtics traded Kevin Garnett and Boston icon Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets for three future first round picks. The Celtics also traded head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for a first round pick and replaced him with Butler University head coach Brad Stevens.
When Ray Allen left in free agency to join the Miami Heat, it signalled the end of the Big Three era in Boston, and the start of a rebuilding effort.
With rebuilding comes losing. The Celtics finished the 2013-2014 season with a 25-57 record, and didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-2007 season.
There has been a lot of turnover on the Celtics roster coming into this season. The Celtics got rid of Jerryd Bayless, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Jordan Crawford, Courtney Lee, and Kris Humphries.
This offseason, the franchise added point guard Marcus Smart and James Young through the draft, and followed those additions by signing Evan Turner, and trading for Marcus Thornton of the Sacramento Kings and Tyler Zeller of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Smart ran the offense when he was at Oklahoma State, and Young was Kentucky’s best scorer. Smart is still a raw talent, but he has the potential to be great. He just might be Boston’s replacement for Rajon Rondo, who is in the last year of his contract and probably will be traded before the NBA trade deadline on February 20.
Thornton will be a scorer coming off the bench, and Zeller is a young seven-footer who has been steadily improving and provides a big body in the paint.
I predict the Celtics making the playoffs as the eighth seed, but only because they play in a weak Eastern Conference. Boston will make a 13-win improvement and finish this season at 38-44.
For Celtics fans, we cannot expect a championship season or a deep run in the playoffs, but we can hope for the development of our young players and look forward to the future of our franchise.
John Pinto is a Comment Staff writer.