The Celtics finished off their season a few nights ago with a 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards, which landed them at 25-57 for the year… and I could not be happier. This year’s draft class is the most talented we have seen in recent memory, led by Duke forward Jabari Parker.
Jabari Parker is faster than he looks. Parker is stronger than he looks. Does that description remind you any former Celtics? If you guessed Paul Pierce you win 5 Schrute bucks or a Stanley Nickel, whichever form of currency you prefer. In a perfect world we will get the number one overall pick and draft Parker. In a perfect world I would be 6’4 and be in the NBA draft. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. Parker will likely go number one overall, and earlier today the Celtics lost a coin flip with the Utah Jazz which means they now are 5th in the lottery standings. This means we have less ping pong balls in the roulette, which means we will likely land around the 4-5 spot in the draft.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Celtics will take Julius Randle with this pick. I could not disagree more with this pick. Yes Julius Randle will be a successful NBA player, but the Celtics already have a polished front court. Kelly Olynyk emerged at the end of the season. Olynyk broke out with three 20 point games late in the season. He was the focal point of the Celtics offense with Sullinger and Rondo both out down the stretch, and he still scored. Olynyk will continue to fill out over the offseason which should allow him to be more physical in the paint. I believe Olynyk will be compared to Pau Gasol by the end of his career. Both are seven footers, and Olynyk showed that he can be an offensive threat at the end of the season. We all saw what Sullinger did this year. Sully nearly averaged a double double this season, putting up 13 points and 8 rebounds per game. Sully showed significant strides in his game this year after coming off a back injury the previous season. The Celtics have a strong front court with a lot of potential. I just do not see the point of destroying this experiment before it starts. That is what bringing Randle in would do. The Celtics are better off going with a guard such as Dante Exum, or maybe even forward Doug McDermott.
Jeff Green had an OKAY year. He did not break out and become the superstar the Celtics hoped he would be, and that is concerning. He was given the reigns at the start of the season and he did very little with them. He had flashes of greatness, don’t get me wrong, but he lacked consistency. Consistency is something you need out of your star player. I think it is time to move on from the idea that Green will be the superstar of this team and start looking for other options.
Avery Bradley is a free agent this summer, and depending on how the Celtics draft, he may no longer be wearing green next season. Bradley is likely to get a larger offer elsewhere in the league, and I think we have seen the last of Avery Bradley in Boston.
Phil Pressey showed some promise at the end of the season as well. Although he undersized, he can move the ball and always added a nice flow to the Celtics offense. If Rondo gets injured next season (fingers crossed he stays healthy) I would trust Pressey running what will be a much improved Celtics offense. Let’s also hope Rondo decides to extend his contract this offseason so we can put the trade rumors to rest.
Overall the Celtics did what we expected them to do this season, and that is tank. They had some flashes of decency at the beginning of the season, but after they shipped out Jordan Crawford those flashes quickly vanished and it was a struggle down the stretch. But the Celtics have a lot of young talent on their roster, and the future looks bright. Until next season, keep on bleeding green Celtics fans, we will be back on top before you know it.