Even amid a depressing 25-win season in 2013-2014, there were glimmers. The Celtics, having shipped the heart of their franchise to Brooklyn for a slew of draft picks, were still mildly intriguing to basketball fans. Kelly Olynyk started to come on late in his rookie year, as first year coach Brad Stevens let him have more minutes on the floor.
Rajon Rondo, trade rumors and all, returned midway through the season, eventually regaining much of his old ability. And other talents like Jeff Green and Avery Bradley (who was recently re-signed), also displayed some dynamism. Green, after all, hit an incredible game-winner in Miami, showing an early warning of the Heat’s vulnerability (the Spurs three-point shooting would destroy them in the playoffs).
All of these players, at least for the moment, are still in Boston. No one knows yet if they will be retained long term for a time when the Celtics can compete again, or if they will simply be used as palatable pieces in a trade.
Either way, things only got more exciting with draft picks that the Celtics added.
Marcus Smart, the versatile guard from Oklahoma State, will only add strength and drive to the Celtics backcourt. Is he a point guard, or not? That’s a question for Stevens to assess this season.
And their second draft choice, James Young (another player without a defined position) is no stranger to highlight reels himself:
Both players add to the list of exciting talent on the Celtics heading into 2014-2015. The obvious issues is that all of these players together definitely don’t equal a contender. The new draft picks will take time to develop, and considering that Boston has one too many players at guard, and still no true center, more transactions will need to be made.
Despite that, and despite the second season of rebuilding that Boston basketball fans will almost certainly have to endure, their team will undoubtedly be exciting to watch. Playmakers, scorers, and impressive defenders dot the roster. At the very least, it should make GM Danny Ainge’s job over the next few years slightly easier.