NBA Predictions: Boston Celtics Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/21/2013
The Boston Celtics underwent a massive overhaul during the offseason. Last year’s 41-40 record and first-round exit in the playoffs just wasn’t good enough for this team. Danny Ainge saw the writing on the wall, and he decided it was time to move ahead slightly earlier than expected. Ainge started the rebuilding process by making the huge trade with the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason.
The Celtics are going to look a whole lot different this year. The “Big Three” are long gone, and so is their coach. Boston fans are used to seeing a winner, but this team isn’t going to be winning anytime soon. Still, fair-minded fans will likely see that Ainge and the team made some moves that should make them competitive much sooner than they would have otherwise been. The near-term doesn’t look good for the Celtics, but there is quite a bit of hope on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the Boston Celtics heading into the 2013-14 season.
Huge Trade With Brooklyn
The Celtics were as active as any team this past offseason. Boston didn’t really want to trade away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but the front office knew that these guys were on the downswing and wouldn’t be around much longer anyways. The Celtics figured it would be better to get something for them instead of letting them go without acquiring any talent to help the team moving forward.
In the end, Boston traded away Garnett, Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets. In return, the Celtics got Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Even more importantly, The Celtics acquired three future first-round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Boston took advantage of the fact that Brooklyn was desperate to contend right away. The Celtics team will be worse this year because of this deal but much better in the next few years because of the trade.
Doc Rivers had been mulling retirement the last couple years, and he clearly didn’t want to go through the rebuilding process with the Celtics. Instead of just letting Rivers go, the Celtics worked out a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to where the Clippers let go of a first-round draft pick in exchange for Rivers becoming their head coach. This type of deal doesn’t come around every day, but you have to applaud the Celtics for getting a lot out of the unique deal.
The Celtics didn’t look for a new coach for very long. Brad Stevens was named the new coach of the Boston Celtics a couple weeks after the opening became available. Stevens was extremely successful during his tenure at Butler. He took Butler to two consecutive NCAA title games. Clearly, Stevens is a guy who has proven capable of getting a ton out of the talent he is given to work with. There are always risks associated with hiring a college coach to lead an NBA team, but the potential reward with this hire is tremendous. I really like what the Celtics did here in the offseason.
It has largely been overshadowed by the trade during the offseason, but the Celtics made a couple important picks in this year’s NBA Draft as well. Boston was slated to pick 16th in the draft, but they moved up to No. 13 in order to draft Center Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk had a very successful career at Gonzaga, and he has been one of the most impressive rookies during summer league and preseason action thus far. Olynyk gives the team a big man who has great shooting touch and can run the floor, and on defense he should be a quality shot-blocker for many years. Colton Iverson was the team’s other draft choice. Iverson is another 7-footer who is a beast on the glass and should be able to contribute off the bench right away.
NBA Predictions: Boston Celtics Futures Odds
As you might expect, the oddsmakers aren’t high on the Celtics chances this season. Bovada lists the Celtics at 150/1 to win the 2014 NBA title. BetOnline lists the Celtics at +6,000 to win the Eastern Conference. BetOnline also lists the Celtics at +3,300 to win the Atlantic Division this season.
Boston took a step back initially, but fans of this team should be hopeful about the future. The biggest question I have about the team is how Rajon Rondo will gel with the rest of the team and the new coaching staff. Rondo is ultra-talented, but he’ll need to buy into the system and get healthy for this team to be competitive at all in the next year or two.
The Celtics will almost certainly miss the playoffs this year, but with tons of first-round picks in their near future, don’t expect this team to be out of it for long!
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