The Boston Celtics Have Had a Quiet Summer
The Celtics haven’t made any splashy or eye-popping moves, which is fine. They’ve slowly but surely addressed their needs, largely avoiding the trade market. That said, they’ve made a fair number of moves this summer. Let’s look back at each of them, giving them a grade.
Drafting Robert Williams
After lots of noise and rumors surrounding Danny Ainge’s interest in moving up, Boston stayed put at pick 27. They selected Robert Williams out of Texas A&M, an intriguing big man with loads of athleticism. So far, that pick hasn’t looked great. He’s had well-publicized problems with lateness and inexplicable gaffes. He also got injured just minutes into his Summer League debut. He didn’t even get a chance to redeem himself before he was injured. It’s obviously far to early to tell if this is a good pick for Boston, but for now, it doesn’t seem like the best choice. Grade: C-
Re-signing Aron Baynes
In the opening hours of free agency, the Celtics brought back Baynes on a two-year, $11 million deal. It’s a great deal for Boston, who brings back a key piece of last year’s team at a good price. He’ll be moving into a bench role, but he’s more of a bruiser than Al Horford and can serve in that role admirably. He’ll also be able to allow the Celtics to put a “tall-ball” lineup on the floor. Overall, it’s a great signing for the team. Grade: A
Not Biting on Kawhi Leonard
The Celtics were involved in talks about Kawhi Leonard for weeks. Many players were included in rumors, but the Celtics apparently only offered pick-heavy packages. In the end, they decided not to go after the polarizing forward. This was a smart play by the team. Sure, the team would have added even more top-tier talent. However, by getting Kawhi, the team would have been too overstaffed with wings to afford everyone playing time. There were obviously chemistry questions as well. I, for one, am glad the Celtics stayed out of the circus. Grade: B+
Re-signing Marcus Smart
Best move the Celtics could possibly have made this summer. I outline it in more detail here, but this deal is huge for so many reasons. It locks him in for multiple years, leaving less of a headache in upcoming years. He’s also incredibly valuable to the team, and he’s proved that he’s worth every penny of his contract. I love this move by Boston. Grade: A+
Signing Brad Wanamaker
Wanamaker came from Europe to sign with Boston this summer. The 6’4 guard joins a crowded backcourt to reunite with former German teammate Daniel Theis. His numbers are decent, but it’ll be his defense that’s of worth to the Celtics. He’s got a big body that will help him defend multiple positions. However, at best, he’s an end-of-the-bench player that could play minutes in a Shane Larkin-esque role. Grade: C+
Trading Abdel Nader for Rodney Purvis
The Celtics were going to release Nader, but they instead opted to trade him and cash to the Thunder for Purvis. It’s unlikely that Purvis will ever see the court, as the team likely made this move in order to make cap room. Trading Nader rather than releasing him saves the team around $500K, and Purvis’ contract is fully non-guaranteed. He’ll likely be waived. The move isn’t earth-shattering, but every little bit helps to get the team more money. The move was intelligent, but doesn’t have major implications. Grade: B
The team’s moves this summer have, for the most part, been solid moves geared towards preparing for a title run. There’s been a questionable decision here and there, sure. Be that as it may, the Celtics have done what they have been doing for the last few summers, which is making good moves that benefit the team in the long run. The offseason is far from over (remember a particular August trade involving two point guards?), but expect Boston to stay away from splashy moves. They’re content with their core- now all that’s left is waiting for training camp.
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