The Boston Celtics are a well-run NBA organization. Just ask ESPN.
ESPN did a ranking of the league’s best and worst front offices, which included everything from coaching t0 general managers/team presidents and owners.
The Celtics fared pretty well, coming in at No. 3 with a score of 8.56 out of 10. The San Antonio Spurs (9.62) and Golden State Warriors (8.97) are the only teams ahead of the C’s.
Boston has fared quite well since Danny Ainge took over as the team’s president of basketball operations in 2003. The Celtics have made the playoffs in 11 of Ainge’s 14 seasons in charge, including the current campaign. The team also has one championship (2007-08), another appearance in the NBA Finals (2009-10) and five total trips to the second round or further.
One of Ainge’s best abilities is rebuilding. He did it in 2007 when he cashed in assets he had stockpiled for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, and he did it again by trading Garnett, Paul Pierce and other pieces to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 for a package highlighted by three unprotected first-round picks. Those picks should make the C’s competitive now and well into the future.
Trading for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder over the last two seasons, while giving up very little for both, helped make the Celtics good enough to sit atop the Eastern Conference as of Tuesday. Hiring Brad Stevens as head coach despite him lacking any pro experience also has turned out to be a stroke of genius.
Ainge’s ability to balance winning in the present with keeping an eye on the future is impressive, and ownership has given him the resources to carry out this plan.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Celtics climb up these rankings over the next five years.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge (left) and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports