The Boston Celtics didn’t do much this offseason, for better or worse.
They were linked to Kawhi Leonard in trade rumors, and there’s been plenty of talk about whether Kyrie Irving will stay in Boston long-term, but the Celtics mostly stood pat after falling one win short of reaching the NBA Finals. And who could blame them, really?
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Celtics a “C” grade for their offseason in a piece published Tuesday on ESPN.com. (Pelton explained before handing out his NBA offseason grades that a “C” mark means “a team did as well as we would reasonably expect, given its options.”)
Here’s what Pelton wrote about the Celtics:
Having signed Al Horford and Gordon Hayward in free agency the previous two seasons, the Celtics largely sat this summer out, re-signing Aron Baynes and Jabari Bird, and bringing Brad Wanamaker back from Europe to replace Shane Larkin.
Boston’s most meaningful long-term move was surely drafting Robert Williams, who slipped on draft night and could prove a steal if he can manage to avoid oversleeping.
The C’s took the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals despite not having Irving or Hayward, both of whom suffered season-ending injuries, and the two stars figure to be healthy when the 2018-19 campaign begins. Plus, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are budding stars, making Boston the favorite to win the East with LeBron James leaving the Cavs to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
The Celtics made a splash two summers ago by signing Horford, and they shook the NBA landscape again last summer by acquiring Irving from the Cavs in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. But this summer was relatively uneventful for the C’s, with re-signing Marcus Smart being arguably Boston’s most notable move.
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