Celtics Season Outlook
Guards: Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey, Avery Bradley, Marcus Thornton, James Young
Forwards and Centers: Jeff Green, Evan Turner, Gerald Wallace, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Dwight Powell, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller
So here we are the start of another basketball season. The Celtics are coming off of a tank season that landed them Marcus Smart and James Young in the draft. After a season of rooting for losses to gain draft position, I don't expect the same thing this season, sadly. We are looking at a Celtics team right now that may be too talented to tank in a very weak Eastern Conference. I would argue that the C's could be better than the Nets, Knicks and Pacers (without Paul George). Jared Sullinger has improved greatly. Kelly Olynyk will only be better as well. Marcus Smart could be a difference maker, but time will tell on that one. They also went out and acquired a talented Evan Turner. They also traded for a good scorer Marcus Thornton and a nice depth piece Tyler Zeller. The biggest reason I see the Celtics as the 8-seed in the East this season is because both Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green will be playing for new lucrative contracts. If both of these guys stay healthy and play hard for 82 games, then this well coached team by Stevens will be looking at many wins versus bad teams.
Now while I think the Celtics can contend for the 8-seed, I really don't know if they should. They could try and go full fire sale of some players and try to land in the bottom again to obtain another young talent. I'm not against this Tankapalooza 2.0, but right now with this roster in place, I see too much talent for that. I could see the Celtics started very hot led by Rondo and Green, then trading both of them for high value and falling back in the standings as the season progresses. But none of that is a guarantee.
In the end, the risky move is to allow the team to be stuck in NBA purgatory, which the Celtics may be looking at. If Rondo and Green are both gone after this season though, tanking could just resume in 2015-16. This season I see the Celtics winning anywhere from 33-41 games which is good enough for the 8-seed in the East. They won't make any noise in the playoffs, but I certainly can see them in it.
Team MVP: Jared Sullinger
Top Scorer: Jeff Green
Assist Man: Rondo