By Zach Goldman
Edited by Matt Rooney
You’re probably thinking there’s nothing to talk about for the Celtics this offseason. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. Yes, it was uneventful – no Kawhi Leonard, no Anthony Davis, no Demarcus Cousins, but these Celtics don’t need another superstar. What they needed was the right role players to fill the tiny holes they have on their roster. Danny Ainge did just that.
Although the Celtics were reportedly in talks to make some big moves,they didn’t have any top picks or any movable pieces they were willing to part with to obtain any big name players. That’s not to say they didn’t make numerous (Marcus) Smart decisions during this offseason.
For starters, we resigned Marcus Smart to a four year, 52 million dollar deal. Keeping Smart was a great move by Danny Ainge because Marcus such an important defensive presence on the court. The Celtics have so much offensive talent in Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford ,which is why it’s okay to have a less offensively gifted player – like Smart – on the court at a given time. The main knock on Smart is that he takes a lot of ill advised shots and isn’t always the smartest on the offensive end, but with all the talent on the roster this year that isn’t too big of a problem. As long as Marcus is diving on the floor and making winning plays, I think we can all agree that this was a masterful signing by Ainge.
In the first quarter of last season’s opener vs Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gordon Hayward, the Celtics All Star wing, suffered an ankle injury and was lost for the season. Five months later, catastrophe struck again, as superstar Kyrie Irving injured his knee and was lost for the season as well. Fortunately, according to Danny Ainge, both will be back and ready for the start of the season. Us Celtics fans can’t wait to see how deadly they are together!
The Boston Celtics selected Robert Williams with the 27th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. In college he provided strong rim protecting, rebounding, and was a major presence under the basket on both ends. The only flaw with his game is his jump shot, which Williams has been working to improve for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, his offseason training was cut short by a knee injury which he suffered in the opening Summer League game. It looks likely that he will be back with the Celtics by training camp. WIlliams’ work ethic is another potential cause for concern. He missed his introductory press conference as a Celtic because he didn’t wake up on time. Also, he was extremely late to his first ever practice. Thankfully, he has seemed to have bounced back very well, despite these initial red flags. Robert Williams is determined to get better, and playing behind mentors such as Horford and Baynes is really going to help him get to the next level. My best case scenario for him would be to turn out as a Clint Capela clone (plus a jump shot), and for him to be the starting big man for the next generation of Celtics championship teams.
Finally, this offseason, the Celtics resigned center Aron Baynes to a two year, 11 million dollar deal. This was a steal by Danny Ainge and the Celtics because Baynes is an undervalued, rim protecting center. He’s not afraid to get dunked on which means he’ll jump with everyone in the league… even Lebron James. Baynes has added a mid-range game and the three ball into his arsenal over the past year or so. This development has really expanded his game and has increased his value, proving him to be a great backup center at a rather cheap price.
This summer, the Celtics may not have made any big ticket moves for players like Kawhi Leonard, Lebron, Anthony Davis, or Demarcus Cousins and although many of Celtics fans may have been upset about that, don’t worry. You know what they say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Danny Ainge believes in this Celtic team and so should you. The Celtics kept and added numerous crucial components that fit their system, and because of this, they will be representing the East in the NBA finals.