The Boston Celtics are currently in a tough playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston was expected to take the series handily and move on to play the winner of the Pacers/Heat series, but the 76ers’ youth and energy have been giving the Celtics problems.
Boston has already dropped one of their home games in the series in which they had home court advantage.
The Celtics’ Big 3 of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are aging quickly. If the team wants to stay competitive, they need to start thinking about the future sometime soon.
The one position where the Celts are set is point guard. Rajon Rondo looks to be a cornerstone of the franchise for the Celtics for years at the point, especially if he can develop a reliable jump shot.
Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are both free agents this summer and could be mulling retirement as well. Allen is in remarkably good shape for almost 37 and his shooting touch is still sharp. He could still be valuable to the Celtics come next season. Garnett looks to be in the twilight of his career, but his recent production in the playoffs could be an indicator that he is not done playing just yet. Veteran small forward and Boston fan favorite Paul Pierce is no spring chicken either. He isn’t as mobile as he used to be and is becoming easier to defend, especially when his jump shot isn’t falling.
The Celtics should seek replacements for all of these players sooner than later. Doing so will give them the chance to develop and learn under the aging veterans before they are called on to take starting roles. The Celtics have two first round picks in the draft which should help them get a good start on building their team of the future. One thing we know is some rookie will be searching for moving companies for their transfer to Boston this summer. Here are some possible options that the Celtics could look into.
- Jared Sullinger: Sully probably won’t be around when the Celtics make their pick in the draft, but the team could trade up for him in the draft using their two first round picks. Sullinger isn’t as tall as some of his power forward counterparts in the league but he’s tough, can score around the rim and can rebound. His ability to score inside would make him the perfect complement to forward Brandon Bass in the Celtics’ offensive system. Sullinger could have been the number one pick in the draft if he would have left after his freshman season at Ohio State University. He decided to stay another year to develop his game and try to help OSU win an NCAA championship. A player of Sullinger’s ability doesn’t come around often. If Boston has the chance, they may make a move to draft him.
- Doron Lamb: Many mock drafts have the Celtics choosing this shooting guard out of Kentucky as their first pick. Lamb would work well in the Celtics’ offensive system because he’s great at getting open and has a good form on his jump shot. Celtics fans may be reminded of a young Paul Pierce when they watch Lamb because he can score so many different ways. His mid-range game would fit nicely into the Celtics game plan.
- A swingman who can attack the rim: The Celtics’ game revolves largely around jump shots. Even Boston’s current post players are more likely to step out for the open jumper than get dirty down low. A player on the wing with the athleticism and fearlessness it requires to take it to the rim in the NBA would be a great addition to their offense.
We know that the Celtics’ players are getting older, but they’re still very talented and can draft based on what is available as opposed to reaching for a player based on need. A big man who can bang down low to complement Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett would be a great pick. It’s time to think about the future in Boston before it becomes too late.