Celtics Circuit: Five Bold Predictions For Summer
The Boston Celtics finally finished their 2013-’14 season with a 25-57 record after their 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The Celtics tied the Utah Jazz for the fourth worst record in the NBA. On Friday, the Jazz won the coin toss for the fourth spot in the NBA Lottery.
Before the season began, I predicted the Celtics would finish with 28 wins. There were many games where the Celtics had a chance to win. I also believed that the Celtics would look to trade veterans like Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. They kept Humphries and Wallace, but the Celtics sent Courtney Lee to the Memphis Grizzlies and Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors. I thought the team would play better when Rajon Rondo returned to the lineup in January, but the Celtics actually were better without Rondo in November and December. At the end of December, the Celtics were 13-18.
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said there would be “fireworks” this off-season. Danny Ainge will attempt to upgrade the Celtics roster. With the Lottery on May 20th, the Celtics will find out where they pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Here are my bold predictions for the summer:
1. Celtics won’t get a top-5 pick in the Draft. The Celtics poor luck will continue in the Lottery. In 1997, the Celtics lost the Tim Duncan sweepstakes Like in 2007, this misfortune will lead the Celtics to complete a trade.
2. Celtics will trade for Kevin Love. Obviously, this will cause the Celtics to find a creative way to acquire the three-time All-Star. Kevin McHale isn’t running the Minnesota Timberwolves anymore. Ainge has more assets to offer than he did in 2007. The Celtics will have to send a package centering around Jared Sullinger and multiple first-round picks to even get the conversation rolling. They will have to include an expiring contract like Brandon Bass ($6.9 million) or unload Keith Bogans ($5.1 million)and Joel Anthony ($3.8 million) in order to match Love’s salary. The Timberwolves could draw a hard line and ask for Rondo. Rondo like Love will be a free agent in 2015 and the Timberwolves may want to extend Rondo’s contract.
3. Celtics acquire Carmelo Anthony This is even more far-fetched than the Celtics being able to acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the summer of 2007 after the Celtics found out they had the fifth overall selection in the Draft. The Celtics have money to spend and they want to become a contender again. After missing the playoffs for the first time, Anthony wants to come to a team that will contend for a championship and has superior talent to compete with the Miami Heat. Since the Celtics have a highly respected coach in Brad Stevens, Anthony will want to play for him after the mess with the New York Knicks’ front office.
4. Celtics extend Rondo’s deal. With Love and Anthony aboard, the Celtics and Rondo will come to an agreement. Rondo wants to play for a contender and he wants to beat LeBron James and the Heat. Rondo will accept less than a maximum contract if he is given the surrounding talent to have another chance at winning a ring.
5. Celtics get Gordon Hayward. Stevens coached Hayward at Butler. Hayward can be a contributor off the bench with his size and ability to score. While Hayward struggled with three-pointers this year, Stevens will be able to get the most out of Hayward.
All of these are crazy scenarios that are possible. Ainge always manages to surprise everyone like last July when he hired Stevens and he created the Big Three in 2007. The team is wary of being over the luxury tax under the new CBA. This new Big Three will be motivated because Love and Anthony are in the prime of their careers and have never won a title.