Looking back at what the Boston Celtics did right and wrong during the 2018 NBA offseason, including the draft and free agency
After surprising the masses, even with an injury-plagued roster in 2017-18, the Boston Celtics didn’t have much to accomplish to do during the 2018 offseason. After all, they were just one game away from making return to the NBA Finals.
And that was without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, who both missed the playoffs this season. If that isn’t indication of something potentially special coming in 2018-19, I’m not sure what is.
Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what the Celtics did during the offseason.
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During the NBA Draft, the Celtics selected late in the first round and came away with potentially the steal of the first 30 picks. With the 27th pick in the first round, the Celtics selected big man Robert Williams out of Texas A&M.
If you’re not familiar with the name, let’s catch you up. Williams is a player that many expected to go much higher than the late 20’s. Some even had him in the lottery. So when he fell to the Celtics, it was easy to see why he could be a steal.
Simply put, giving Brad Stevens, who has already shown the ability to develop players at an exceptional rate, a lottery talent that late in the first round is straight unfair.
If Williams genuinely applies himself to the Celtics culture, there’s no question that he can develop into an important – or, at the very least, a rotation – player for this team in 2018-19. He can block shots, rebound and is athletic enough to play good defense in today’s game. He might be a bit raw, but there’s no question that Stevens will be able to get the most out of him.
During free agency, the Celtics had really one objective. And that was to lock up Marcus Smart, who was a restricted free agent that was likely going to demand big money on the open market. Luckily for the Celtics, that really didn’t happen.
There wasn’t a ton of dumb money flying around this summer, and Smart was unable to lock up a big deal. Instead, he made a long-term commitment to the Celtics – a deal, I believe, was great for both parties.
Smart signed a four-year, $52 million deal with Boston. The Celtics couldn’t afford to lose such a glue guy like Smart, and I believe he really found a comfort zone in Boston. It was a deal that needed to get made for both sides.
The Boston Celtics will head into the 2018-19 season as the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and, even though the Toronto Raptors added Kawhi Leonard a few weeks ago, I find it hard to believe that they won’t be representing the East in the NBA Finals next season.