It’s been a wild ride this summer, no question about it. An overachieving Celtics team has a 3-2 edge in the ECF only to fall to the Heat, followed by a flurry of summertime activity. Disappointing end to the season to be sure, but ask any Celtics fan about the draft and free agency, and you’ll find that most are pleased with the direction Ainge has taken the franchise. Below are Celtic-Nation’s top five reasons to be happy with where we’re headed:
- Kevin Garnett is back. I know, he’s old and brittle, and who really knows how much quality basketball is left in the tank. But the Celtics needed KG to re-up in the worst kind of way. Had he decided to retire, then the Celtics’ post options would be slim and none.
- Jared Sullinger takes the plunge. The knocks on Sullinger caused him to slip to the late stages of the lottery – not athletic enough, not big enough, can’t get his shot off against bigger bigs. And then the news of his back issues broke, and Sullinger’s draft stock dropped like a lead balloon. Fortunately for Danny Ainge and the Celtics, Sullinger looks to be NBA-ready and ready to prove all of his doubters wrong.
- Courtney Lee in a trade. Still pinching myself on this one. Ainge somehow scrapes together enough assets to work a trade with Houston. Lee now steps into the starting lineup, and brings a smooth shooting stroke and the ability to take the ball to the rack.
- Jason Collins brings size and strength. Mark my words, the Jason Collins signing is going to pay huge dividends this season. No, he won’t do much statistically, but the Celtics have a ton of guys who can score. Jason gives the Celtics a true big man, and Doc Rivers suddenly has a ton of interesting matchup options at his disposal.
- Jeff Green will be the real deal. Don’t look now, but the Celtics may have the best bench in the league. Jason Terry. Jared Sullinger. Jason Collins. Chris Wilcox. Oh, and did I mention Jeff Green? Jeff Green knows he didn’t play well during his first stint with the C’s. And now he’s more determined than ever to make amends, and to make up for lost time. Green has the potential to transform Boston’s bench from good to great, and there’s every reason to believe he’ll deliver on his potential.