Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
You are looking at the top and bottom of SB Nation’s NBA power rankings, as compiled by 22 team bloggers.
Our glorious Celtics rank 26th.
New Orleans (27-55) was the 26th team in league standings last season.
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace, Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries and Kelly Olynyk can win more than 27 games.
Yes, I may overrate the Celtics (a title prediction in 2012-13) on occasion, but I know bad Celtics teams when I see them. This roster has more talent and depth than the squads in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Who can the Celtics surpass in the East? The Bucks, Raptors, Cavaliers, and Wizards. That’s good enough to compete for the 8th seed in the playoffs. I also think they can be better than Utah, Sacramento, New Orleans and Dallas out west.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford gave the Celtics a B- grade for offseason moves:
While it may be painful for fans to lose the heart and soul of the franchise, it was clear that the Celtics had to begin rebuilding sooner or later. With an exceptional draft coming next summer, now was the time to do it.
Danny Ainge didn’t get a lot in return for Garnett and Pierce. In fact, he had to swallow the remaining $30 million on Wallace’s deal to make the trade work. But he did get three future first-round picks from the Nets. The pick in 2014 will be marginal, but with the Nets mortgaging their future to win now, the hope in Boston is the picks in 2016, 2017 and 2018 will be much higher.
With Rivers now in Los Angeles, the Celtics brought on Stevens, who was the brightest young mind in college hoops and is the perfect fit for a rebuilding team. I met him in Maui in November at a tournament, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with a young coach. College coaches often struggle to make the transition to the NBA, but I think Stevens is going to be great.
Olynyk was one of the sharpest players in the Orlando Summer League in July and may become a fixture on the new-look Celtics. The 22-year-old is one of the most skilled big guys you’ll come across, but don’t blow all your money on his rookie card just yet. Olynyk still lacks both elite athletic abilities and length. I’m skeptical he produces at the level he showed this summer as a rookie in the NBA.
The Celtics’ real future will likely be determined by how bad they are in 2013-14. While Ainge might insist that his teams don’t tank, it’s in Boston’s best interest to lose a lot of games this season. The 2014 draft is stacked, and if the Celtics can land a top-five pick, they’ll likely get their hands on a franchise cornerstone to jump-start the rebuilding process.
I despise the final paragaph.
The rest of the links: