With the Evan Turner signing and the Boston Celtics lacking cap space, the Celtics are most likely done constructing their roster. Barring any trades, and we can forget about Kevin Love, the roster the C’s have now is the one they will have when the season opens. With that said, let’s take a look and the best and worst case scenarios this roster can produce for the upcoming season.
Worst Case Scenario
Like I mentioned last week, the last place you want to end up in the NBA is in the middle of the pack. Falling outside the playoffs and getting the last lottery pick is the worst case scenario. Making the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed would at least show improvement, provide playoff game experience for the younger players, and bring in some extra revenue. Being terrible and getting a top draft pick is obviously a good thing. But the worst case scenario for the Celtics would be to just miss the playoffs and pick at the end of the lottery.
This unfortunately seems like the most likely scenario to play out this season. Rondo is an All-Star caliber player for sure, but he isn’t a superstar, and he can’t carry a team into the playoffs himself. If the rest of the roster plays to expectations, this seems like the perfect middle of the road team.
Best Case Scenario
Getting the 8th seed and making the playoffs would be the best case scenario for this team, and I feel like it would be their ceiling as well. If Marcus Smart and James Young can produce solid rookie seasons, if Rondo can stay healthy, and if Evan Turner can avoid starting a fight, I can see this team making the playoffs.
The east is wide open. With Indiana losing Lance Stephenson, if they play like they did at the end of the season it’s entirely possible they could miss the playoffs. Atlanta wasn’t able to lure any free agents, so they could trade Al Horford and Paul Millsap and go into a rebuilding phase. If Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng can’t stay healthy, Miami could miss the playoffs. The Nets’ whole situation is a disaster and their owner is rumored to be mulling a sale of the team. It’s entirely possible those playoff teams fall off and the Celtics slip in.
Least likely scenario
The Celtics do have a slight chance of ending up at the top of the lottery. Rondo will be a free agent at the end of the year, and if the Celtics decide to trade him, it could lead to the whole team being blown up and another year seeking the top pick. Rondo is one of the best point guards in a league with not many top tier point guards, so I can’t imagine the Celtics trading him, but it is possible.
This season should be interesting. If the roster stays as is, the Celtics could slip into the playoffs or fall slightly short. But with so many expiring contracts, the roster could be completely different at the end of the season and the Celtics could be looking at a top three lottery pick.