The Celtics’ offseason could not have gotten off to a better start. The 2012 NBA Draft featured them addressing their largest area of weakness throughout the playoffs: size.
Since the departure of Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics have been an abysmal rebounding team. Far too often Boston can’t get their offense going in transition because their opponents gobbled up missed shots for second chance opportunities.
Even if Ohio State forward Jarded Sullinger (selected 21st) and Syacuse center Fab Melo (no. 22) cannot provide notable help on offense or defense right away, they can still aid in the Celtics major weakness. Rebounding is one skill that always translates to the NBA and it is one skill that is often overlooked. While Sullinger and Melo are indeed projects, even one of them develops into the player that their collegiate careers showed them to be, then the Celtics will have struck gold in the late first round again.
Not only did the C’s hit a homerun in the draft on Thursday, but fans rejoiced Saturday when Kevin Garnett agreed to re-up for three more years instead of hanging up his size 45 sneakers.
Celtics fans should be ecstatic about Garnett coming back for numerous reasons:
- KG is a gamer.
He clearly hates the Heat and he clearly hates that he lost this year. That energy and tenacity cannot be replicated by anyone and it is an intangible asset that fuels those around him. If the Celtics lost his passion this offseason then any chance of a run in the East could be written off until this team was entirely stripped of all remnants of their past championship team, sans Rondo.
2. Sullinger and Melo can only stand to benefit from the resigning of Garnett. They will not be relied upon for much as rookies and it will give them time to develop physically and mentally in Boston: a place as tough to play for as to play against. Also, Garnett has visibly matured over his NBA career and he knows it’s time for himself to become a mentor and coach. KG’s evolution into an unselfish player and teammate will be a great influence on Sullinger and Melo
The Celtics still have more questions to concern themselves with this offseason:
Will Ray Allen come back? Or Will he sign for half the money to play for the evil empire 2.0?
Even if Allen doesn’t come back should Celtics fans care?
Avery Bradley is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, something desperately needed to shut down D-Wade and LeBron. Add to the fact that a batch of several high quality free agents and avaliable talent through trades would look great in Celtics green (Jamal Crawford, Michael Beasley, Chauncy Billups, and OJ Mayo) and the Celtics have options to fill a shooters role. That and the fact that all of those names have better long term potential and are sure to be better money on the dollar than an aging Ray Allen.
For Boston it’s an important offseason. With Sullinger and Melo in the fold, and KG back on board, Boston’s off to a good start.