During an offseason in which he has traded away his two best players and his coach without receiving a single impact player in return, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge adamantly proclaimed that the organization is not ‘tanking’, according to Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe.
“We are not tanking,” Ainge told the Globe. “That’s ridiculous. This is the Boston Celtics.”
Of course, the Celtics have been accused of tanking in the past–most notably in the 1996-1997 season, in which they went 15-67, and in 2006-2007, when they lost a franchise-record 18 consecutive games. In 1997, the prize of the draft was Tim Duncan, while, in 2007, it was Greg Oden (though, not so much in hindsight) and Kevin Durant. We”ll leave it to you, fair reader, to decide whether those two teams tanked.
The 2014 NBA Draft is supposed to be loaded with future studs and franchise players like Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle, and Jabari Parker, though those who predict the success of a draft beforehand are notoriously unreliable.
As to whether the Celtics are tanking for a high draft pick? It’s too early to tell. Though Ainge traded away Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and Doc Rivers, the Celtics (currently constituted) still have enough talent to compete for a playoff berth in a shallow Eastern Conference–especially one in which other bad teams will surely be toying with idea of tanking as well.
Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass Courtney Lee, and Kelly Olynyk certainly aren’t contending for a championship, but it wouldn’t be shocking if that core eked out 40-42 wins and snuck into the playoffs. Let’s not forget, the Milwaukee Bucks made the playoffs last season with 38 wins.
Because of the uncertain future direction of the franchise, we at CelticsTown decided to take a look at tanking–what it is, does it work, and should it be allowed. Read more »