In the interest of fairness, Wyc Grousbeck’s now infamous “Expect fireworks this summer” quote probably got more attention than it warranted. After all, every beat writer, blogger, Twitterer and fan of the Celtics desperately wanted it to be true. We wanted fireworks with a Kevin Love finale. We would have loved to see which other superstar might have wanted a new location and joined the Love/Rajon Rondo combination. It looked like the summer of 2014 was going to be exciting and pivotal for the Celtics.
Now we are most of the way through July. The Celtics are mostly capped out, the Kevin Love dream appears to be fading into Golden State or Cleveland and the biggest names remaining on the free agent market include Jameer Nelson. What happened to the dream?
WEEI caught up with Grousbeck at a Red Sox game, and he admitted that he feels largely the same way:
“We had definitely hoped to try to make bigger moves this offseason, to be honest,” he said. “Having said that, it takes two partners to make a trade, so we focused on longterm trying to build the club. We think we’re a better team now — positioned for the future, some new young talent and even more draft picks — but it’s been a patient summer so far, and I’m not always the most patient guy.”
“It takes two partners to make a trade” has been the overarching theme of the offseason for the Celtics. Grousbeck said nearly the exact same thing (“It takes two to tango”) twice on draft night, and it’s pretty evident that the Celtics were ready and willing to throw the kitchen sink plus first-round draft picks at the Timberwolves if they were willing to give up Kevin Love. The Wolves, obviously, were not, and Grousbeck’s patience is being tested.
Let’s continue to be fair, however: The Celtics have improved, if only through the draft, and Grousbeck said he liked the chemistry Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens showed as talent evaluators.
“I don’t want to talk about anybody else’s player, but I would say this is Brad Stevens‘ first offseason,” added Grousbeck. “Actually, when I think about the offseason, I think about Brad evaluating our players and working with [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] to evaluate the college talent, and it’s actually meshed really well. They were very much in synch on draft night, so that’s a positive for me. Brad is so excited to be here and to be building this thing. He’s impatient as well, but his work ethic is extraordinary.”
It will be interesting to see how that chemistry holds going forward. Last season was a honeymoon period: Stevens was extraordinarily polite to the media, and Danny Ainge was lauded as a genius for having the foresight to go grab Butler’s ex-coach. But will people in Boston still love Stevens if the Celtics struggle again next season? Will Stevens start to look longingly back at college positions if the Celtics can’t give him a winning roster? It’s tough to tell.
Realistically, though, it’s time to start looking at what life with a bad roster (again) might look like. The Celtics have improved in that Marcus Smart is a good player and Rondo will likely be healthy next season (knock on wood), but they aren’t a playoff team unless Kelly Olynyk improves unrecognizably on both ends (don’t count on it), Smart is NBA-ready (don’t count on it), Sullinger sheds a bunch of weight (don’t count on it), Bradley stays healthy all season (maybe count on it?) and Rondo goes absolutely supernova. It’s frustrating: In the Eastern Conference, acquiring Love would have been enough to vault Boston into the conversation for the 4th, 5th or 6th seed, and who knows where that could lead? Realistically, the Cavaliers and the Bulls are the likely favorites in the Eastern Conference, but no other team would be that intimidating for the Celtics. The Kevin Love domino was a big one. Now, it might be time to start scouting potential NBA players again. I hear small forwards Stanley Johnson and Kelly Oubre looked preeeeetty good in high school.
On a lighter note, Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe unearthed a new alternate logo the Celtics will be using in conjunction with their classic Lucky picture as well as the more modern clover. Here’s a look at the new design:
Personally, I love it. The design is simple, and the two-color look is less busy than the original Lucky logo. If I were looking for a t-shirt or a hoodie, I’d be more inclined to buy one with this design.
The other logos will, of course, still be in use. From Holmes’ article:
Keith Sliney, the Celtics’ creative director and the logo’s designer, stressed that it won’t be replacing their main logo, nor are there immediate plans to place it on game jerseys.
“We think of it more as extending the Celtics brand,” Sliney said. “Our existing logos are not changing. This alternate is an additional emblem for us to use on everything from print to web to fabric. It’s very flexible.”
What do you guys think? Do you prefer the more traditional logos? Let us know below.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.