NBA Atlantic Division Preview: Shake Up At The Top

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4. Boston Celtics

The 2013-14 season was a lost one in Boston. That being said, they made the most of it by acquiring an extra pick in a loaded NBA Draft.

Danny Ainge knew that it was time to rebuild in Boston as Pierce and Garnett hit the twilight of their careers. He made an excellent trade to acquire two unprotected first round picks from the Brooklyn Nets to jump-start the rebuilding process.

The most significant additions to the Celtics this offseason were first round picks Marcus Smart and James Young. While they won’t make the Celtics a competitor instantly, it’s hard not to be excited about the two young prospects.

Smart comes in with great size and strength at the point guard position. The addition of the Oklahoma State product provides Boston with a replacement for Rondo, who spent most of last season on the trading block. If the Celtics can deal Rondo for a few more picks or a good young player in team control for a couple of seasons, Boston could be in great position to compete at a very high level sooner than many thought.

James Young provides the Celtics with a complement to Jeff Green on the offensive end of the floor. The sweet shooting 6’6″ guard had a knack for scoring and could end up a left-handed Paul Pierce down the road.

Outside the two rookies, the Celtics have more young pieces in Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, and Phil Pressey to go along with Avery Bradley. The surprise addition of Evan Turner has really turned the Celtics into a promising young team.

If everything clicks for second year coach Brad Stevens, Boston may shock a lot of people with how good they can be this season. Look for them to make some trades at the deadline this year as Rondo is an expiring contract and Green has a player option for 2015.

Key Acquisitions: Evan Turner, Marcus Smart, James Young, Marcus Thornton, Tyler Zeller

Key Losses: None