Back on August 5, I posted John Hollinger's offseason grades from Insider. Hollinger ranked the Celtics in the good column with the only negative mark, in his opinion being Jeff Green's contract. Now, we get Chad Ford's offseason grades. Unlike Hollinger's Good, Bad and Ugly classifications, Ford gives a traditional A,B,C,D grade.
The majority of the teams, nineteen in all, got B+, B or B-. Five teams got some variation of a C grade. One team, the Bulls got a D+. One team, Orlando, got an F. And 4 teams got some variation of an A. The Lakers and Hornets were given an A+, the Celtics an A, and Denver received an A-.
Here is Ford's blurb on the reasoning behind their A grade:
I guess it's time to stop writing about the Celtics' closing window. Garnett forced that window open with a stellar playoff performance, and team president Danny Ainge had little choice but to bring the gang back to try it again.
Re-signing KG was a no-brainer. His game has changed, but he is still one of the most dominant bigs in the league. Replacing Allen with Terry is probably an upgrade as well. Terry doesn't have Allen's shooting touch, but he is a much more versatile offensive player. If Green is healthy, he is a major upgrade. The team got Bass back on a reasonable deal. They also added another sweet shooting wing in Lee to replace Mickael Pietrus -- and it cost them just a handful of marginal prospects. To top it off, the Celtics landed a draft pick in Sullinger who can be a force in the post right away as long as his back holds up.
Here's what's impressive about Ainge's moves the past few years. He has maintained his veteran core while still putting in place a group of young players -- Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Green, Lee, Sullinger and Melo -- that could become the core of the future.
Few teams have the opportunity and ability to eat their cake and have it too. Ainge has found a way.
I have to agree that Danny has done a great job of keeping a veteran core while at the same time building a young and athletic team around them. One player that Ford didn't mention is Chris Wilcox, who is signed for the vet minimum. Wilcox is just 30 years old and was playing very well when he was shut down for surgery. He also had some great chemistry going with Rondo. He also doesn't mention Kris Joseph who, although a 2nd round pick, showed some potential in summer league play. Danny has done a great job this offseason. Now if they can just get a little luck with staying healthy, Banner 18 could be on its way.