Celtics garner an ‘A-‘ for offseason so far from top Sports Illustrated writer

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The Boston Celtics have led us in several directions regarding their teambuilding plans since they kicked off their offseason by trading away starting point guard Kemba Walker, and have polarized fans confused about what exactly new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens is up to.

But Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina can be counted among those of us who see the Celtics’ aggressive offseason trades and extensions as part of a longer-view approach setting the team up to compete into a not-so-distant future. In fact, Pina gives Boston high marks for what the front office has accomplished to date, among the highest in the league.

“The Celtics’ significant see-saw offseason began with a series of decisions that made it seem as if they were prioritizing cap space and financial flexibility in an earnest attempt to add another max-level star via free agency,” observed the SI analyst.

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Highlighting the deal that brought on Al Horford in Walker's place, letting Evan Fournier walk, replacing him with Josh Richardson, and landing Dennis Schroder for the mini mid-level exception, Pina related how conventional wisdom shifted towards an expectation of using cap space next summer. "But as quickly as flexibility was created, Brad Stevens ... took it away," wrote the SI writer, referencing the extension of Marcus Smart and Robert Williams (the piece was written before Richardson extension). https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1430183248139849732?s=20

That doesn't mean a star pursuit is off the table according to Pina, though.

"Cap space no longer exists, but neither extension eliminates the possibility of adding a third star. There’s a world where both contracts can be dangled alongside a younger prospect and multiple draft picks. But if no household name emerges right away that’s OK, too."

"The Celtics don’t have to worry about losing the soul of their franchise next summer, and were able to retain a big whose sheer athleticism ignores the possibility of failure every time he leaves his feet," he added. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1430168024355594255?s=20

Lauding a more balanced mix of veterans and youth with valuable skillsets in place and a hefty, $17 million traded players exception in addition to the above, Pina is a fan of Boston's offseason, and a big one. He grades it an A- overall, which despite some less glowing perspectives on what Stevens has done to date, we are largely inclined to agree with. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=57228,57189,57194,57184] [listicle id=57227]

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