It’s nice to know that Ainge has a pocket full of primo draft picks and the Celtics have thus far gotten better every year of the Stevens era, but it’s hard for some of us to look at what we saw in the playoffs and feel good about this team. The Celtics simply don’t have enough talent. It’s hard to imagine Boston as a destination for blue-chip free agents. The 2016 playoff experience only reinforced how far the Celtics are from being good. Fortunately for the Celtics, they have a tolerant and sometimes hopelessly optimistic fan base. The Bruins and Red Sox should have it this good.Compare and contrast that take with Kevin Draper of Deadspin, in an article where it is clear the author did some homework:
Which brings us to today. The core of their current team—Thomas, Bradley, Crowder, Marcus Smart—are all signed for at least two more seasons, and the only contributors they could lose this offseason are Turner, Zeller, and Jared Sullinger. Their coach is still Brad Stevens. Barring a catastrophe, even with no improvement, they’ll be a five seed again.Draper says more in two paragraphs than Shank does in his entire column. This just reinforces the two main attributes of your normal Shaughnessy - he's lazy and a dick.
But improvement there will be! Depending upon exactly where the salary cap falls and what they do with players they can make qualifying offers for, the Celtics will have ~$33 million in salary cap space. If Kevin Durant is smart, Boston is where he’ll sign, but even if he doesn’t, the Celtics will be in play and be an attractive destination for every major free agent.