By Matthew Cunha
The Boston Celtics signed the marquee free agent (at least of those actually available) of the summer. Gordon Hayward provides the Celtics with a much needed secondary scoring option which tremendously lowers the gap between Boston and LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Find a rebounder and a post presence like Memphis’s Marc Gasol and the Celtics have a team that can be competitive with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. Chris Mannix from Yahoo Sports and The Vertical reported that Gasol was a potential trade source for the Celtics according to two league executives.
The Celtics were also involved in many of trade talks before free agency about Pacers forward Paul George. Although George ended up in Oklahoma City, the Celtics were still active participants in trying to acquire George. It was reported that the Celtics offered two first round picks and two starters in effort to acquire George. With the addition of Hayward, the Celtics will have to free up more cap space to make room for him on the roster and it is possible that either Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder will be on the move. The point: the Celtics have been extremely active. As a producer of a sports radio show, the Celtics have been front and center all summer.
Meanwhile, the other team that plays at the TD Garden has made zero headlines. The biggest move that the Bruins have made this off season is not trading their first round draft pick. The Bruins drafted reliable defensemen Urho Vaakanainen, who doesn’t feature a lot of offensive upside. The pick is by no means sexy like last year’s first round pick Charlie McAvoy who made an impact in the playoffs immediately upon being called up.
The Bruins did not sign any free agent with the exception of prospects and depth additions to the roster. They have been rumored in trades for Colorado’s Matt Duchene, but nothing has ever really emerged. From the stand point of creating talking points for talk radio, the Bruins get an F so far this offseason. Despite how quiet they have been in relation to the Celtics, both off seasons are going flawlessly for the Boston teams.
The Celtics have obviously made their waves and gotten that much closer to a championship with the addition of Hayward. An addition of a rebounder could put the Celtics where they need to be to reach the finals moving forward.The Bruins offseason although quiet, has been just as successful in my book. With young prospects on the brink of becoming solid NHL players, a busy offseason would remove playing time away from players who need to develop. In the 2017 playoffs, we saw the potential of many of those guys. Most notably McAvoy.
Don Sweeney and company drafted these guys and recognizes their potential. Signing or trading for veteran players would be steps backwards and take away from the one thing Sweeney has done well and that’s drafting the right guys. Why would mess with that by moving them? The goal is the future. Plus the Bruins need to spend most their money on restricted free agent 21-year-old David Pastrnak.
The tones of the off seasons for the two teams at TD Garden are complete opposite. Yet, they have been successful for different reasons. Both Don Sweeney and Danny Ainge correctly monitored their current situation and played their cards accordingly. They did exactly what I expected them to do. How often can you say that happens in the world of every fan being a GM?
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.