After securing the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics fell short in the Conference Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, they realized that they are a couple moves away from competing with the Cavaliers and used the offseason to add more talent.

One of the biggest moves of the offseason

On the Fourth of July, the Celtics received excellent news. Highly-prized free agent forward Gordon Hayward agreed to sign with Boston, agreeing to a four-year, $128 million deal. Attaining Hayward this summer was a major key for Boston.

They wanted to reunite the All-Star forward with former coach Brad Stevens and were successful.

Hayward may still not be enough to defeat the Cavaliers, but he makes the Celtics a better team offensively, giving them another scorer outside of Isaiah Thomas. However, the Celtics had to pay up after agreeing to sign Hayward to a max deal, as they had to clear cap space.

Losing some key players from last season

To consume Hayward’s large contract, the Celtics had to get rid of one of their key players. They attempted to trade Jae Crowder but failed. Ultimately, the Celtics were forced to part ways with defensive ace Avery Bradley, shipping him to Detroit for Marcus Morris. Losing Bradley will considerably hurt the Celtics on the defensive end.

Bradley proved to be an important part of their playoff run last season.

The Celtics have also lost Tyler Zeller, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, and Gerald Green this summer. These role players were part of the rotation for most of the season and added plenty of depth to the Celtics' bench last season. Although they are replaceable, the Celtics lost a tremendous amount of depth this offseason.

The 2017 NBA draft

Before the draft, the Celtics made a bold move by trading down. They gave up the number one overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the third overall pick and a future first-round pick. With the third pick, Boston selected Jayson Tatum. The small forward rookie showed plenty of promise during Summer League and figures to play behind Hayward.

He should provide adequate scoring off the bench and will be a top Rookie of the Year candidate.

Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen, and Jabari Bird were the other selections made by the Celtics, all in the second round. All three of those players should be on the Celtics' training camp roster.

The Celtics may have made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason by signing Gordon Hayward, but they lost some of their depth and a crucial player in Avery Bradley. While it has still been a pleasant offseason for Boston, their improvement may not be enough to overthrow the Cavs.

Roster outlook

  • PG: Isaiah Thomas/Marcus Smart/Terry Rozier/Shane Larkin
  • SG: Jaylen Brown/Kadeem Allen
  • SF: Gordon Hayward/Jayson Tatum/Jae Crowder/Abdel Nader
  • PF: Marcus Morris/Semi Ojeleye/Daniel Theis
  • C: Al Horford/Aron Baynes/Ante Zizic/Guerschn Yabusele
  • Coach: Brad Stevens

Offseason grade: B