Rebuilding projects hinge upon developing good or great players. We've got a lot of draft picks but we've also got some quality prospects on the team right now. Who do you see making the leap and really turning into something special?
Jared Sullinger. Just because.
Kelly O If I had to choose (though CJ was also a canidate in my mind) due to his upside and potential.
Jared Sullinger: Jared Sullinger wants to be a great player, and I think that's step one to "being." In order to become something, you must think it, work at it, and let it manifest itself in reality. Sullinger has said that he will come back better than ever next year and I believe him. Whether or not he's traded in a blockbuster deal, I think he'll find success wherever he plays.
This is an easy one.
Brad Stevens is the most likely man to succeed in the Boston Celtics organization and it's not even close. He's been unflappable this year despite all the losses his team has suffered and, even though he's had plenty of moments where he looked like he could explode, he never did. It's hard for any coach in the NBA to keep his composure during such a trying season, not to mention one that's in his first year in the league. Stevens has done it, though, and I can't say that I'm surprised.
All of Stevens' hard work will pay off sooner rather than later as he continues to build this organization alongside president of basketball operations Danny Ainge - count on it.
Jared Sullinger. Sullinger was this season's biggest bright spot without a doubt and cemented his status as a valuable piece of the puzzle moving forward. Of all the players on Boston's roster, Sullinger is probably the only one the Celtics will go to great lengths to protect in future trades, unless of course Ainge is blown away by an offer.
Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. Armed with all those draft picks and clearing cap space in the near future, Ainge has some flexibility with what he can do. I tend to think that he'll take the more patient approach and use his picks (rather than pull of another summer of 2007); it'll prove to be a more sustainable course of action with more room for error. When he put together the Big Three, they were at the tail end of their primes and the salary cap only allowed Ainge to make fringe acquisitions to supplement the roster. Ainge has stressed development through the draft and with a bevy of picks and more importantly, the relatively low cost of rookie contracts, ahead of him, he'll have the ability to mold this team from scratch.
There's also Brad Stevens. If he's proven anything this season, it's his ability to get players to play hard for him. He might be known as a player's coach, but what isn't publicized too much is how stern but fair he can be with his team. Instead of coddling Keith Bogans, Stevens distanced him from the locker room. Instead of forcing Sullinger and Olynyk into a trial by fire, he rewarded Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries with playing time because they were the most consistent players on the team. Work hard and play hard for Stevens and you'll find yourself on the floor. It's a mantra Chris Johnson took to heart and now, a guy who proved himself after two back-to-back 10-day contracts looks to be a mainstay for next season. Most rookie coaches get bowled over in their first season, but Stevens has stood his ground and earned the respect of his players.
I'm a total homer, so this is hard for me to narrow down. I'll eliminate Rondo because i think he's already succeeded. I'll give a nod to Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk. I'll give honorable mention to Jared Sullinger, who I think is going to be an All Star. But ultimately I have to agree that Brad Stevens is the most likely to succeed. He's got all the tools and the full backing of management and ownership. With a little experience, he's going to keep on developing into a great NBA coach.
Who do you think is most likely to succeed?