ESPN really likes ranking things. It creates debate and discussion out of thin air. On one hand, I'm all for creating debate and discussion out of thin air because it makes my job that much easier. On the other hand, sometimes they go a little overboard with it. So take this with the usual grain of salt, but the folks in Bristol decided to rank things like NBA front offices and owners. Turns out the Celtics ranked pretty high on both counts.
The front office was ranked 6th in the league despite having one of the worst records in the league this year.
While Boston is enduring a transition season, there remains an appreciation for the Celtics' front office, likely in large part due to the future-minded haul they got while disassembling their core last summer. The Celtics have as many as 10 first-round draft picks over the next five drafts, putting them in quality position to turn things around quickly. If Boston can return to contender status quickly, expect Boston's front office -- a group helmed by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, assistant general manager Mike Zarren, and director of player personnel Austin Ainge -- to shimmy up even further in future iterations of the vote.
I think that's a testament to Danny's track record and the guts it took to make The Trade last offseason. We've also seen the Celtics spin off some pretty good GMs around the league in Daryl Morey and Ryan McDonough. Mike Zarren has also been mentioned as a candidate for positions in the past and I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn up again in the future. The fact that Ainge has a GM tree is pretty impressive.
The owners also have a great reputation, coming in ranked number 4 on the list.
Ever since buying the team, the Celtics' ownership group headlined by Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca have put a premium on winning and haven't been afraid to spend to do such. This will be a rare season below the luxury tax, but only because of the competitive advantages it offers as Boston navigates a rebuilding season. Grousbeck suggested he envisions "fireworks" this offseason because of the assets Boston's front office has to work with and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge can operate knowing ownership is willing to pay to put a contending team on the floor.
Hard to argue. They spend when they are in position to contend, they backed Danny and Doc in the dark years because they rightly believed in them, and they know how to be present but not overly involved in the basketball decisions.
I'm not putting a ton of stock into exactly where the front office and owners land in the rankings. I just enjoy seeing them get recognized as some of the best in the business.