Marc Stein is ranking the teams' moves all around the league. Of course the Celtics had the best offseason in the East. Today he looks at at the Western teams and it seems like the Celtics are directly or indirectly involved in many of the top moves there too. Here are some highlights:
On former Celtics front office guy Daryl Morey:
Daryl Morey's first summer of exclusive authority in the Rockets' front office has resulted in multiple handy pickups to strengthen the supporting cast around T-Mac and Yao for new coach Rick Adelman, quickly hushing concerns that Morey's limited experience and untraditional background made him a risky hire.
On the Sonics moves:
Presti got an intriguing package back for Ray Allen by landing Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the No. 5 pick that became Jeff Green -- I say so even though I'm not a huge Green guy -- and then took in a seemingly worthless second-round pick from Orlando to create a lucrative trade exception after Rashard Lewis had already committed to signing with the Magic. That enabled Presti to exploit the Suns' desperation to slash payroll by agreeing to take Kurt Thomas into that trade exception ... but only if he also got two first-round picks in the exchange.
On the Grizzlies (now run by former Celtic GM Chris Wallace):
Only a small handful of teams had a more fruitful offseason than the Grizz, whose new brain trust (general manager Chris Wallace and coach Marc Iavaroni) has already generated some new hope after drafting Mike Conley, signing Darko Milicic and trading for Gasol's close friend Juan Carlos Navarro.
The Celtics trade for Kevin Garnett also trumped offers from the Warriors, Lakers, and Suns. The Blazers landed the top pick despite the Celtics and Grizzlies having the worst records. And of course there was the TWolves:
1. They waited at least a year too long to trade Kevin Garnett.
2. Owner Glen Taylor should have used his considerable financial might to clean house two or three years ago and then go outside the Wolves' sphere to find a new front-office chief from a successful franchise, long before the Wolves wound up in a crisis summer like this one.
3. When they finally did trade KG, they got back five players and two future first-round picks ... but only one out of the seven players (Al Jefferson) would automatically command minutes with a quality team. The rest are all maybes.
Basically what I'm saying is that the Celtics were this offseason's Kevin Bacon, with only a few degrees of seperation from everything happening in the league.