Bloomberg BusinessWeek attempted to rank all the major league teams in terms of smartest spending. The Lakers were the top NBA team but the Celtics were second. Interestingly, across all the sports the Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots were ranked 6, 7, and 8 (The Red Sox were 70th, go figure).
How did they come up with these rankings? Here's a brief summary.
Smartest Spenders in Sports - Businessweek
This year, we’ve added bonuses for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. Our scale counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season. In their Super Bowl winning season in 2011, for instance, the New York Giants got credit for 9 regular season wins, plus a .5 game bonus for their ninth win—the one that put them above .500. Their 4 playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins. And the Super Bowl victory 8 more, for a total of 23.9 "weighted" wins.
Yes, the Celtics spent a lot and even paid well into the luxury tax land, but they got results from that spending. Can they keep that success going for the next few years? The ownership seems to be betting that they can.