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Boston Celtics ranked second in ESPN Power Rankings

Celtics are one of three Eastern Conference teams in the Top 10.

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In the latest ESPN power rankings, the Celtics were ranked right behind the Warriors as the second best team in the league and first in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics had one of the more snooze-worthy summers in the NBA, electing to simply bring back the same core from last season by re-signing defensive tone-setters Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart. And yet the Celtics will still emerge as one of the offseason winners because, with LeBron James heading west, and with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward set to return from injury, Boston is the early favorite in the East. As Hayward told ESPN last week: “I’m confident that we’ve got everything we need to make the run at the whole thing.”

Boston was one of three Eastern Conference teams that were ranked in the top-10 with the next closet team being the Philadelphia 76ers at 4th.

On the flip side, the Celtics will also have the chance at FOUR first round picks based on how the Clippers (top 14 protected), Grizzles (top 8 protected), and Kings (top 1 protected) land. The rankings have the Clippers at 17th, the Grizzles at 18th, and the Kings at 29th which would give them at 14% chance of getting the 1st through 3rd pick. If those all held up, the Celtics would have selections in the top five, mid-first, and end of the first round.