If we’re going with overall team GPA at the All-Star break, the Celtics (19-35) should probably think about doing some extra credit. It hasn’t been a pretty season, but it wasn’t expected to be. That said there have been a few pleasant surprises. Brad Stevens can certainly coach. Danny Ainge hit a home run with that hiring. Jared Sullinger is playing well above his age right now and looks to be a big part of this team’s future. Disappointments? Oh yeah, plenty of those. Here are the grades, relative to each player’s capabilities:
Brad Stevens – A-: You can’t fault Stevens for the C’s record. He’s doing the best he can with what he has – and in actuality doing better than what most could do with this team. Give him a few more good players and we’re in business.
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Jared Sullinger – A: Far and away the C’s most impressive player this season, Sullinger has proven that his back issues are a thing of the past. Averaging 13.2 points and 8.2 rebounds, he’s had 18 double-doubles this year, including four games of 16 or more rebounds. He’s also expanded his range. He may be more valuable to Boston than Rondo now.
Chris Johnson – A: The best story on the Celtics this season. Johnson was signed when the Celts were in desperate need of a body at the shooting guard spot. He played so well that he basically forced Boston to sign him for the rest of the year. He’s now under contract (non-guaranteed) for the next three seasons.
Kris Humphries – A-: It’s safe to say that just about everybody in Boston has done a 180-degree turn on Hump. A true pro, he’s said and done all the right things in Boston, and actually sounds believable when he says he wants to re-sign here. For the right price, anything is possible.
Brandon Bass – B+: Bass has had a fine season for the Celtics, averaging 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while playing in all of the team’s 54 games, with 45 starts. Bass benefits a ton when Rajon Rondo is on the court finding him open shots. Bass also remains one of the C’s most likely trade candidates before the deadline, as he has a manageable contract and can help any contender.
Avery Bradley – B+: The only thing keeping Bradley from an A- is once again his health. He’s improved his scoring from last season noticeably, now averaging 14.3 points up from 9.2 points last season. His on-ball defense is still tenacious. A bum ankle has forced him to miss time lately.
Kelly Olynyk – B: Olynyk is averaging 6.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in his rookie season. No, those aren’t Rookie of the Year numbers, but he’s definitely shown he can play. A perennial All-Star might be a stretch, but this kid is a 7-footer who can hit shots from all over – keep him around.
Phil Pressey – B-: An undrafted rookie on the Celtics, Pressey has filled in admirably for Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley this year. One thing that stands out about Pressey: his court vision. He’s a bit like Rondo in that sense. Needs to work on his shot, though.
Jerryd Bayless – C+: Is Bayless better than the player he was traded for, Courtney Lee? No. But the C’s made that deal to free up cap space in the future. He’s a guy that’ll get you around 10 points and a handful of assists per game, which is what he’s doing.
Rajon Rondo – C: The Celtics are 2-8 in games Rondo plays in. He’s shown flashes of his old self, which is important, but for the most part he looks like a guy coming off ACL surgery. We expect him to raise his grade the rest of the season, that is, if he’s still on the C’s.
Jeff Green – C: Depending on the game, Green is either playing A+ basketball or F basketball, so we’ll average it out. His inconsistencies are well documented, but it’s become clear this season that he’s probably a third option on a contending team. He’s another guy that’s had his name in trade rumors.
Vitor Faverani – C: After a hot start to the year, the Celtics’ undrafted rookie center has expectedly cooled off. Faverani is thought to be bit of a project, so there are really no worries here, aside from a recent knee injury that put him on the shelf
Gerald Wallace – C-: Wallace may be good for the C’s in the locker room, but he leaves much to be desired on the court this season. Boston would love to trade him away, but his contract ($20 million through 2015-16) pretty much prevents that from happening right now.
Keith Bogans – F: Bogans is nothing more than a contract, as the C’s have no plans for him, and he has no plans for the C’s. He’s currently not even with the team.
Joel Anthony – Incomplete: You’d think that being traded from the Heat to the Celtics would put you in a bad mood, but Anthony seems to be taking it all in stride.