Buy em, Sell em, or Hold em: Celts, 76ers, Raptors

Steven Kerstein

Hey Guys,

It’s lunch-time (well it was lunch-time) on Wall Street and I’m sick of doing property tax appeals.  Since we’ve last talked, not much has changed.  Aaron Hernandez is hopefully enjoying prison and the Sox still suck.  (Note: this was written before last week’s draft and has been modified with all the craziness that ensued. Hence, the bold.)

Rather than scan the White Sox message boards, I figure that I’ll give you my two cents regarding the future outlooks for the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.

Boston Celtics: Hold, now HOLD

While you might say that the Celtics should be a strong sell with rebuilding on the horizon, I wouldn’t be so fast to bet against the organization.  In the world of the NBA, it is better to be terrible than be average.  Just ask the Houston Rockets.  I think that the Celtics are light-years ahead of the Knicks in terms of understanding this process. With the impending trade of KG, Pierce and Terry to Brooklyn, the Celtics will hardly resemble their usual selves. While the 2013-2014 campaign must be a disappointing one for Boston, management is taking the right steps in revitalizing the organization.  Why I’m hesitant to buy for the long-haul: They might hire Vinny Del Negro.

Philadelphia 76ers: Sell, now BUY

Over the past 3-5 years, the Sixers have been an interesting story.  After drafting Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, it looked as though the franchise was setting itself up to be an up-and-coming squad in a weak Eastern Conference.  Then the team dealt for Iggy and pieces for Bynum.  When healthy, Andrew Bynum is as good as it gets down low.  The problem was Bynum couldn’t find the court in his brief tenure with Philly.  Suddenly, the franchise is at another crossroads.  While Holiday has emerged as a borderline star in the league, Turner hasn’t panned out according to expectations.  This team should probably be in full-out rebuild mode but doesn’t necessarily believe it just yet. I see considerable downside here. Short comfortably.  I think I just wrote about the White Sox. Oh Dear.

Listening to my advice, Sixers Management obliterated the roster up by dealing their only good player (Holiday) for Nerlens Noel.  This move serves two purposes.  1- Philly drafted the most talented player (according to analytics) in this year’s draft. 2- Ensured that they’ll be terrible next season to get a chance at Andrew Wiggins. 

Coupled with drafting Michael Carter Williams, the Sixers actually did a great job cutting the crap.

Toronto Raptors: Buy, now BUY

Let me preface this advice by saying this is my speculative, long-term hold.  Six years ago, the franchise looked to be turning a corner by winning their first division title.  Led by THE prototype of all raptors, Chris Bosh, Toronto looked to be destined as a playoff lock in the Eastern Conference for years to come.  Needless to say, shit hit the fan.  Bosh walked and joined the fools in Miami and the Raptors were stuck with Andrea Bargnani as the foundation of their franchise.  Uh oh.  But things have seemingly turned around lately. The collection of Rudy Gay, Demar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross might work.  Add in the fact that ownership pried Masai Ujiri away from Denver and something might be brewing north of the border.  Somebody’s got to have long-term success in this division… UPDATE: They’re getting rid of Barg! My buy recommendation last week still remains intact.

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