The Boston Celtics, like most of the major sports teams in Boston, have a tradition of winning and excellence. Whenever they're not winning the NBA hurts for it as they're one of the league's bigger brands. Over the last decade, the Celtics have employed some great players and legends of the game.
In recent years the rebuild and free-agent signings have led to numerous disappointing seasons which is partially due to facing LeBron James in the Eastern Conference. Let's look at and rank the 10 best Boston Celtics of the last decade.
10 Jared Sullinger
For casual NBA fans, they may be scratching their head wondering who this is exactly. Well, for those unfamiliar Jared Sullinger was a rebounding machine out of Ohio State University and though his career lacked longevity he gave the Boston Celtics some solid years in a stronger way than Glen Davis ever did.
He played 4 seasons for the green and white and outside of his rookie season Sullinger averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds a game. Now, those numbers may not be mind-blowing, but at least he was consistent.
9 Jeff Green
Jeff Green's legacy in Boston may ultimately be that he was part of the deal that sent Ray Allen to the Celtics, but he managed to contribute some meaningful years to them after his stint in Oklahoma City.
During his 4 seasons with the Celtics Green's scoring average went up every year and saw it grow from 9.8 points per game in 2010 to 17.6 in 2014. He's played for several teams in his career and has managed to be a valuable role player for each of them. In one way or another, he helped the Boston Celtics more than people care to admit.
8 Jason Tatum
The great thing about Jayson Tatum is that though he's currently on the lower end of this list his talent can quickly vault him near the top. Consistency and confidence are what Tatum's game has been lacking, and it seems now that Kyrie Irving has now moved on the organization can re-position the promising forward as their core to success moving forward.
Tatum has all of the tools to become a perennial all-star and bring the Boston Celtics back to playoff prominence. The coming season is a proving year for the young forward.
7 Avery Bradley
Defense is often overlooked in the NBA in favor of dunks and 3-point shooting, but good consistent defenders are hard to come by and those who pull it off deserve credit. The belief is that defense is hard and takes effort, which is hard to get out of players who don't naturally want to be great defenders.
Luckily for the Boston Celtics Avery Bradley took it as a challenge and was their best defender for several years. To this day he's still one of the best defensive players in the league and will look to make a difference for the Los Angeles Lakers.
6 Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo has never been much of a scorer as his skill set has always allowed him to be one of the NBA's most pure point guards. He's cut from the older mold where the point would look to distribute the ball whereas the modern point needs to also be a threat scoring the ball as well.
Since leaving Boston in 2014 he's played for 5 teams in as many years but has remained fairly consistent statistically. He'll likely never be in the NBA Hall of Fame, but he gave the Boston Celtics some great years as their point guard.
5 Isaiah Thomas
If you're looking at a flash-in-the-pan that took the NBA world by storm, Isaiah Thomas was hard to miss in the 3 tremendous seasons he had as a Boston Celtic. In those 3 seasons, he averaged 23 points per game with his final season having him score a remarkable 29 points per game.
After suffering an unfortunate hip injury he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a move Thomas saw as a betrayal of the relationship he thought he cultivated with the organization. He's still vocally upset to this day about the trade.
4 Ray Allen
Ray Allen may go down as a Boston Celtics legend in many people's minds, but in the 4 seasons he played in the 2010s 3 were with the Celtics and the other 2 were with the Miami Heat where he won another championship alongside LeBron James and company.
Out of the two seasons this decade he suited up in the green he did manage to post his best field goal percentage of his career with an astounding 49% in 2010, as well as a career-high 45% from the 3-point line.
3 Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett was the epitome of toughness and intimidation in the NBA and was a force for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics. Once he joined the Celtics both his scoring and rebounding numbers took a slight hit as he was no longer the franchise centerpiece.
In his 3 years he played for the Celtics in the last decade he still managed to post 15 points and 8 rebounds a game while also turning in his best year from the free-throw line. He became a superstar in Minnesota, but an all-time great in Boston.
2 Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is one of the best players in the NBA and arguably the league's best point guard. Now, Boston Celtics fans may be upset that he's this high on the list with the way things ended, but he did give the franchise two great years of his prime.
His leadership skills seem to be non-existent and it's as if he never wanted to be in Boston, but in his two years sporting the green and white he averaged 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Fans will likely look to quickly forget the Kyrie era in Boston and who blames them?
1 Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce may now be a source jokes and memes as a questionable NBA analyst, but in the years that followed the Boston Celtics "Big Three" championship, he still managed to post consistent numbers for the team.
Interestingly enough he managed to average 18 points a game from 2010 to 2013. In the 4 years away from Boston his stats quickly deteriorated and he flamed out of the league. The Celtics have had a storied history of players and Paul Pierce belongs among them in the annals of franchise history.