Buzzworthy: Celtics at center of NBA noise

AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Enjoy this, Boston Celtics fans.

The past couple days have been downright intoxicating. Whether it's Danny Ainge publicly declaring his team's desire to move up in Thursday's draft or Isaiah Thomas telling DeMarcus Cousins he's wanted in Boston via Instagram or speculation that Boston will make a run at Kevin Love after he opted out of his contract in Cleveland, the Celtics have muscled their way into an awful lot of NBA buzz.

And this is exactly what the team desired when it hit the reset button two years ago with the draft-night blockbuster that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. With that swap, Boston began a quest to accumulate as many assets as possible to accelerate its return to contender status. Along the way, the Celtics put together an intriguing young core (albeit one that clearly needs more star power), confirmed it has one of the best young coaches in the league in Brad Stevens, and made a surprise playoff run that forced the rest of the league to take notice of what's bubbling in Boston.

The Celtics arrive at Thursday's draft with four picks -- Nos. 16, 28, 33 and 45 -- and a plethora of options. Ainge hasn't been bashful in his desire to move up with one or both of the team's first-round picks. He's admitted that even he has no idea exactly how draft night will play out. But the bevy of rumors surrounding his team in advance of the draft suggest that Ainge plans to be aggressive and pursue the sort of moves that can give Boston a gentle push (or a hard shove?) towards where they desire to go.

Here's the thing: The rumor mill will only intensify after the draft and won't slow down until mid July. If the Cousins and Love situations prove anything, it's that Boston -- with looming cap space, young talent and a ridiculous pile of future draft picks -- will interject itself into every conversation about an available player (regardless of whether it's via the trade or free-agency route).

There's been so many rumors and speculation the past 48 hours, it's hard for Celtics fans to keep up with it all. Amidst all the noise, they ought to savor the chaos.

It's been two decades since the team had honest-to-goodness cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent. Most Julys they've been hands-tied spectators while others made splashy offseason acquisitions (all while the Celtics settled for luring the best available veteran or reclamation project with the midlevel exception).

Now, all options are on the table. The Celtics have positioned themselves to be front and center in every rumor and all the speculation. That should make the next couple weeks wildly entertaining for Celtics fans, who should enjoy the experience because this is the fun part. Once Boston actually beefs up its roster, expectations elevate and there's pressure to show progress from the offseason moves.

So enjoy each time Thomas subtly (or not-so subtly) engages a top free-agent target on social media. Daydream about the possibilities when the Celtics are mentioned as suitors for All-Star talent like Cousins and Love. Enjoy the goosebumps when reports like one from Yahoo! Sports suggest that Pierce might consider a return if Boston added established talent like Love.

Remember, few expected Boston to be at this point this quickly. But the roster turnstile the past two seasons has put them in position to avoid the rebuilding treadmill that so many teams tend to get stuck on.

There's still plenty of work to be done to convince top-level talent to come to Boston, or persuade a rival to deliver a superstar in a swap. There's no guarantee everything will line up this year and Ainge must be patient in his quest to accelerate.

But the Celtics are going to be a big part of the NBA noise this offseason. Savor the experience.