Friday, May 31, 2013

Boston Celtics offseason wishlist: Pierce & KG edition

Boston Celtics build around Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett

I still believe that with the current core the Celtics can not contend for a title. I would not mind if the roster was shredded and restocked. It is very likely, however, that Danny Ainge decides to ride out the remaining two years of Kevin Garnett's contract.

Let's assume that Paul Pierce plays out the final year of his contract at $15,333,334. (If he does, I predict he will re-sign with us in 2014-2015 and finish his career as a Celtic.) The other guaranteed contracts belong to Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Jordan Crawford.

That's 11 players.

The Celtics also face decisions on the non-guaranteed contracts of Terrence Williams, Shavlik Randolph and DJ White. I like them all, but I would very much like to retain the active Randolph. He hustles and rebounds, and we need that.

That's 12.

For the three remaining roster spots (including the 16th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft), I would like for the Celtics to acquire A) a tough starting-quality big man, B) an active reserve big man and C) a reserve point guard.

Tough big man

Yes, Kevin Garnett is a Hall Of Fame big man. But his best years are clearly behind him, and his finesse-oriented game, though still effective, doesn't scare anyone. We need a big man who roams the paint, rebounds and blocks shots. This will allow Garnett to at least partially move back to power forward. The Celtics should take a look at Chris Kaman, or swing for the fences with Samuel Dalembert or RFA Nikola Pekovic.

Active reserve big man

We are so thin and pillow-soft in the post that our secondary goal is also a big man. It was painfully obvious how much we lacked height in 2012-2013. Some security wouldn't hurt. The Celtics will probably consider Chris Wilcox, but Ivan Johnson, Nazr Mohammed and Ronny Turiaf are also interesting options.

Reserve point guard

Four-time NBA All-Star and triple-double machine Rajon Rondo is our point guard for the foreseeable future (or, is he?). When he is on the bench and the Celtics need a playmaker, however, it is up to default point guards Jason Terry and Avery Bradley to create. Imagine if Danny recruited Chauncey Billups or Jannero Pargo, or if Darren Collison was brought aboard via some Ainge-like construction. I would definitely not mind giving up the 16th pick and some for that.

...

I am probably being ambitious with some of the names I'm throwing around, but none of the above players are big-time free agents and thus more or less realistic options. The Celtics have little wiggle room to operate with, but Danny Ainge is a creative man and we will surely need help if we want to optimize our chances with the current core in 2013-2014.

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