Monday, June 9, 2014

Boston Celtics offseason wishlist: treading water

Boston Celtics 2014 offseason
Standing ground
Just like last year, when Danny Ainge could either blow it up or give it one more go, the Boston Celtics have two options. They could use their young players, expirings and draft picks to make a splash, or they could add some pieces, "stink" for one more year, and then tap into their war chest of cap space to go after whoever they want next July.

Rajon Rondo wants to stay with the Celtics. The team offered him an extension. Let's assume that the 8-year veteran point guard still wears green and white next season. He is owed $13,000,000 in the last year of his contract. The other guaranteed contracts belong to Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Joel Anthony, Vitor FaveraniKelly Olynyk, and Jared Sullinger.

That's 8 players, owed a grand total of $43,150,000.

The salary cap is projected to be $63,200,000 in 2014-2015, a $5 million jump from 2013-2014.

The Celtics also face decisions on unrestricted free agents Avery Bradley, Jerryd Bayless and Kris Humphries, and the non-guaranteed contracts of Phil Pressey, Keith Bogans, Christapher Johnson and Chris Babb.

It would be reasonable for the Celtics to retain Avery Bradley (4 years, $28 million) and Jerryd Bayless (2 years, $3 million), and to pick up the modest $815,000 option for Phil Pressey.

That's 11. Owed $52,465,000. Leaving Danny Ainge $10,735,000 ($6,835,000 if we keep both of our draft selections) to hit the market with.

With four roster spots remaining, I would like the Celtics to add A) a young and athletic center, B) a potent back-up point guard, C) a sniper shooting guard, and D) a reserve center. Keep in mind: these signings won't make us contenders, they are only meant to make the team competitive enough to be entertaining, add pieces for the long run, and set the table for 2015-2016.

Young and athletic center

The pipe dream here is Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe. The 24-year old is probably too pricey for us, but with Ainge 'anything is possible'. If acquiring him meant giving up a pick or two, I'd be all for it. Monroe would be the perfect running mate for Rondo, running up and down the court, rebounding and blocking shots, and his presence would certainly help attract other free agents in 2015-2016. More realistic pieces are Cole Aldrich and Byron Mullens, who would come cheap.

Back-up point guard

Apparently, the Celtics are in love with Aaron Gordon. With Sullinger and Olynyk in place, though, I'd much rather go for Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart with the No. 6 pick. He's strong, he's big, and he could be groomed by Rondo.

Shooting guard

Some three-point shooting behind Avery Bradley and Jerryd Bayless would be nice. That's why Danny Ainge should probably take a closer look at low-profile marksmen Chris Douglas-Roberts (6-7), Anthony Morrow (6-5), and Kent Bazemore (6-5). All of them can stick a 3, opening up the floor for Rondo and our big men.

Reserve center

I would love for the Celtics to select high-motor big man Adreian Payne with the No. 17 pick. He's big, his wingspan is massive, and he can score and block shots. 
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Treading water for one more year is a sensible thing to do. Sure, we could unload the expiring contracts of Brandon Bass and Joel Anthony, but letting them come off the books in 2015, when we have a boatload of cap space, might actually be the right move. the Celtics should use 2014-2015 to audition some players on short-term contracts and develop their youngsters, and then make splashy moves. With Rondo, Bradley, Green, Monroe,  Sullinger, Olynyk, Smart and Payne in place, that should not be a difficult thing to do.

2 comments:

  1. This could be the wiser of solutions. Let the youngsters develop one more year, let Rondo help them get better, and sign some new pieces to keep the team from being too bad.

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  2. And think of all the cap space they at their disposal next summer! Another year of "getting by" would not be very entertaining to watch, but if we keep our eyes on the prize, I think this approach could be worth it!

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