So the Chris Paul trade speculation is over, for now anyway.We’ll have plenty more on the hysteria around the non-deal, but for now, believe it or not Celtics training camp starts today. To give you a sense of just how hectic things are in Waltham right now, the C’s still don’t know exactly what time training camp will begin today, understandable given they don’t know what nearly half of their roster will look like.
They started to fill those openings yesterday with the acquisition of Keyon Dooling from Milwaukee for a second round pick. The C’s were able to make this trade using part of the trade exception gained in dealing Marquis Daniels to Sacramento last February for a second round pick after his neck injury. We’ll have a more extensive profile on Dooling here at CelticsHub later today
Daniels is also reportedly due to sign a contract today, as first reported by Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe earlier this week. With those moves in mind, here’s what we know about the C’s training camp roster as of now:
Gilbert Brown (50/50 to make roster?)
The Celtics also sent out a number of training camp invites yesterday in addition to Brown in the midst of mass hysteria. These guys will likely compete for one final spot on the roster, or maybe none at all, but will give the team at least another bodies to run five-on-five during the early stages of training camp. Here’s a list of those players, all in the big men mold which includes, old friend Michael Sweetney (PF), Jamal Sampson (PF/C) and Greg Stiemsma (C) according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
That leaves the C’s in wait-and-see mode with a number of their own free agents, while they also try to bring in some guys at the veteran’s minimum. Here’s a quick rundown of what we can expect from those guys, and a prediction.
Jeff Green – restricted free agent - Green has been offered a one year qualify offer of nearly six million dollars. Green’s agent has essentially committed him to playing for the C’s this year (or allowing the team to sign and trade him). Green obviously wants the security of a long-term deal but that’s not likely to happen, given his performance last year and the team wanting cap flexibility next summer. Green will be back on the one-year deal, and will spend the year trying to build up his market value.
Glen Davis – unrestricted free agent – The team ideally would want to move on from Davis’ but their lack of salary resources due to the new CBA makes bringing him back a necessity. The team will gauge the market on him and reported interest from the Pistons, Hornets and Magic, but likely will match or slightly best any offer Davis receives in order to maintain their best big off the bench. In lieu of him being used in a sign and trade, Big Baby will be back, as long as the numbers aren’t absurdly high.
Delonte West – unrestricted free agent - West is the most intriguing name on this list. The team desperately needs him back, but the problem is they don’t have bird rights on him as he was just sign to a one-year veteran’s minimum deal last season. That means the C’s only have three millions dollars (mini mid-level exception) to offer West. They can offer slight raises of that number over a multi-year deal, but no more than that for West.
It’s been widely reported that the LA Lakers and Dallas Mavericks are also contenders for West, and with both teams like offering similar deals (they are both over the cap), it will come down to who West is most comfortable signing with. Dooling was probably brought in for some insurance in case West does not re-sign, even though he will get playing time either way. West is a true bargain for 3 million dollars however, and given the continuity factor, you would hope Danny, Doc and company are putting on the full court press to bring D West back. With former coach Mike Brown recruiting Delonte from LA though, I’d put the C’s chances of retaining him no higher than 50/50.
Von Wafer- No reported contact from C’s, rumors indicate he may be hooking up with former coach Rick Adelman in Minnesota.
Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic, Carlos Arroyo, et all - See you later, although I wouldn’t mind bringing Arroyo back for some additional point guard help/insurance.
Other Free Agent Possibilities.
This is where it is time for some important clarifications about what the Celtics can do. The C’s have contacted a variety of options on the market from Kwame Brown, to Anthony Parker and everyone in between who could be potentially had at a affordable salary number (3 million). Here comes the big problem though.
If the Celtics re-sign West, they will only have the veteran’s minimum to spend on remainder of their free agents (except those with Bird Rights). What does this mean? Kwame, Parker, and company are not realistic possibilities for the C’s for that kind of money. Those guys have earned themselves at least a couple million dollars on the open market, so it’s unlikely they will settle for less for just an outside shot at a Championship with Boston.
This means of course that Boston has to settle for the bargain basement bin free agents to fill the remainder of the roster. Think Leon Powe’s (who has conflicting reports of interest/non-interest from C’s via CSNNE.com (yes) and Boston Herald (no)), or over-the-hill veteran big men that could give the C’s a few extra minutes in a pinch. You can count on some veteran size being brought in (beyond what’s invited to training camp already) but other than that, and perhaps another shooter or two, that will be it, barring some major wheeling and dealing. Slim pickings indeed unless Danny can work some magic.
We obviously will have a better idea of how this will all shake out by around late afternoon time, but for now a lot of the C’s roster is just as unsettled as it was last June. And we haven’t even gotten into the damage control the team will have to do surrounding the CP3/Rondo rumors the past couple weeks.
Should be a fun December! Aren’t you glad the NBA is back?