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Summers Of Danny: A Celtics Offseason Primer

This was probably not the environment Danny Ainge envisioned when he calculated same-day expirations for Ray Allen’s and Kevin Garnett’s contracts and refused to extend role players beyond the 2011-12 season.

As recently as last summer, expectations were that Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams would all be on the free agent market, but with both Howard and Paul choosing to opt-in for 2012-13, only Williams looms as a big prize, and he doesn’t play a position Boston is trying to fill.

Here’s a look at some of the key factors Ainge will be weighing as he navigates the offseason waters.

Goal vs. Goal

The Celtics might find the quickest path to another championship involves foregoing the moves needed to contend in 2012-13. Here’s why: shy of landing a franchise-changing superstar, Boston will be the darkest of horses for a title run next season.

Boston’s most competitive team probably involves returning the Big Four with some younger supporting players to reduce the burden they’ve had to carry the last few years. But the supplemental scoring talent, youth and athleticism this core needs to win a title might will almost certainly come at an overinflated cost (both dollars and years).

Here’s Wyc Grousbeck, from a WEEI interview on Friday:

“We want to stay competitive. We want to stay contenders if we possibly can, but we really want to get banner 18, and sometimes you need a lot of luck to get a banner, I can tell you that. But we will see how this plays out over the next couple of years.”

Read that again. He wants the Celtics to stay contenders but he also really wants banner 18. His phrasing suggests he isn’t sure the former is possible if the latter is the goal.

So, the question is how much of your future cap flexibility are you willing to sacrifice for a chance at a title next year, when your core is aging, injury prone and even playing at a high level, still several notches below the elite teams in the league?

That leads us to the first of two key free agents. Hit the jump for more.

The Return of Kevin Garnett

Garnett’s second half renaissance positions him as the first or second best free agent this summer, depending on how much you value his defense and Williams’ overall game.

(Williams is clearly the better long term bet but I make that comparison to be clear about how astonishing Garnett’s play was; it’s a dead heat if you’re looking for expected 2012-13 impact and the scales may actually tip in KG’s favor).

It seems unlikely Garnett will sign with any team but Boston, but it seems equally likely he won’t return unless Ainge can put together a stronger roster than we’ve seen the last two years.

Is it worth bringing KG back if the Celtics have to break the bank on role players just to make him happy? He’s still great and it’s easy to imagine his #5 hanging in the rafters once he retires, but he’s a core player only for another year or two. Ainge will remember that when he decides how much to wager around a KG-focused team.

Of course, if KG retires, you can expect a full rebuild, even if it’s on the fly, because without him, there is absolutely no chance of the Celtics knocking off Miami next season.

Uncle Jeff

Jeff Green is coming off a season he missed with a heart ailment. In his last healthy season, he was a massive, passive disappointment for the Celtics after being acquired for Kendrick Perkins. In years previous to that, OKC was better with him on the bench than on the court.

Despite all that, he still might find himself with multiple suitors who could drive his price up towards $7-10 million per year over 2-3 years. His agent, David Falk, was spinning hard for him in a recent conversation with SI’s Sam Amick:

Falk said the “life-changing experience” with Green’s heart is likely to change the way he plays, too.

“The only thing — in my opinion — that was holding him back before was his extreme unselfishness,” Falk said. “I think the medial situation won’t make him selfish, but it will just give him a much greater sense of urgency.

“He had something that he loves almost taken away from him. I truly believe that — more than any pep talk from (his former Georgetown) coach (John) Thompson or from (Celtics coach) Doc Rivers, I think that the experience will give him a much greater sense of urgency on the court. I think he’ll be better than ever, because I think he’ll be much more focused on getting the job done.”

Does Danny Ainge think Jeff Green is a core player or a role player?

My guess is it’s the latter, and he won’t gamble long money or years on him if someone else will. But if Green is looking to establish stronger market value on a one-year-deal, the Celtics may find a place for him in their rotation.

Dwight Howard

We’re deep enough into this piece we can indulge the crazy for a couple of paragraphs.

Ainge probably still thinks he can get Howard into a Celtics uniform. To that end, he wouldn’t hesitate to dump any player or asset for him. Howard has no apparent interest in Boston but he also has limited ability to force a trade and it appears Orlando will move him before enduring another year long soap opera.

Ainge could craft an enticing package built around players, picks and the ability to absorb contracts with cap space. A Boston offer may not be the best one the Magic can leverage from around the league but it would top anything Brooklyn, a Dwight-approved franchise, could put together.

You can probably let go of your dreams of Dwight in green but his availability is a good reminder of Ainge’s focus on acquiring top-level talent, and sacrificing short-term success if that’s needed to do it.

It’s this kind of thinking that has Ainge looking to move up in the draft for a singular great talent instead of two moderate ones. It’s also the thinking that kept Ainge from making any moves at the 2012 trade deadline. The Celtics might have gotten over the top against Miami had they not been sending out D-League backup centers or if they’d had a legitimate scoring option off the bench. But Ainge wasn’t willing to sacrifice the future for the present.

Replace “2012 Trade Deadline” with “2012-13 Season” and you have a sense of how things might play out this summer.


So, the Celtics enter the offseason with franchise-defining decisions to be made, unless they decide to defer those until the trade deadline or next summer, when a deeper pool of talent will be available and more teams will be feeling the crunch from the punitive new luxury tax.

If the Celtics start loading up on one-year-deals, it may play as an attempt to give a returning Garnett and Paul Pierce one more shot at a banner. But it might also be a stalling tactic.

If that’s the case, there are worse ways to spend next season than watching this same group of guys suit up in green one more time. Even if it, like the four previous seasons, ends without another banner.

  • Even after everything that reflected so poorly on Dwight this past year, and even though it's not going to happen, and even though it would be the worst free-throw shooting superstar tandem of all-time… I still found myself pausing during the D12 section of this to daydream about them becoming a modern day Cousy and Russell. Can't help it.

    "Read that again. He wants the Celtics to stay contenders but he also really wants banner 18. His phrasing suggests he isn’t sure the former is possible if the latter is the goal." = Best insight of the article, IMO. It's gonna be interesting!

  • Lantrell Walker

    With about $26,000,000 in cap space, DA's got a lot of flexibility and pull this offseason. Resign Jeff Green & Chris Wilcox, retain Stiemsma, bring back KG and Ray Allen(with a no-trade clause) and bring back the likes of Pietrus, Bass and Daniels while filling out the backup PG and PF/C positions through the upcoming draft. The C's have a chance to be a seriously deep team next season and provided they stay healthy, they'll be miles better than the hard-fighting team we all enjoyed this postseason. The C's can be like the Spurs next season(with a more superior defense of course), a classic engine in a new model car. The only issue for Danny is saving enough so that we can go after the likes of Josh Smith or Dwight Howard next summer, like I said he's got some serious wiggle room this summer but at the same time he's a little restricted. Ainge has always spent well in free agency, he's never given out any huge regrettable contracts, he's always played it smart with money and this summer will be no different.


  • Miggy_Miggz

    Not a fan of Howard after his soap opera; he wants no part of Boston, so I'm not really dying to acquire him. I always think it's risky putting all your hopes into acquiring free agents. Recently, star free agents rarely want to come to Boston. I mean, we're not really NY, LA, or Mia, and not that many players care about playing for tradition.

    With that said, our best hope is to get lucky in the draft and acquire some role players in free agency to accompany Rondo, KG, and Paul for one last run at #18 with these guys. Bring Bass back. Wouldn't mind seeing Dooling again. Must get a rebounder or two coming off the bench. Finally, get a combo 2/3 to spell Paul and whoever is playing at SG for us next year (hopefully Bradley makes a quick and problem free recovery).

  • yeah

    Don't want Dwight Howard at all.
    Well, the only way I would want him is if we could be the big 4 + him. And Avery. Because that team would be a defensive monster. But that's just impossible so no. No Howard.

  • High Rollers

    You really think Danny had better options at the deadline to put this team over the top but stopped short in order to preserve the future? That’s the oddest mix of cynical and naive I’ve ever encountered. I guess that’s what happens when you try to read the mind of Danny. All I know is, every time Danny comes close to being ready to fold ’em, this core raises the stakes and changes the game. That’s why we love ’em, and that’s why Danny’s still holding the same cards. At least until the Big Ticket has spoken.

  • Anthony

    Just out of curiosity I wonder if KG ever considered the Bulls as an options since Thibs is there and he's Chicago native. Obviously, getting him back is our #1 priority.

    Well Dwight "supposedly" cares about winning above all. Having said that, Rondo was arguably the 3rd best player this post-season (behind Lebron and Durant) and is the perfect PG to play with Dwight. Unfortunately it seems like playing in warm weather is more important to him.

    With the weak free-agency this year, I'm just afraid the JGreen and Bass might get offers that might not be so wise for the Celts to match. It's been too long since Celts are in this type of salary position and they just should be cautious with overspending on any free agents.

    Still a pipe dream but I was thinking the Celts can trade JGreen (sign and trade), JJJ, both 2012 first round picks, one 2013 second round pick, one 2014 second round pick for Dwight and Orlando's 2012 first round pick. As it stands now, Orlando doesn't have any 2nd round picks in 2013 or 2014 while the Celts have two 2nd round picks in each respective years. Or maybe swap JGreen and one of the 1st round pick for Josh Smith and Atlanta's 2nd round pick.

    PG – Rondo, ETwaun, (2nd Rounder)
    SG – AB, Lou Williams, (1st Rounder)
    SF – Pierce, Bass, MP
    PF – JSmith, JJJ, SWilliams
    C – KG, Stiemsma, (2nd Rounder)

    Salary estimate of the team above is roughly $67 mil.
    I'm sure DA will be making moves leading up to draft day.

  • Brian

    Danny will try to swing a big trade (Think he trys to move Pierce, Draft Picks), resign KG, Green, and Bass. Everything else he does will be secondary and related to how many of those moves he can pull off. Ray is gone.

    • Christian

      No way they get rid of Pierce

  • High Rollers

    This year is Danny’s first crack at having enough money for the “over-achieving” core AND for first-rate role players. Im pretty sure he didn’t believe that possible before. Now he’s on the hot seat to make it work. My guess is that’s the kind of hot seat he prefers. No excuses this time.

  • The Cardinal

    I can see bringing back Bass for 7 mil/3 years or 8 mil/2 years w/ last year player option, Wilcox for 3 mil/1 year, and Pietrus for 4 mil/ 2 year, and Sean Williams at 2.5 million/1 year. Green? Only if you get him for maybe 7.5 mil/1 year w/ player option.

    Then whether it's though the draft, free agency or trade, grab a legitimate backup point guard (no combo), a legitimate backup 3, and of course a PF and a center to go with JJJ, E'twan, AB, RR, and PP. If KG is willing to come back for 7 mil and you plan to keep PP, then forget Green – he hasn't shown enough before surgery to justify 9 or 10 million, and you sure as heck don't wanna spend that post-surgery.

    I'm a big fan of Ray, but unless Danny can pull a rabbit out of his hat and steal a top 50 big who's tough around the basket offensively, then I don't know whether you try to bring Ray back at 5 mil.. He's really finding it tough to get off his shot at this stage without a whole lotta double screens and an otherwise stagnating offense.

  • The Cardinal

    Top 5 big as opposed to "top 50 big" – my bad!

  • Batman

    I like the idea of making another run with some more youth
    This FA crop is garbage, and we should save our money for next season

    • janos

      hi batman is janos
      agree;oftentimed team determane spend money year X regardlest player avail list. is better take right player right year, his, then any player year team.

  • CG12

    Make no mistake, Danny's primary goal at this point is landing a major star for the post Big 3 era. Anything the team can accomplish in the meantime is gravy. As long as this core stays together and is relatively healthy, they will continue to have a puncher's (grinder's?) chance against most anyone. If they can get the right role players and flesh out a few weak spots, they will continue to be a top contender, while retaining the flexibility for a big, splashy move. They won't make any significant commitments this off-season, unless it is done as part of a plan for the long-term restructuring of the team. Danny Ainge earned the benefit of the doubt with me a long time ago. Many have been dubious at various points in recent seasons, but events have completely validated his inclination to continue to ride with this incarnation of the Celtics, without making any panic moves just for the sake of making moves. Stay the course, Danny.

  • CG12

    Theoretically, sure, it would be nice to have Dwight Howard. But I have no interest in him at the price he would command. He is obviously very talented, but I have never liked his game and his childish behavior last year just highlights that he doesn't have the mental make-up you want for a star and team leader. No thanks.

    • kg215

      Dwight's defense and rebounding have a huge impact on both ends of the floor, he uses his talent well. His offense is not exactly Shaq level, but is still good enough to attract double teams. Yes sometimes you can let a big guy (Perkins for example) guard him 1v1, but that strategy stopped working the past 2 seasons. Rondo should be the leader of this team if they play together, Rondo doesn't always get along with everyone but he will not back down and he is not afraid of telling it like it is, getting people in line, etc. So you don't have to worry about Dwight's lack of leadership, Rondo has gotten a lot more vocal and will only get more vocal in the future.

  • The Cardinal

    I like the idea of drafting and developing at least one C and one PF, signing or trading for a legitimate point guard like Andre Miller (but it doesn't have to be him specifically), stealing a big, good shooting 2 like Gerald Henderson, and signing or trading for a legitimate scoring 3 . As far as spending all the extra money on anyone not named Deron Williams or Dwight Howard – nope, uh uh.

  • W2.

    Everyone has a plan. I would love to see Kg and Bass come back. Maybe grab a guy like Sonny Weems if Lou Williams is out of our price range. Bring Keyon back to push Moore and get some maturity in the draft…..Jeff Taylor, Nicholson, and Quincy Acy. We hold onto two of our three current bigs (Hollins, Willaims, Steamer).



    JJJ?????? Not sure where he fits, but I hope he finds a way to prove that he does.
    Not sure we are better, but we would be younger and that would count for something.

  • High Rollers

    My biggest hope is that AB can still be as explosive after two shoulder surgeries. A lot hinges on Lego Man.

    • GowGow

      Tu siempre tirando la mala.

      Look for a boricua to translate that for me.

  • yeah

    Goran Dragic
    Shannon Brown
    Steve Novak
    Kris Humphries
    Spencer Hawes

    UFA's that really matter.

  • Phil

    I just really hope that the front office understands that there's worse things to do than roll over cap space. There's no faster way to a perennial bottom spot in the league than giving huge contracts to bad free agents like Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon just because you have money and they're there.

    Luckily, I don't think that'll happen. Ainge has been cautious enough about putting this team in long term hell that I can't see him breaking the bank for bad to mediocre players. As far as what that entails for next season, probably nothing good. You have hope as long as you keep flexibility though.

    • kg215

      +1 Joe Dumars should have been fired the minute he signed their contracts. Only GM who made bigger mistakes recently is Otis Smith who should have been fired years ago. I think Ainge is all about championships and you need stars to win championships. That is why he was willing to trade everything for CP3 and was keeping our cap space down when Dwight and CP3/Deron were supposed to hit the market. Definitely better to build through the draft than trade for guys that make 5-12 million but aren't stars. Expensive role players only make sense when you have 2+ legit stars to put them around.

      • zach

        That's a tough call. I would rather take the Pacer's approach (build a strong team) vs the Nets approach (sacrifice years of competitive teams at the outside chance of acquiring stars)

  • zach

    If you think you can be in the top 3 in the east next year, you have to try to do that vs. rolling the dice that you can rebuild through the draft or by saving up cap space for 2013. It could then take you years to get back to being a top 3 team in the east. Look at what happened this year (game 7 of ECF in what was supposed to be a down year). I don't agree with the mentality that either you are a championship contender or you rebuild. You build teams to win games pure and simple. No one can really say with certainty that this team can't compete next year with the right retooling. Don't sign guys to bad contracts but spend smartly and bring back KG. Rondo, KG, AB, PP, BB, are too good right now to throw away for the possibility of securing a higher pick or future cap space. If we do that we may not have 4 guys that good who complement each other so well for a long time.

  • ElRoz

    The writer of this piece asserted that even at their best, the big four cannot beat the best teams. Well, clearly Ray Allen and Bradley were not 100% or even playing, Wilcox was out and so was Green.

    GUESS WHAT? Are you ready to bet that at the end of the 2012 finals the Thunder will win more games against Miami than Boston? In other words, Boston might be the team that, in spite of injuries, put Miami to 7 games – Thunder look like they are ready to go down 4-1 or 4-2.

    • kg215

      1 Problem with this way of thinking, KG/Ray/Pierce will be 1 year older. As much as Rondo and Bradley have improved/can improve there is more talent decreasing than increasing unfortunately. We need more than a healthy Bradley and Ray+Green/Wilcox to beat the Heat next year. If we are lucky we could draft the right guys or JJJ/Moore can step up. Don't really see any free agents out there that can make us a contender.

  • ElRoz

    For 2012-2013 build around KG and Pierce (and Ray?) with the youth that you have – keep KG at low 20s min per game, Pierce at low 30s. A starting five of Rondo, Bradley, KG, Pierce(Green), Bass is not at all an "old" line up. The bench of Dooling, Moore, (Ray Allen?), Green/Pierce, Wilcox , Stiemsma, Johnson, Hollins is not a bad bench at all.

    If you need to sign a player to a 3-5 year deal – how about Kris Humphries? The guys a very good rebounder and can shoot the mid-range jumper.

    • Anthony

      It's not realistic to think the Celts have enough cap room to resign KG ($10-12 range), Green ($8-10), Bass ($6-7), Ray ($6-8), Wilcox ($3-4) and MP ($2-4).

      Really?? 3-5 yr contract for Humphries?? He's pretty solid player but just don't think he's worth the salary he commands. Man, I wish Kevin Love didn't re-sign with T-Wolves so he could sign with the Celts instead. He would've been perfect fit. Too bad… SMH.

  • ElRoz

    Oh, and Pietrus of course!

  • John V

    I think the whole "rebuild" idea is mostly nonsense. It's a response to a very unusual situation. When the Sonics knew they were drafting Kevin Durant (or Greg Oden), it made sense to clean house and start rebuilding around Durant. It also even made sense to essentially tank, to get a high draft pick the next year. Their plan went as well as could possibly have been expected. And still, they didn't make the NBA finals until year 5 of their plan. And it's looking like they won't win in year 5.

    If the Celtics were to decide that Rondo is our KD, tank 2012-2013, get our Westbrook, still suck in 2013-2014, get our Harden and Ibaka, be good in 2014-2015, and better in 2015-2016… well, Rondo will be 30 by then. And there's tons that can go wrong along the way.

    If you have a 19-year-old Kevin Durant, "rebuilding" makes sense. Also, if you are completely unable to attract free agents or keep most of your own players, it can make sense. Boston is in neither situation.

    Long-term flexibility is still important. I don't want to see the Cs lock up Jeff Green for 5 years or Ray Allen for 3. But with that caveat, I don't see any reason not to bring back the best team possible next year.

  • High Rollers

    Thumbs up to that, ElRoz. Though regarding the Thunder, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brooks takes a grit-and-balls page out of the Celtic handbook and finds a way to push the Heat to 7.

    • ElRoz

      Oh I hope so…I am cheering for the Thunder. I don't think LeBron is a bad guy, I have nothing against him – but the championship parade (smoke, fireworks, steam on the stage) the Heat had before the 2010-2011 season, and the boasting about "not one, not two, not three" championships – made me sick. So GO Thunder!

  • skeeds

    Whether it's now, or in 2 years when KG and PP will really retire, the C's will need a new plan.
    The C's need to fabricate a system that takes advantage of the best facilitator the game has seen, probably since Stockton, while constantly adjusting.

    Rondo is key to this. First of all, let's get one thing clear. Right now, you don't trade Rondo face up for Williams. Or CP3. Or Dwight. Or Wade. The kid had a historic year and an MVP caliber post season.
    He is probably just entering his prime.

    So going into a rebuilding plan now or in 2 years, is stupid. What the team has to do, is surround him with above average talent, that he can push to championship level. The last team that pulled the Mercurial PG+Gang of Misfits successfully might be Zeke's Pistons, but Kidd and Iverson would've also pulled it off, if they some decent teammates.
    If the Bulls, with an SG disguised as a PG in Rose, a carefully hand picked cast of nobodies, and Thibs, looked like the Championship Favorites through 2 seasons, then the C's with a purebred PG and Doc, can definitely be that.
    We keep saying, this season, that Bradley's one of the best at cutting to the basket. Bullshit. When Rondo's passing the ball, even Ray's a decent cutter. You bring in a guy like Iguadala, who really does cut through traffic like a train, and he'll be looking like air Jordan.

    • John V

      No, AB actually is a very good cutter. Ray isn't bad either — he just can't elevate. He used to be a much more complete player when he was younger, and his instincts are still there. How many cuts to the basket did Nate Robinson make when playing with Rondo? How about Tony Allen? There's a guy who should be _great_ at cutting to the basket, but he just didn't do it. You're selling AB short.

      You're also selling the Bulls talent short. I hate Joaquim Noah, which is an indication of how good he is. Deng is very good. Boozer is much-maligned, but scores and rebounds. Taj Gibson is awesome. Asik is an amazing anchor on defense. Korver is a fantastic shooter and always competes hard. Any of those guys, save for Boozer, would be great on the Celtics.

      I do really like Iguadala, but he's more of a 3 than a 2, and he's expensive.

      • skeeds

        I might exaggerate a bit to prove my point. Yeah, Bradley is a good cutter. But Bass, for example, is no dunker. And he got 2, open, 2 handed dunks a game in the playoffs only because of Rondo.

        And I don't think the Bulls are not talented. I said they're nobodies. Huge difference. The fact that they have no one except Rose you could call a star, (even Deng is a stretch) yet they click so well they even win without their superstar, is admirable.

        In the grand scheme of championship strategies, you have super star trios, you have dynamic duos, you have young talent+experience, and you have those few instances of teams that have one top 10 player, and a collection of roleplayers, none of which is no Scottie Pippen or Manu Ginobili, but that somehow click perfectly.
        I sincerely wish that Ainge can get together a group of "nobodies" as great as the Bulls managed to do. Wouldn't mind if we stole Korver and Asik from them either.

  • John V

    Cs may pursue restricted FA Omer Asik http://tinyurl.com/7nerfvp

    I think it's good but are Cs projecting him as a starter?? His offensive limitations are pretty severe.

    Interesting comment there that KG doesn't want to return "as a center".

    Getting Asik makes Cs stronger, also makes Bulls weaker.

    • skeeds

      Nooo, Asik is nowhere near starter level yet. He's as good a backup center as you can get though. And he's seriously good on defense. Thibs taught that kid how to defend the pick and roll, that's for sure.

      I saw that comment about KG. I find it hard to believe. Yeah, getting a good rebounder to take some of the load, and having a banger like Wilcox to take some of the burden of guarding a beast like Dwight is essential, but let's not forget that whether he liked it or not, KG had his own private little party every night playing center against anyone else. I bet he changed his mind about playing center after he averaged 20-10 and was a plus-gazillion in the playoffs.

      • John V

        I think it's clears he identifies as a PF. He declared himself 6'11" seventeen years ago, because he didn't want to be a seven-footer. Maybe he wants someone else to start at C, so at least he can be announced as a forward before the games.

        I'm a proponent of the McHale / Ginobili / Harden model: you don't necessarily start your five best players. I'd be ok with Asik starting games, but, particularly with his free throw shooting, he really shouldn't be finishing them.

        • skeeds

          I don't know if KG would be very good on a McHale role… Those guys you have there, have one thing in common. They're (were) some of the best at creating their own shot. So you throw them in at any time and situation and they'll give you tons of points.

          Which is the perfect job for another guy we have. Pierce fits into that Jason Terry-Harden-Ginobili mold excellently. Great range shooter, lethal 1-1 game, way above average passer.
          If Green makes a splash this year at the 3, moving PP to the bench might be fantastic!

          As for KG, that strict timetable Doc drew up for him this season seemed to work wonders. He's more productive in spurts. So more intermissions is what he'll need. Starting or not shouldn't be a factor…

  • John V

    I'm really losing interest in Jeff Green. His agent says he's freaky athletic and can play two positions. Well, no. Actually, his lack of athleticism is one of his bigger problems, and while it's true the Thunder _tried_ to play him at PF, he sucked there. He is a 3 who is good on defense, competent on offense, and young enough to improve. But I see him as a role player.

    Maybe he can be used in a sign-and-trade.

    • yeah

      If anything I think we should sign Jeff Green just because he would be the most solid trade-chip that people would have little emotional attachment to that we'll ever have. That, and yeah, he could improve. But even if he didn't improve, he would be so, so, dispensable.

    • The Cardinal

      Agreed. At best, Green might help as a decent backup to Pierce if we can get a decent big through the draft and commit to developing someone like Sean Williams, Greg Steimsma, or Ryan Hollins (I think that a dedicated "bigs" coach along with a focused summer league program of playing in Celtic schemes could actually turn Hollins into a serviceable center over the summer, but I'm probably in the minority in believing this. With the right coaching oversight, I project him as a poor man's JaVale McGhee in a couple of years!).

      Otherwise, if the thinking is to play him extended minutes at the "4," I think we should pass. Also, any deal that pays him more than 7 or 8 million shouldn't even be considered.

      • noche

        Sorry but how is a poor mans javale McGee a good thing?

        • Ryan DeGama

          I would aspire to landing a smart man's JaVale McGee.

  • GreenM&M

    Considering how bad the FA market is in the next 2 years rebuilding will have to be through pics. That means a lot of LOSING. And even then its a crap shoot. You have to win the lottery. And then make a good pick. Remember: for every Durant there is a Kwame Brown.

  • James Patrick


    Try and sign KG, Ray and Green all to one year deals. Maybe even two year deals, second year options.


    • iceman

      That would be awesome, but it's a pipe dream. Allen is going to have a number of multi-year offers from teams like Miami and the Clippers. Green will definitely have teams will to take a gambling on him with a muti-year contract, especially with the availability of the amnesty clause. If a team signs him to some monster contract and he underperforms, they can just wipe him off. I think KG would accept a two year deal, but you have to think about the money. KG wants to come back, but he's still too proud of a player to accept anything less than what he thinks he is worth. So if people are thinking we can get him for 5 mil per year, then they're dreaming. Most likely, KG will be looking for something along the lines of at least 10-12 million per year for two years. They can't afford to sign those three guys. If they're lucky, they'll be able to sign one without crippling themselves financially for the next few years. In my opinion, Allen and Green are as good as gone because they'll have way better offers on the open market. It pains me to say this. I'm such a killjoy. I just don't think there's any way to have all those guys. I haven't completely given up hope, but I'm just being realistic.

      • John V

        Amnesty clause would not apply to Green. It only applies to a player who was on the team's roster at the time the lockout was resolved. And it has to be the same team. And each team only gets one.

        No offense, but I think your insights on how much money Kevin Garnett would be willing to sign for are pretty baseless. You have no idea what's inside his head.

        I don't think you're trying to be realistic. I think you're being quite pessimistic, because you don't want to be disappointed. But there's still a lot to unfold. We don't know yet what's realistic.

  • iceman

    We're heading for a full rebuild. KG and Jeff Green won't be back. I don't think Danny will sign Bass either because he'll mostly likely want something in the neighborhood of 5 years/40 million. Given his inconsistency, he's not worth it. Expect the C's to be a fringe playoff team, at best, for the next few years unless Danny can swing a few clever trades (which wouldn't surprise us one bit).

    • sethesq

      A full rebuild? With arguably the best PG in the game? I don't think so. And I don't know about Green either, but why won't KG be back? I fully expect him to be unless he retires, which would be a shock coming off his best season in years where he was perhaps the biggest game changer in the entire playoffs. He loves it here, and Danny will resign him.

  • Kafel

    And what about Brook Lopez? I think that he is better than Hibbert and would be great fit at C.
    Jeff Green is maybe not really what Ainge hoped he would be BUT there is no better player than him at SF in this year FA so I say get him. He still has room to improve and i think he will.
    And if Ray won't stay or want to much than there are players like Goran Dragic, Eric Gordon or Courtney Lee. There are two things that we need to win it all next year ( in my opinion ): get a little younger, athletic and boost our offense.

    • noche

      I think Brook Lopez would absolutely be the best available player the Celtics could land. Unfortunately the rumor is the Nets want to resign him either as the Center of their future or as a trade chip to help land Dwight. Kind of in the same boat as Hibbert.

      I think in order to win next year we need a consistent presence down low to bang with KG. If Ray doesn't come back we might have the cap room to throw something at Gordon but I don't know if we can afford him and filling out the roster. I don't know if you all have seen him play, but Gordon is a beast and would take a ton of scoring pressure off of Pierce and Rondo.

      • skeeds

        I'd go for Brook without even thinking about it, even though a foot fracture on a 7footer is alarming.
        But a center that has the moves? You cannot teach that, (Dwight's been trying for years). Great hands too. Can't teach that either.

        Gordon could be an awesome catch, IF Bradley hadn't arrived. Ainge will definitely explore the option of getting Gordon and using Avery as a trade chip, but I think both he and Doc like him too much, and they definitely don't need both…

  • W2.

    I want this kid in the second round….

  • Justin

    Listen Guys I’m A True Celtics Fan To My Heart And I Was Crushed When They Got Cheated Out Of Going To The NBA Finals A Team Who Started Off 15-17 Everyone Counted Us Out From The Start Just Like They Will Next Season It Was All About Miami And Chicago Then When Chicago Went Down Due To Injuries It Was All About Miami That’s The Only Team They Thought Could Give Miami Problems Was The Bulls Then When Boston Took Them To 7 Games They Couldn’t Believe It The Second Half Of The Season And The Playoffs Was Huge For Us For A Team Who Wasn’t Suppose To Make It That Far But Anyways You Guys Are Saying Bring Everyone Back Well What About Ray Allen You Guys Forget He’s The Best Shooter In The NBA He Was Hurt When He Was Healthy He Was A Beast But I Say Ainge Should Bring Back KG Ray Bass And The Steamer Wilcox MP Dooling Those Guys Were Good When Healthy That’s Been Our Only Issue Is Health Not Age As For Dwight Howard Guys We Can Keep Dreaming He Has Shown Interest In Us Cause We Are Winners And We Have The Best Coach In The NBA In Doc Rivers Ppl May Not Wanna Play For Boston Cause Of The Cold Wheather But When They See A Coach Like Doc And 17 Banners Loyal Fans Why Not Boston The Media Wants To See Howard With The Nets Dallas Or Lakers Cause They Know If Dwight Came To Bean Town With KG Ray Rondo And Pierce We Would Be The Best Team In The NBA And They Don’t Want That They Wanna Keep Boston In The Background So Miami And Chicago Can Run The East So If D12 Wants To Be A Celtic With The Big 4 I’m For It As Long As He’s Not Too Expensive But I Say Wait On Him Get Some Other Ppl Like Kris Humphres Shannon Brown Jason Terry Chris Kaman It Is Some Good Ppl In The FA Talent This Year Not No Star Power But We Don’t Need A Bunch Of Stars That’s How Ego’s Get In The Way Look At Miami But Boston Major Issues Is Rebounding And Consistant Bench Production So If We Can Get A Good Big Man Like Chris Kaman Roy Hibbert Kris Humphres D12 To Play With KG We Will Be Fine On The Front Court And Then Get Shannon Brown Jason Terry JR Smith To Play With Dooling Ray Allen The Steamer Hopefully Austin Rivers Doc’s Son We Will Be Back Next Year Way Better We Just Another Big Man Or 2 And Some Offensive Weapons On The Bench With A Healthy Ray Bradley KG Pierce Wilcox And Rondo We Will Be In The NBA Finals Next Year Trust Me Oh Yeah I Forgot Bring Back Brandon Bass He Was A Huge Upgrade From Big Baby And His Chemistry With Rondo Is Dope He’s A Good Dude And He Has A Good Attitude He Does Whatever Doc And Rondo Tells Him Too.

  • GreenM&M

    What about JJ Hickson? If we sign KG, we'll need a solid big so that we can give him plenty of rest in the regular season. I think Hickson would be really good running the floor with Rondo.

    He doesn't have the greatest hands but he is a very strong finisher. He ould be very good with RR giving him the ball in the right places. (Kind of like Wilcox – but a big upgrade). He'd need to improve his D quite a bit. But KG is such a great coach. Look at how much Bass has improved under his wing.

    • W2.

      I like Hickson as a finisher in transition, but the dude struggles defensively. That might not be a great fit with KG and the crew.

    • LACelticFan

      Why spend money on Hickson when Johnson is sitting on the bench. Better defensive player and shooter. Johnson is still on the rookie contract.

      • GreenM&M

        No guarantee JaJuan will be ready. I mean we played Hollins in front of him for Christ's sake! I'm 100% positive Hickson would have been our first big off the bench had we been able to snag him this year.

        • John V

          Given Doc's comment on Andre Blatche, I'm not so sure you're right about that.

  • hanif

    i think celtics should really go after dwight howard he would probably bring banner 18 he would really fit i say you do a carmelo give uhp your whole bench but keep pertrus nd jeff green a build a bench with your 2 draft picks nd nd try to resign brandon bass that will be a nice team

  • sightline

    Only 2 things will get the C's past the heat. A great team or a champion player. C's probably cant get a No#2 that is better than LBJ, so lets focus on No#1. We had a good team surrounding the core, but we missed some quality free agents. Look at San Antonio, great depth and quality bench players. We need to get good second and third tier players and try and outplay the Heat, find a quality second line up that can force pressure on the Miami second unit. As well as the C's did with free agents, it was more down to Doc and the big 4 than the guys being quality second tier players. Think of Jamal Crawford running the second team offense. OK, so money was an issue last season, and it will be again this season even without the big contracts we only have 27m to play with and 5, yes 5, players on the books. So 27m into 7 players is around 4m per player. A good free agent signing, say 10-12m, leaves 15-17m for 6 players, around 2.5m each. So we get KG for x, Green for y and some other of the teams free agents and most of the cap space is gone. The only chance we have is to appeal to quality free agents, without a history of injury or being too old. Good luck DA.

  • felix

    i do not ever want Josh Smith on any celtic team. I know he's talented but i have been spoiled with a celtics team that features kevin garnett. I don't want immature athletes with tons of talent which they never turn into anything other than a fat salary! this is why we should appreciate this team with jesus, kevin and paul so much – it's the attitude.
    greetings from rainy switzerland!