Post-game Reactions

This afternoon, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports broke the news that Jason Terry had come to terms on a deal with the Boston Celtics. Terry told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports that he will give the Mavericks a chance to match in the coming days, but ESPN is reporting that Dallas is unlikely to do so to maintain future cap flexibility. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what this deal would mean for Boston.

The Deal
Spears is reporting the deal for Terry will be for three years for the full Mid-Level exception, which starts at $5 million per year. No matter how you slice it, this is a good value signing for the Boston Celtics. Terry will turn 35 in September upon entering his 14th NBA season, but has shown very little sign of any kind of dropoff in recent years. He’s played at a high level on a very big stage (hello 2011 NBA Finals) and perhaps more importantly on an aging Celtics team, he is incredibly durable.

Terry missed only three games last year, has sat out just 16 games in his last five years combined, and perhaps most impressively has missed only 28 games in his entire regular season NBA career. Hell, that’s fewer games than Jermaine O’Neal missed last season. You can’t put a price on that kind of reliable health, something the C’s have struggled in finding in free agency over the last few years.

The potential signing of Terry, who is a top-3 shooting guard in this year’s market, is also the first time the Celtics have looked to address the offensive side of the ball with the MLE over the last four years. Here’s a look at those relatively swing-and-miss signings.

2008: Didn’t use MLE on new free agent
2009: Rasheed Wallace (3 years, retired after one year)
2010: Jermaine O’Neal (2 years)
2011: Chris Wilcox (1 year, mini MLE)

Whether it was Danny Ainge’s fault or not, those signings didn’t pan out for Boston, largely for health reasons. Thankfully, Terry is a guy you can count on to get on the floor and eat up 30 minutes a game and that’s incredibly valuable for this veteran squad. The great news is, he’ll do a lot more than just eat up minutes while he is out there.

An Offensive Upgrade

It has been a debilitating fall for the Celtics offense over the last four years of The Big Three era. Don’t take my word for it, check out the numbers.

Offensive Efficency
08-09: 110.5 (6th)
09-10: 107.7 (15th)
10-11: 106.2 (18th)
11-12: 101.0 (27th)

While the decline of The Big Three offensively has been a bit of a factor in this downward spiral, the lack of support from the Boston bench on the offensive end has been an even bigger detriment to the declining numbers.

Injuries, inconsistent shooting, and just a plain lack of talent have been the biggest culprits in the C’s struggles. Boston’s offense has floundered with the likes of Sheed, Jermaine O’Neal, Glen Davis, Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, Jeff Green, Marquis Daniels, and Nate Robinson, Eddie House, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Greg Stiemsma, and Shelden Williams playing sizable roles with this squad off the bench.

None of those guys I listed could be safely categorized as above-average offensive players while they have played in a Celtics uniform and that’s an overly kind assessment. Together they made up subpar offensive units that put too much onus on The Big Three and Rajon Rondo offensively.

That’s why Terry will be so welcome here. Unlike those guys, Terry is an above-average and consistent offensive player. He can handle the ball, play off pick-and-rolls, shoot it from anywhere on the floor and thrives on taking a lot of shots, something the second unit desperately needs.

Does he have his flaws? You bet. 43 percent shooting like he had last year isn’t great. However, he’s averaged 15 points per season every year since 2004, and is a career 38 percent 3-point shooter. Not Ray Allen good, as Hayes said, but nothing to sneeze at.

Bottom line, the C’s needed help desperately on the offensive end. The C’s tried to address this problem in 2011 with the Kendrick Perkins deal and we all saw how that turned out at the time.

With the resources they had available now, this is as good of a guy they could hope get to help them put more points on the board. That should be applauded. With Terry the offense, especially the end of game offense, should be much better.

What Terry’s Potential Signing Means For Ray Allen and Rest of C’s Free Agency

Now we get to the fun part of this scenario. As Doc Rivers and multiple NBA Insiders have been adamant about all along, Jason Terry tentatively agreeing to terms with Boston does not mean the end of Ray Allen here from the C’s perspective.

As we’ve discussed here before, C’s still have full bird rights on Allen, so them using the full MLE should have no affect on their ability on them bringing back Ray financially as long as they stay under the $74 million apron this year, a very doable scenario.

So now the question has to be, does Boston potentially signing Terry next week make Ray more or less likely to come back? That’s a fair question to ask, as Allen’s role could potentially be diminished minutes-wise but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for him. Allen has been overworked here in recent years, being forced to play 35+ minutes a game, which undoubtedly helped lead to his ankles breaking down again last season.

With Terry signed, Boston could theoretically re-insert Allen back into the starting five (especially if Bradley isn’t fully healthy at the start of the season from his shoulder surgeries) and still have some scoring pop off the bench.

The signing of Terry also makes Boston an even more viable championship contender for next season if Allen returns. A backcourt of Allen/Rondo/Terry/Bradley would rival any other team in the NBA right now as far as overall talent goes at the guard position. That’s a scary deep group and pretty fun to imagine.

Boston could also go with some fun 3-guard lineups as well, to help spread the minutes around and keep everyone happy, depending on what they do in the frontcourt over the rest of free agency. Plenty of possibilities for Doc here to dream about during the rest of the summer.

If Allen chooses not to return, C’s get a capable replacement with Terry, but their bench offense looks a bit less dangerous.

Just for fun, here’s a look at how a prospective C’s depth chart could conceivably look like if Allen returns:

PG: Rondo, Terry, Dooling (veteran’s min)
SG: Bradley, Allen, (Moore/Pietrus)
SF: Pierce, Green, (Daniels/Pavlovic/Joseph)
PF/C: Garnett, Sullinger, Johnson, Melo (Pick 2 of Steimsma/Wilcox/Bass)

That, my friends, is a pretty solid core and the math should work as well if Ray signs for $6 million, and Bass and Green sign in the 6-9 million range for the first year of their prospective deals. It will be tight to squeeze them all $74 million but Ainge, cap wizard Mike Zarren and the rest of the C’s front office would make it work. Otherwise, a sign-and-trade to receive an asset for Bass is also a possibility.

Even if Chicago was healthy, that squad would push them for the second-best team in the East in my opinion. Perhaps most importantly, this team would have depth, affording guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to play 25-30 minutes most games while allowing Boston to remain competitive (a la the San Antonio Spurs in the regular season) before the stakes pick up in May.

That’s a luxury Boston hasn’t been afforded for three-plus years now with this core. The reported future signing of Terry is a big step in the right direction to help with that issue, but if Allen comes back as well, watch out NBA. The Celtics would be back, and perhaps better than ever.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • The Cardinal

    This would be the first free agent signing since Rasheed that would really get me excited. If it happens, let's hope it goes better than with Rasheed.

    • Wes

      I doubt Terry will show up with man boobs

  • James Patrick

    Rasheed busted his ass for us. I got no problem with him and because of Rasheed, we almost won game 7 in 2010 even without Perk. JO was a terrible pick up from the get go. SO GLAD he's gone. I'm excited for Terry. He's got passion. I hope Ray returns but if he doesn't I feel a little better knowing Terry will be there.

    • tbunny

      Maybe he busted his ass eating twinkies but it wasn't on the court. At least not until the Magic series.

      • kg215

        Yup Rasheed played with a lot of heart, but he was really out of shape coming in, and even the playing himself into gameshape plan failed. Despite the conditioning issues Rasheed was big for us, but being out of shape either caused his back injury or made it much worse than it had to be. Healthy Rasheed and we would have got a 2nd ring for sure.

  • Vince

    I think Ray is leaving for a starting job.

    • High Rollers

      I think Ray is coming back to the Celtics.

      • James Patrick

        I think I don't know what to think about Ray. Clearly if his heart isn't in Boston, then oh well. We'll pay him the most. It's familiarity. He'll never win another title if he leaves Boston. His best shot is with us.

  • keltic

    Great post. d
    The difference between Ray and Terry is one is a shooter the other a scorer. Terry is a very good signing with or without Ray. I don't know how many times last year I would go crazy looking for someone on the second unit to create their own shot, well now we might be able to solve that problem.

    My only worry going forward is the need to address the rebounding issue. DA if you find a way to improve on that front, then I applaud you.

  • I really wanted OJ Mayo, the potential Terry signing pretty much ends that fantasy

    • Pauper

      OJ is talented but he's not talented enough for me to want a player who's only interested in himself, little about the team, and zero about winning championships.

    • John V

      Mayo will get more than the MLE from someone. The Celtics could have tried to sold him on taking a pay cut to play for Celtics glory, but he's young and I wouldn't blame him for not going for it. Besides which, Mayo apparently fancies himself a starting _point guard_ in the NBA, so slotting him in to a backup shooting guard role is a recipe for trouble.

    • kg215

      Mayo and his agent have insisted for now that they want more than the MLE. That is why Danny quit his pursuit of Mayo. Mayo is in that category of players that Ainge really likes/covets (Bradley, Jeff Green are 2 examples) where he is much higher on them than other teams/GMs.

      • sethesq

        Totally don't get people saying they wished we got Mayo. Yes, he's younger and more athletic than Terry, but Terry is still a better basketball player. In fact his numbers are slighlty better across the board. FG%, 3PT%, FT%, assists, even steals… As a proven winner who thrives under pressure and likes coming off the bench Terry is a better fit too. Sorry, but the fact that your own team that drafted you with the 3rd overall pick just 4 years ago won't even giver you a qualifying offer is a serious red flag. The guy has diva written all over him…

  • Russ

    With Terry on board we don't need Ray; besides, Ray's shooting was terrible in the playoffs (even his foul shooting dropped to 65%, which can't be blamed on his ankle). Use the money to sign a good big.

    • Pauper

      You need your legs to shoot free throws. Show me someone who stands upright and shoots only with his arms and wrist.

      • Anthony

        Agreed. Everyone knows you need you're legs for free throws and even if you have a set-shot.

    • Jim

      The reason why Ray had trouble shooting was his ankle. Believe me bone spurs are painful and you can bet Ray was playing in pain. Give him the chance to get healthy and you will see his magic once again.

  • High Rollers

    Great post indeed. Danny Ainge is finally getting to have some fun with his part of the process. It's been a while. Approximately five years.

  • High Rollers

    Who else thinks Ray is just doing his due diligence, doing a mean impression of his GM and will return to the Green for the best deal he can muster? Meanwhile, maybe he can do a little recon work while he is in Miami…

    Am I too hopeful?

    • kg215

      You probably are being too hopeful but I like your optimism. The reasons I think Ray is seriously considering leaving are: Danny offering Ray in trades for 3 years, potentially not getting along with Rondo, and losing his starting position when Bradley is fully healthy. Oh and 1 more, if he were to go to Miami he would be on the team that has the highest chance of winning it all next year.

      • High Rollers

        Ray has definitely been bothered by the constant trade baiting, for sure. I continue to doubt that Ray would leave the team because he and Rondo aren't best friends forever. Any team he ends up on he's going to play a number of games as a starter, not to mention he'll finish games more often than not because of the respect he commands for his offensive production. OKC shouldn't have been doubling James to begin with–I think they slept through our series of doubling Wade fairly successfully–so Ray shouldn't assume he can be Battier 2.0 next season for Miami. (Not to mention what do they do with Battier?) As for a second ring, I think it's a dead heat (pun very much intended if Ray picks Boston, perhaps even if he doesn't) between these two Eastern behemoths, one of which is coming in with the best single player in the league and the other which is closing in on a true variety of real talent (Rondo, Bradley, Paul, KG, Terry, Green, those talented if questioned rooks Sully and Melo, maybe Bass and/or Stiemboat, perhaps even Pietrus and Reverend Dooling). Ray doesn't give an edge to either squad by choosing one over the other because there are too many factors to winning it all. Boston has just as good a chance of winning it all next year whether Ray stays or goes. Danny must be enjoying that fact most of all.

        • High Rollers

          If I could pick, I'd have Rondo, AB, Paul, KG, Ray, Terry, Green, Sully, Melo, Pietrus, Dooling, at least two of the three of Bass, Stiemsma and Camby (Camby or Stiemsma + Bass S+T guy would work too), JJJ … and there's still room for one Moore, if he earns it. Maybe Joseph or some other guy steals that spot.

          Now that's a roster.

          • High Rollers

            Maybe good ol' Wilcox comes back for that last spot. I can see it.

          • High Rollers

            Think about it. All world point. Cold blooded SF. All world defensive presence who can get you points. All-time three point shooter. Fourth all-time three point shooter who's pretty darn good getting a shot off the dribble as well, especially in crunch-time. Young, athletic, newly-determined wing with length and some good instincts (Green, if he signs). A honey badger, best on-ball defender in the league. A bull of a rookie forward. A Stretch Armstrong of a rookie center. The energy and passion of Pietrus and Dooling. The frontline abilities of Stiemer and/or Bass and/or Camby and/or Wilcox and/or Player X (TBD). The potential still lurking in guys like Johnson and Moore (although I don't think people should assume either of them is another AB second year wunderkind). Kris Joseph and any other pure question mark the C's invite to the party early on. I'm too hopeful and too excited.

  • skeeds

    3 guard lineups is the key phrase here. To convince Ray to come back, after signing a guy who should (logically) take over his minutes, Doc and Ainge have some explaining to do.
    One suggestion is that Doc will be willing to play Green or PP at the 4, KG at the 5, and a combination of Rondo, Bradley, Terry and Ray at the backcourt. Smallball is a big concept lately, and this kind of small, fast lineups have given the C's some fantastic stretches, even with Pietrus instead of Terry in the mix.

    I do consider Terry an upgrade over Ray though, so not having him back isn't the worst thing that could happen…

    • lakershater13

      Not a bad idea with the small lineups considering last time the Cs won a championship they played Posey at the 4 a lot at the end of games when they closed out the games with KG at the 5. Green, Terry, Melo, and Bass might be able to take over the roles of Posey, House, Perk and Powe. I like the Celtics odds this year with depth. Something they havent had since 08 with Posey, House, Powe, Tony Allen, and PJ Brown. Guys like Big Baby, Rasheed, Nate, and MP have helped over the years but overall since 08 there really has been no depth. Had there been Cs may have had 3 titles in the Big 3 era.

      • Anthony

        It'll be more like JGreen takes the Posey role, Jet takes the Eddie/ Casell role, Sully takes the Powe role. Still need a reliable person for the PJ role.

        The Posey and PJ roles are the most critical and hardest to fill. Big Baby did his best to fill in for Powe and Nate did so sparingly in the Eddie/ Casell role. Tony Allen stepped in for Posey but didn't have the scoring or the excessive man-love hugs. Sheed did his part but unfrotunately it was at a time when he needed to fill in for both Perk and PJ.

        • skeeds

          It's clear that the frontline needs one more piece. And to make any significant move, we probably need to give up on Ray…
          Ainge can go conservative and just bring our guys back, Stiemsma and Wilcox, who could be just enough if Melo and Sully contribute.
          He can go all out and trade assets like Bass, a rookie and picks for a gamechanger, like Horford or JSmoove or Gasol, or any other top tier big. Then, we'll be looking at a 2008 scheme, with KG moving from the 4-5 with smaller lineups…
          And then there's the middle ground, where he might use the money he saves from Ray to snatch a good reserve. There's about 7-8 guys that would be a huge boost. Ilyasova, Chris Humphries, that kind of guys. It's the PJ Brown guy, but 4 years later, we need a beefed up version of that, especially through regular season…

  • Jon Mullen

    Love the terry signing. high energy gut, awesome 6th/7th man. hes a momentum guy who i think will shorten some of those 3rd quarter scoring droughts were used to

  • skeeds

    OW! DWill just tweeted he's staying in Brooklyn. I hope the Mavs don't snatch Terry out of our hands now!!!

    • JR99

      Yep… that was pretty much a foregone conclusion. He wasn't gonna pass up more money PLUS Johnson PLUS Howard probably making his way over there at some point to complete a pretty damn good Big 3….

      Apparently the Mavs have decided to let Jet walk. They must have their reasons. And it does seem like the Mavs, after they won the championship, just decided to let the whole thing fall apart. They let Tyson Chandler walk, they let Barea walk. Now they're letting Jet go. WTH? Something's going on in Dallas…. not that I really care or anything. Very happy just to get JT on our side.

      • Phil

        Its hard to criticize the Mavs too much; they were honest enough about their own team to admit that they were lucky to win the championship when they did. The Thunder, Spurs and Heat are all better than they were when they won, and keeping the same aging roster together wasn't going to win another one. The only way they could realistically win another title with Dirk was by adding someone like DWill or Howard.

        They struck out on Williams, but they did have a legit shot at getting him. They still have flexibility going forward, and that's what's really important. Howard's still out there, and he's not going to the Nets now. The Magic have no motivation to take the crappiest offer on the table to placate a guy who's twisting the knife in them. If Howard wants to play for the MLE, then maybe he can go to the Nets next year.

        • Phil

          Also, Hollinger's now pointing out that even that crappy offer from the Nets doesn't even work under the salary cap. They have too much money to absorb Dwight's contract and stay under the 74m line, and it gets worse once someone tries to sign Brook Lopez (which will happen.)

          Can't say I'm disappointed that Dwight's likely going to the west now. I really don't fear this Nets team very much. At least we get to enjoy the battle of the 8 seeds unfolding in New York 🙂

          • Anthony

            I like Bill Simmons' take on the possibility of Dwight going to the Nets. He basically said if the best deal ORL can get is from NJ, they should just keep Dwight out of spite and try to drain him mentally throughout the season the same way he has done to the entire organization and city of Orlando.

            Simmons also said the collective group of stars on the Nets is the least charimastic of any team in the NBA. LOL.

          • skeeds

            The way Howard has been acting lately, like a spoiled diva, I think it's only logical that he ends up with the Lakers. They tend to land the big guys anyway. If I'm Orlando I'd trade him straight up for Bynum, and be done with him.
            Weirdly, the Nets showed some professionalism with the situation. Even with Howard begging to be traded to them, they chose to make the moves that would bring their franchise player back, even if it meant taking over Johnson's huge contract, instead of waiting on Orlando. That's the kind of commitment that convinces a guy to stay with you. They might have lost Howard, but probably won DWill for the rest of his career.

  • The Cardinal

    Danny is doing a nice job of trying to balance the older guy/younger guy mix that will be needed to win #18. There's an added benefit if we snag a veteran center (be it Camby or someone else) to go along with KG – it allows the young bigs to develop without having to overly depend on youthful exuberance nightly.

  • John V

    I'm not really a fan of Terry's. Honestly, I can't think of anyone the Cs have acquired in the last five years that I've been less of a fan of.

    However, what do I know? 🙂 I was a huge fan of the Rasheed signing. I was a pretty big fan of the Jermaine O'Neal signing. I was happy to get Marbury, Nate Robinson, hell, even Troy Murphy. I thought Mikki Moore and Carlos Arroyo were good, low-cost pickups. The list goes on. Ugh.

    So, Brian is right. Terry is a known quantity, and a good enough guy. The whole idea of "KG and Doc and the rest of them have a strong enough culture to bring guys around" really hasn't worked so well. Better to get guys who come in with the right attitude.

    • Anthony

      Agree with the Sheed signing but JO? That was DA's worse move by far, I have to say. $6mil+ for a preseason MVP that couldn't stay healthy if his life depended on it. SMH

    • kg215

      Totally agree about the strong culture thing. For awhile we brought in guys that had problems on other teams or players that weren't all about winning. The logic was we have a great coach and great veteran leaders so our locker room is strong enough to take it. But guys like Marbury, Nate, Mikki Moore, and Glen Davis bring the team morale down. They wear out the team chemistry instead of building it up. They didn't always play hard or they messed around way too much. Marbury was actually the best behaved guy out of those 4, that is pretty sad actually. BBD and Nate drove me nuts because they never took things seriously.

  • John V

    I actually think this signing is an indication that Ainge thinks Ray Allen IS coming back… as a starter. We now have a guy who has a proven record of coming off the bench and scoring, and will be happy to continue doing it. So, Ray can go back in the starting lineup. I think we'd still have plenty of minutes with Rondo & AB on the floor together, but not at the beginnings of games.

    If so, this could stunt Bradley's growth a little, but not much.

    I could be wrong, Ray could still be gone. But I have the sense he's coming back to be a starter for two more years, and then to have #20 lifted up to the rafters (something which certainly won't happen if he bolts for Miami)

    • Big 4 fan

      I like your analyst and hope(PRAY) you are right!!!! I WANT RAY BACK!!!! COME HOME RAY RAY!!!!

  • JR99

    Small tweak to the list: Melo shouldn't even be on there, and if he is, then he's gotta be in the back of the bus. We can't rely on getting much from him at all in his first season.

    There's no logic to Ray leaving this team for either Heat or Clips. But if he does for some/any reason, that's ok. He can walk, we'll be fine.

  • Blake

    Great great post. I agree – what a coup for the Celtics. I think the most important number is 28: that's the number of games that Jason Terry has missed in his CAREER. He's been very consistent, scoring 16 points over his Mavs career (most of it off the bench) and most importantly, been very very healthy. For a C's team that needs an extra scoring punch off the bench and someone who can just show up throughout 82+ games, a great signing for a relatively low price. We wrote a little more here: http://thegreatmambino.blogspot.com/2012/07/insta

  • James

    Love the mix of veterans and young guys that DA has gone for this offseason, making Green and Bass (hoping he comes back) priorities as well as the older guys like KG and Ray. Throw in JET, AB, the first and second year guys and maybe Dooling/Pietrus if they come back and that's a championship potential group.

  • hansgruber

    I love this. This is one of those awesome deals that could get us back to the finals. Now if they sign Ray we are a legit threat again. However though, Ray, if you’re gonna leave us, please go to the Clippers instead. Not even because the clips are my number 2 team, I just couldn’t handle Ray in Miami.

  • thunderlizards

    If Melo or Sullinger can play 25 mins a night and give good D and rebounding I think we're in great shape

    • GGG

      I think that's a pretty big "IF", however I have hope

  • LACelticFan

    Jason Terry on why he will sign with Boston: “I just love that they have a championship pedigree. And I think their point guard (Rajon Rondo) is the best in the business at controlling both ends of the floor. And they’ve got Hall of Famers.’’

    Whether he is coming to play PG or SG, it is all good cuz he is one of the game best in the 4th quarter, giving us yet another option.

  • Kafel

    I like that addition even more if Ray Ray is back but what about some big bodies? I'm not sure if KG want's to play at 5 again so big man is what Celtics also need. Of course backourt of Rondo, Bradley, JET and Ray would be VERY nice.

  • Jarryd

    It's going to be interesting to see who doc is going to start at the 2? I would personally like to see Bradley start with terry playing the 6th man role.

  • Morheus

    This is not complete if Ray doesn’t resign here. Rondo/Ray/Terry/AB backcourt would be historically legendary.

    Actually, i think this is a good move to convince Ray to stay.

  • Morheus

    Oh and i don’t even want (and haven’t for a while now) Dwight anymore. I don’t know how any Celtics fan could either, guy is a total douche.

    My greatest pleasure along with beating the Lakers and the Heat is beating Dwight.

  • Brian

    Nice signing but we need a Center. I really thought Camby would be the MLE signing…. maybe Bass in a sign-and-trade for a C?

    • The Cardinal

      I suspect if they can't get Camby or some other really good defensive-first vet, they will concentrate on resigning Steimsma and maybe Sean Williams or Ryan Hollins and simply roll with that. That would beat over spending for ineffective, essentially washed-up bigs like JO, Mikki Moore, etc…

      Remember, all Doc needs from the young guys is for them to play hard in his defensive schemes and to rebound, and they'll get 8 or 10 mop-up points a night (a la Leon Powe back in the day). It's looking like some combo of Ray, Terry, Green, and Bass will be signed, and with the development of JaJuan and E'twan, they actually have the potential to generate more than enough scoring from the 2nd unit without an offensive minded center. Plus, I can see KG playing center with a second unit that goes small.

  • High Rollers

    Wasn’t Jet one of the guys with the these Celtics are just too old refrain last season? Guess seeing their postseason performance made him change his tune.

  • LACelticFan

    Looking like we can only keep two of the three: Bass, Steimsma, or Wilcox? And Sullinger will play more back up C than he will PF. And no chance for any other C out there.

  • koozius(Iran)

    Sign Ray & Bass and then trade them plus a future first round draft pick to Atlanta for J.Smith.
    We need a big man who can run with Rondo and who can rebound 8-9 a game.

  • sethesq

    I'd love to have Ray back if for no other reason than keeping him from Miami. Aren't we already over the cap (not the tax threshold- just the cap)? i.e. do we really have that money to shell out on someone else anyway? I'd offer him a starting role or a no-trade clause (at least for this season) if needed to get him. Man, I would love to get Ilyasova though…how can we make that happen???