The Celtics currently only have a few meager options remaining to improve their roster for the 2012-13 season and one of the more appealing ones was just crossed off the list, as Nenad Krstic re-signed with CSKA Moscow in Russia in a deal with no opt-out, according to Sportando.net
Center Nenad Krstic (28 years, 212 cm) signed new contract with CSKA until the end of 2013-14 season with club’s option for another year. Serbian National Team captain joined army men after 7 seasons in the NBA and he has become one of the team’s leaders. In the end of the season Krstic was chosen to the All-Euroleague First Team, he was named the Euroleague November MVP, Regular Season Game 9 MVP and Top 16 Game 3 MVP.
What does it mean for the C’s?
Probably not much. Although Krstic had opted out of his contract overseas at first, there were never any real signs Boston was interested in bringing him back, although since they had bird rights on him, they could pay him up to 7.5 million to re-sign him for this season if they had wanted.
So just what are the C’s left with it as their frontcourt options? Not much in appealing options sadly, beyond Chris Wilcox. Greg Stiemsma is in line for a $3 million dollar by offer (part of their mid-level exception in all likelihood) by Minnesota, according to reports. The C’s still have a bi-annual exception they can use, but they may need that to sign another shooting guard to replace the void created by Ray Allen’s departure and Avery Bradley’s shoulder injury which will force him to miss the first couple months of next season.
The tricky part now comes for Ainge in the sense of who gets the BAE out of his team’s own free agents. Who is a more worthy recipient of the BAE, Wilcox or someone like Mickael Pietrus? The acquisition of Courtney Lee by sign-and-trade would make Pietrus an afterthought, so it’s clear that’s the team’s first option right now, which would allow them to sign Wilcox for the exception. Whether they have enough to offer Lee in a sign-and-trade though is a whole other story I covered yesterday. That’s no sure thing.
Either way, it’s coming to the point where Ainge is going to have to get creative here. Before Allen skipped town, nearly everything was going right for this team in free agency (except the Jeff Green overpay). If Allen returned, the roster would have been deeper than ever, assuming Wilcox or another big signed for the BLE. Now though, there are two holes to fill and not a lot of capital to do it with.
Just for fun here’s what the updated depth chart looks like right now:
PG: Rondo, Moore, (if not traded/cut), OPEN (likely Keyon Dooling)
SG: Bradley, Terry, OPEN (candidates: Lee, Raja Bell, Pietrus)
SF: Pierce, Green, Kris Joseph
PF: Bass, Sullinger, Johnson
C: Garnett, Melo, OPEN, (candidates: Sean Williams, Wilcox)
How will Boston fill those holes? We’ll find out soon.