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Exploring Free Agency Possibilities for the Celtics

The start of free agency has kicked off with minimal action for most teams around the league and that includes the Celtics. The team decided yesterday to bring back Avery Bradley, but there has been little other movement thus far for the front office beyond reportedly contacting up to 30 free agents, including guys like Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons and smaller fish such as Jordan Hill and Kent Bazemore.

What does this all mean? Boston is largely still exploring a wide range of scenarios in building their team this offseason. I take an in-depth look at some of the team’s options in a piece I wrote for Boston.com this morning. Here’s a sample of the possibilities:

PLAN A: Try to contend right away
Possible Scenario: Celtics trade Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, three future first round picks and cap filler to Minnesota for Kevin Martin and Kevin Love. Ainge then brings back Paul Pierce with the midlevel exception and signs veteran bigs (Elton Brand, Emeka Okafor) looking for playing time and a chance to contend.

Odds of Happening: Slim-to-none. The Wolves have not shown the inclination to move Love this summer without an exceptional offer and the Celtics already lost one of their best trade chips by using the No. 6 pick on Marcus Smart in the 2014 NBA Draft. Minnesota likely isn’t enamored with anything Boston has left to offer. With no other All-Stars (that we know of) on the trade block, the Celtics’ best chance of taking a big step forward this offseason came and went on draft night.

PLAN B: Aim to make the postseason while adding to a young roster
Possible scenario: The Celtics address their need for rim protection by gambling on adding a young center like Larry Sanders who is coming off a miserable season in Milwaukee. The Celtics could offer the Bucks to pick a couple options from Boston’s list of trade assets that include salary relief, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, and future first round picks.

From there, Boston adds another young piece or two (think a Hill or Bazemore type) with the midlevel exception, brings back Kris Humphries, and has a young roster that should contend for a playoff spot.

Odds of Happening: 30-40 Percent. I believe this kind of trade scenario involving Sanders or another emerging player like Hayward is Boston’s preferred plan (Hayward is reportedly being offered a max contract by the Cavs). It doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen, since it takes two teams to tango, and the Celtics won’t be desperate to make a trade for the sake of making a deal. Overpaying in a trade or in a big contract (for a player like Hayward) won’t help the building process. If the price is right though, Ainge will jump on it and speed up the rebuild process just a bit.

You can check out the full piece, which includes a couple other plan options (like trading Rondo) by clicking here.

  • Michelle Trybulec

    Random but connected thoughts:

    I’m a big fan of Robb’s Plan A. It’s slim-to-noneness feels true though.

    I wonder if Rondo and ‘Melo are texting each other about their inclinations.

    I have no doubt the Zen Master will be giving Pat Riley a run for his money in the salemanship department this afternoon.

    Do folks really think $ trumps all for Rondo and that he’ll end up in Sacramento? Maybe if Phil Jackson were running things in Sac. But he’s not.

    I think Rondo and ‘Melo would be Rondo and Pierce 2.0. It couldn’t hurt Fisher to have two clear captains on the floor. As long as they get along.

    I think Flip Saunders could eventually be looked at as having had a huge hand in giving the Knicks’ rebuild a jump on the Celtics. And in his life without Love at least he’ll have revenge for losing KG.

    I am very curious what route Pau Gasol goes.

    And I’m probably the only one thinking about this particular trio ending up together. It only comes off if Phil already has an idea of what would work in terms of the Boston side of things. I’ve enjoyed following the C’s immensely. I hope for great things for the Green and their current Captain. We’ll see what happens.

    I hope Ticket has a good year. Whatever he decides.

  • CP37

    What about executing a sign-and-trade for Parsons? What would we have to give up (except for Rondo) to get that done?

    • dasein

      We got nobody rockets want more than Parsons.

  • hax

    Our offseason in a nutshell


    • CP37

      Well free agency also is only 2 days old as well. Plenty of time left for those fireworks Wyc promised us, it’s just going to require a bit of patience :)

    • Michelle Trybulec

      The basketball gods giveth, and the basketball gods taketh away.

  • Keeper242

    Danny is ASLEEP again… WAKE him UP!!!!

  • hax

    Btw that Sanders trade proposal is on drugs.
    I’d give them the 76’ers 2015 1st rounder and bogans, no more!

    • CP37

      I would love for the C’s to get him, but with Kidd now in Milwaukee it might not happen. Remember that report that he wanted to swing Lopez for him?

    • dasein

      agreed. his value is in the tank. should start negotiations by trying to make Mil pay to ship him.

    • Ping

      Are you serious? Despite his previous season, Sanders was once the premier interior defender in the NBA.

      It’s going to take more than Anthony’s terrible deal, minimal cap space, and a couple 2nds to get him.

      • hax

        I don’t think it’s worth giving up a younger-higher upside Olynyk or Sullinger, or good 1st rounders.

        7.7 ppg
        7.2 rpg
        1.7 blkpg

        We can sign Steamer cheap without giving up anything and he could average those numbers.

        • Michelle Trybulec

          You really think Stiemer would average 7+ boards? Loved him but I have my doubts about that.

          • hax

            With starters minutes, sure why not :)

  • hax

    1) Summer League on NBA TV 11am EST this saturday. Go Smart, Young, Olynyk, and Pressey!

    2) Celtics ‘reached out’ to Humphries. It’s not that he didn’t play well, but we have so many PF’s!

  • Michelle Trybulec

    Seems to me Ohio’s Prodigal Son might be giving serious consideration to balling for his home state again soon. All he ever lacked up there (besides proper boundaries) was serious level talent in various positions surrounding him. It’s taking shape up there now with Irving, Wiggins, Griffin, Blatt and Lue. It’s beginning to look like Cleveland, perhaps to the Kid from Akron’s chagrin, is to James as San Antonio is to Duncan. Definitely has potential with all that youth and talent (plus picks and cap space and utterly ridiculous lottery luck) to be James’ career and title extender. File under odd but possibly true. I wonder if Varejao will be hosting the LBJ party at the World Cup Final . . .

    • Michelle Trybulec

      Aha… Anderson Varejao… World Cup “correspondent” for the NBA…


      I miss the dude’s play. Hard worker. Hope he’s back healthy next year.

      • Michelle Trybulec

        I just hope if James does return to the Cavs he isn’t tempted to declare it in two words. “I’m Back.”

        Or maybe I hope he does. Self-deprecation. A sense of history and irony. Although he might be better off just letting the media role play that one. It’s inevitable. Everybody still wants to be like Mike.

        • Michelle Trybulec

          LBJ (I can’t call him LJ, that was Grandmama Larry Johnson), should he return to wine and gold, should do another number update. I’d pick 27.

    • Rich Jensen

      Here’s the flip side of the “Cleveland didn’t surround LeBron with talent” narrative:

      When LeBron signed a 4 year contract with a player-out after three years, it was practically impossible for Ferry to sign free agents, as LeBron appeared to already have a foot out the door. Say it’s the summer of 2009, and you’re Ferry making calls to shooting guard free agents, who’s going to sign a 3 year contract if LeBron’s only going to be around for the first year of that contract?

      Ironically, this is the same situation that LeBron has just put Riley & Spoelstra in: Pat & Eric are busy trying to get quality free agents to take discounts of unspecified size in order to play with LeBron–except they can’t guarantee that LeBron is staying. Of course the added challenge the Miami brain trust has is that they can’t commit to any figures except the MLE and the BLE, because they don’t know what they’re going to be paying Bosh or Wade.

      And you can’t really blame LeBron for wanting to leave. He provided 30% of Miami’s points in this Finals, which is comparable to the 28% he kicked in vs. the Spurs in 2007.

      • Michelle Trybulec

        Good contract points, but I wasn’t accusing Cleveland of failing on the job. It’s just a fact that the crews James ran with back then didn’t have the talent and potential that it is in place now. While his demands are no doubt hamstringing the Heat, his old team seems to be in position to fit him in and utilize his “talents” more properly this time. At least that’s how it looks from the peanut gallery.

        • Michelle Trybulec

          I just want to see a Rondo team face off with a James team in the playoffs again while they’re still young. The last taste Rondo had of the playoffs? Game 7 of the ECF 2012 against Akron. He should be pretty thirsty.

  • hax

    James Young may not play today.
    He was in a car accident 2-3 weeks before the draft and has a sore neck. Hopefully he gets well soon, so we can see what we spent the 17th pick on :)