Thursday, May 19, 2011

Offseason speculation

As the Eastern and Western Conference Finals go on, there's the offseason talk of who stays and who goes for the Boston Celtics. One thing for sure, retooling for another run at the 18th championship is not going to be easy as Julian Benbow reports.
This year’s draft class isn’t overflowing with game-changers. And the free agent class isn’t flooded with stars. And even if it were, with some $56 million tied up in Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics have only so much money to work with.

Retooling will take some creativity.

First, they’ll have to decide which of their seven free agents to bring back.

Jeff Green is the obvious investment. To get him, the team traded Kendrick Perkins, seeing value in the 24-year-old Green and his ability to play three positions, from the paint to the perimeter. But if anyone on the roster meets the job description in the Celtics’ current classified ad — young, athletic, salary negotiable — it’s Green, who was like a Christmas gift for Rondo, giving the point guard someone to run the floor with and throw lobs to.

Celtics president Danny Ainge said he intends to extend Green the $5.9 million qualifying offer before July 1.
I was impressed with Green when he was at Georgetown and even during the postseason this year. I hope Ainge does something with Green before the lockout starts. Get his contract in place ASAP.

There's also the Glen Davis factor. He wants to start. That's a problem. Right now, there are at least four starters, health pending, in Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett.
Glen Davis can test the waters as an unrestricted free agent. Ainge has said he wants to bring Davis back, and will judge him on his body of work over four years in Boston and not just a disappointing nine games this postseason.

Still, as soon as the Celtics were eliminated, Davis made it known he wants to be a starter (and haul in starter’s pay). Beyond that, his relationship with coach Doc Rivers is father-son at best and love-hate at worst. All those factors will play into his decision.
If Davis is a starter, it's because someone is injured. He likely won't start until someone retires.

Just look at the draft alone this summer. There are very few underclassmen in this year's draft that will have a nice NBA career. Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight are sure things. I don't know how Kyrie Irving will do. He only played in 11 games for Duke due to injury. Sure, he's a 6'2" point guard. But the number one prospect? I don't think so. In 3 games, he did score over 20 against solid opposition so maybe, there's a chance but I don't know. If Boston wants an NBA caliber player that will have a nice career, they ought to trade up or look to next year's draft when it is expected to be stacked.
It’s been a while since the Celtics have had to cash in with draft picks. Their starting lineup has been veterans-only territory since they assembled the Big Three. First-round picks Avery Bradley and J.R. Giddens have gotten their most minutes in the D-League.

When Ainge says that Bradley, the team’s first-round pick last season, would be a top-five pick this year, it’s a compliment, but it’s also a testament to the depth of this draft.

The Celtics have the 25th and 55th picks, and Ainge has been evaluating talent for weeks. With a 2012 lottery-protected pick from the Clippers, Ainge has a trade chip to work with should he decide to swing a deal.
The Boston Globe looks at Celtics players on the roster and what to do about the free agents. Personally I voted to keep Jeff Green, dump Carlos Arroyo, keep Glenn Davis, keep Nenad Krstic, dump Shaquille O'Neal, dump Troy Murphy, dump Sasha Pavlovic, keep Von Wafer, keep Delonte West, and not parting ways with the Big Four. Of the fans that have voted before me, what to do with Davis the most mixed emotions by far.

I liked Shaq in his prime, although it was hard on me as a Celtics fan to see him playing for the Lakers.

No comments: