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I always consider Draft Day as the start of the new season ahead. It's the moment when some trades are made, the rookies fight for a spot in the team and all the rosters shake to make room for a new dream building itself strongly towards the following months. Personally, I welcome this season after the tough end of the last one. A new chapter is in front of us and I am eager to turn the first pages of this new book.

I ignore whether Danny Ainge has considered postponing his holidays to September or late August because he will surely have a busy month of July. If the Celtics were to play any game by next Thursday they would have no coach, no assistant coach and a complete guaranteed roster of 4 players, of which only 3 would be able to dress for the game. It sounds incredible, doesn't it? Only Rondo, Garnett, Davis and the injured Perkins have a guaranteed contract for next season (if I'm not wrong Gaffney and Lafayette's contracts are unguaranteed). This is the scenery at Danny Ainge's office right now. The Celtics building is right now based on the foundations of Rajon Rondo (thank goodness he got that extension last Fall), the last two years of Garnett's extension signed in 2007, and our two remaining big men's last years of contract with the green. Pretty much the future is only sure for Rajon Rondo at this moment, a sign that this team will be progressively built around him.

Let's explore the situation by focusing on the state of each position on the court:

1. POINT GUARD

Signed Players: Rajon Rondo
Rookies: Avery Bradley, Oliver Lafayette
Free Agents: Nate Robinson


We are talking theoretically about choosing the perfect back up for Rondo here. Rajon will play +36 minutes during the season and we need someone who can be reliable to give some rest to our star while he is not there: An energy guy that can distribute the ball, able to play D, with some athleticism and some scoring abilities. I bet this is the upgrade of our recent 19th draft pick, Bradley. We all wish it's true, but the Celtics need to think that it may not be so easy. Bradley can be Monta Ellis or Marcus Banks and the difference can be brutal down the stretch. Will it be enough to bring Lafayette in case Bradley doesn't succeed in his first year here? Do both need to learn and let Robinson play the backup minutes? Does Nate want to come here for less money that he'd get anywhere else and only play 12 minutes on a regular basis?

My take: Bradley will be signed and he will get all those minutes. Robinson will be gone and Lafayette's situation will be cleared by training camp in October.


2. SHOOTING GUARD

Signed Players: None
Free Agents:  Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Marquis Daniels


It all depends on the Allens in this spot since I believe Marquis is gone. The team wants Ray to continue but I am sure that Ray wants more years and a little more money than what Danny may have offered during the year. Maths and logics will have to be displayed on the chess table between Danny and Ray's agent. Regarding Tony I think that both parts will reach an agreement with much more ease.

Ainge may also (and he should) add more shooters to this position, particularly if Ray's contract negotiations drag. Bringing back Eddie House could be a solution, Eddie provides some shooting, energy and charisma to this team and could also play some PG minutes which would make Nate and Oliver expendable. Another option is to sign someone like JJ Redick, who received some interest from Danny last year (he offered JR Giddens' corpse I believe).

My take: Ray and Tony will be back, Marquis is gone, we get JJ


3. SMALL FORWARD

Signed Players: None
Rookies: Tony Gaffney
Free Agents: Paul Pierce*, Michael Finley



This position looks haunted right now. With Paul Pierce still having to meet with Ainge, there is basically nobody out there. Right now we have a rookie (Gaffney) who hasn't still worn the green and another one (Harangody) who I believe is more a PF in this moment. Whether or not he adapts to the 3 or he is left as a Big Baby's student is yet to be known. If a game was to be played next week, Gaffney would be our starting forward LOL

I think we surely need to add a big name here, specially if Paul decides to leave. Even if he stays (which I suppose it's the most logical choice for him and the team) we needed someone last year at this position ever since James Posey left. John Salmons could be that man, though we would possibly would have to spend the full MLE to entice him here. Another choice (and for the same price I guess) would be Mike Miller. Miller already played for Doc in Orlando so if Rivers stays he might be the right choice here. Signing him would also make the JJ/House idea useless, allowing management to concentrate on bringing a solid center instead

My take: Paul Pierce continues, we sign Salmons. Gaffney's situation is cleared by October, though I doubt he makes the final roster.

Edit: I forgot to mention Michael Finley's corpse. We soon knew why he was left go by Popovich. He had very little gas left in the tank when we signed him.


4. POWER FORWARD

Signed Players: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis
Rookies: Luke Harangody
Free Agents: Brian Scalabrine, Shelden Williams



This spot is the only one who is more or less assured right now. KG will be healthier next year and Big Baby has proven he can be a very good player in this league. As the situation stands now, they would have to share their time on the court since there is virtually no center in the team available now. Rookie Harangody seems a logical replacement for the other two 4's this team had last year. Shelden is gone after his play in the Finals and his lack of offensive IQ, whereas Scal will probably get an offer from the coaching staff unless he decides to retire in New Jersey or Philly as was rumored.

Adding an athletic PF like Ty Thomas would be huge too, but I imagine the team would like to address the Center situation instead

My take: Scal and Shelden are gone, Harangody is a pleasant surprise and becomes fan favorite.

5. CENTER

Signed Players: Kendrick Perkins
99% gone: Rasheed Wallace
Rookies: None
Free Agents: None



I am still waiting to see an official statement and quotes from Rasheed Wallace and his almost sure departure from the team. Last year he came with the hope of getting some minutes to help while KG's knee struggled to regain composure and to add some punch from the bench. This year he would be our starting C if he decided to continue. The Kendrick Perkins serious injury and the potential retirement of Sheed Wallace leaves the Celtics without a Center.

Obviously this is the position that management needs to address in the following days and weeks. Danny decided not do it through the draft picks so free agency and trade options will have to be explored. A guy like Tyson Chandler would be huge playing with an athletic freak like Rajon Rondo in the back court. We probably need another player too because we don't know how long will Perk be out and it would be safe to think that he won't be quite in shape until 2011. Brendan Haywood, Brad Miller and Shaquille O'Neal are other players that could help here on a limited time. I don't know which of them would appeal more to the team's management. Do we supply Sheed's locker room intensity and charisma with the big presence of Shaq? Do we replace Sheed's toughness with Miller's intensity (and nasty play)? Big questions to be answered here.

My take: Sheed retires, we make a trade for a center and we sign Miller or Shaq


So, that's more or less it. I have absolutely no idea of what will happen in the next weeks and how this team will be built for this season. All could depend on Doc's decision after the weekend. I believe the core of the team will remain (Pierce, Ray and Tony getting their contracts updated) and I hope Danny brings another shooter, a solid small forward and a couple of bigs for this team.

Bohemian 6/26/2010 04:17:00 AM Edit
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14 Responses so far.

  1. Jenda says:

    I've heard Ewing, David Robinson and Olajuwon were asked to join Boston Celtics roster.

  2. Bohemian says:

    LOL!!

    And PJ Brown may want to return in February too :D

  3. tb727 says:

    Shaq actually crossed my mind the other day Bohemian. Wonder how that would work...

  4. Bailey says:

    Apparently Bradley plays some SG as well and I think he would be an imporvement there over TA or Quis. Also, I think Scal returns as a coach next year, that'd be awesome.

  5. sonya says:

    at first thought, i think hell no, i don't want shaq in boston

    on second thought, i think how sweet it would be to have shaq here, go to the finals, beat the lakers and have shaq ask kobe how his ass taste, in person. that would be cool.

  6. Roswellsounds says:

    It would be interesting to see Brad Miller with the C´s. And Sheed? Maybe he is considering to stay, knowing thatt Perks willl be off for some months. I don´t know if Wallace is interested in being a starter in his 35s, but maybe he wants to roll this joint... Who knows with Sheed?

    Redick played a great series against Boston months ago. It was one of the few Magics who showed some backbone & courage. It would fit perfectly in the rooster. Good defender with a nice outside shoot...

  7. Anonymous says:

    i would like to se ray allen, paul pierce, KG, rondo and shaq as a staring line-up, jj redick,. joe johnson, eddie house brad miller and sheed as back-up line-up!!! but don't get rid off perkins that's the best center in the whole NBA and DOC don't leave the team just yet you steel young and one of the best coach in the league lets make it happen next year!!!!!!!!!!

  8. ThomasJ says:

    I could see offering the mid level to Redick especially if Ray is gone.

    If we need a washed up big man that bad, lets beg Sheed to give a half hearted regular season effort for another year. At least Sheed is entertaining.

    Please not Shaq's 400 lb corpse and I hated watching Miller way back in his Sac days when he was a useful cheap thug.

  9. JR says:

    Gotta agree with ThomasJ on Shaq. Whenever he was in the game for the Cavs it actually helped the opponent. He would go horribly with our best player (Rondo).

    I actually got in a big debate with some idiot last Summer that thought that a Shaq led team could win a title. There's a reason the Suns and then Cavs became worse teams when Shaq arrived and why the Heat and Suns improved after he left. He's washed up.

    I know people want him in Boston as a role player, but even if he could give you 10 points on offense, he'd be killing Rondo's game as well as giving up about 20 on defense. We don't need that lane clogging old fat man. Also, how many more poor FT shooters can we add?

    I also think we can do better than Brad Miller. If we are going to continue to rely on the Veteran Big 3, we need to surround them with younger more athletic players. There out there to be had. It will come down to how much Wyc wants to pay. For starters I'd trade 'Sheed's retiring contract for Michael Beasley. Considering Miami is desperate to move his cap #, we could also grab a future draft pick.

    I'd much rather go small with KG, Baby, and Beasley as our bigs (until Perk's return) then go immobile with Shaq/Miller, KG, and Baby).

    Beasley is a better player than he showed against us in the playoffs. There was a reason he played poorly. he had KG on him.

  10. Bohemian says:

    I kind of actually feel intrigued about adding guys like Miller and Shaq, although of course it wouldn't be enough to replace Sheed and Perk. I am referring more precisely to Sheed's replacement. Shaq would give us much personality and power among the refs, while adding some strength to our frontcourt while Miller would fit right away in our system: tough, plays good D and has a very nice shot. If you combine one of them with a young C or PF (Beasley for example) then you get the desired formula.

  11. Bohemian says:

    Check out what Bill Simmons predicts:

    "My prediction for the Celts off-season in 5 parts:

    1) Doc Rivers comes back and hires Lawrence Frank as his lead assistant.

    2) Pierce opts out, then Boston re-signs him for 3 yrs, $51 million with a smaller cap figure in 2010-11 ($17m instead of $21.5m)

    3) Knowing someone else is going to overpay Ray Allen, Celts make a July 1st play for JJ Redick (full midlevel exception: 5 yrs, $33m).

    4a) Celts shop Rasheed's '11 cap figure ($6.3m) for a big man from a team that needs cap/tax relief and can just buy out Sheed for 2-3m.

    4b) Possible candidates for a Sheed deal: Biedrins, Murphy, Chandler, Songalia, even (gulp) Eddy Curry (if NYC throws in an enticement).

    5) Kurt Thomas for the lower veteran's exemption. I'm just feeling it. So there you go. I'm on the record"

    http://twitter.com/sportsguy33

    Quite interesting if you ask me...

  12. Cromag says:

    IMO, core players will be coming back for one last run. Ray does not need the money so he will be offered an extension for much less than his original contract. Celtics will restructure PPs contract to maybe 10M/year for 4 years (I know 4 years is too long, but PP might take the Sheed route and retire before it expires). KG, Rondo and Perk will be back for sure. Perk will miss a good portion of the first half of the season and thats were DA will focus his wheeling and dealing on the trading and FA market.

    Please no more talks about acquiring aging players. We learned the hard way when Sheed and Finley ran out of gas during the Finals (Sheed asked to be taken out on game 7 and Finley just could not find his comfort level with the pace of the game). Shaq being a Celtics? The guy should have retired years ago. Miller is also ready to collect SS ( wasnt there a rumor that he was thinking of retiring last season).

    The obvious choice IMO is, Brendan Haywood who is a good blocker and a rebounder. Reports says that he is willing to take less than his FA market value to play for a contender. He might not be an offensive threat but so is Perk. No doubt he could step in and help out immediately, until Perk has fully recovered.

  13. Bohemian says:

    It seems the team is really considering Brad Miller:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=ApwNvnNUIZdgEE4fVs4Vqim8vLYF?slug=aw-bradmiller062710

  14. Anonymous says:

    i dont think we should sign shaq. he is old and he isnt good anymore. i am not saying that he is horrible but he isnt the same player as when he was younger.

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