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As a Celtic fan, I can't fault people for looking ahead. This team may play hard, but they can't overcome the insurmountable lack of talent on the current roster. And that often leads to some truly ugly basketball.

But the idea of being a fan is maintaining hope. So while I can see why this summer there will be a lot of talk about Rajon Rondo, and whether he should be extended, and acquiring free agents with the 8-12 million dollars of free agency money we might have, I'm here to tell you that neither of those topics really matter.

And why? Because the following Summer's free agency class is abso-freaking-loutely loaded, and it's likely to be Danny Ainge's end-game. As of this moment, the Boston Celtics have a little over 23 million dollars committed in salary.

A few things about that 23 million dollars:

  • A little over 9 million of that is a player option that I'd be prone to believe Jeff Green, who'll be turning 29 that summer, will want to opt out of.
  • 10.1 of that factors in Gerald Wallace's final season: Wallace could potentially be moved (I'm sure that's Ainge's number one priority) or could be waived using the stretch provision, which would allow the Celtics to pay that out over 3 years. Meaning it could be reduced to an annual salary of 3.3 million dollars
  • The one thing that'll increase that number is rookie's acquired over the next two summers.


That's all long form for: The Celtics figure to have a whole bunch of money at the conclusion of next Summer. A summer that figures to have an ark-load of talent. So much so that I have to break down the significant players that could be available by position:

Point Guards:
Goran Dragic, Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo, Kemba Walker

Shooting Guards:
Aaron Afflalo (PO), Monta Ellis (PO), Eric Gordon (PO), Danny Green, Wes Matthews, Klay Thompson, Lou Williams

Small Forwards:
Jimmy Butler, Wilson Chandler, Jeff Green, Kawhi Leonard,

Power Forwards:
Lamarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Thad Young (PO), Keneth Faried, Kevin Love (PO), Tristan Thompson

Center:
Omer Asik, Deandre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert (PO), Al Jefferson (PO), Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez, Nikola Vucecic

A Full list can be found here

Now, to be fair - Not all of these names will be available. Many will be able to reach extensions with their teammates, and some of them will exercise their player options. Thought its worth noting that some combination of their age and money made will mean that most of these guys will opt out of their option.

Any which way you look at it, there's a pretty great deal of talent to be had. Combine that with the cap space and draft picks the Celtics should have, and baby, you got yourself a stew.

There is one tough pill for some Celtics fans to swallow, though. All of the above means that the Boston Celtics have limited to no motivation to sign Rajon Rondo to an extension before next summer. Not only is the free agency class deep, but the point guard position in general is filled with elite and starting caliber NBA point guards. In fact, if anything, it makes the 'Trade Rondo' argument a little more creditable.

Still, it provides hope for the currently hopeless. Help is on the way, Celtics fans. It might just be another year.

Matt Richissin 3/05/2014 09:47:00 AM Edit
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