SQ #14--That Was Then, This Is Now

Summer Quandaries #14
Aug 14—47 Days to camp

That Was Then, This Is Now

I was thinking about our nearly complete roster for this next season when I remembered an article I wrote in 2006 during my first series of Summer Quandaries. Danny had taken over as GM three years before during, yes strangely enough, during the 2003 playoffs. Obie’s chuckers had pushed deep into the post season in the Celtics’ first brush with relevance in a decade. Yet Danny served notice immediately that he was an executive with strong convictions and no fear of taking a path that exposed him to fan criticism. Ainge saw the playoff run as fool’s gold and began dismantling O’Brien’s band of over-achievers. In a nearly constant stream of seemingly jumbled maneuvers, Ainge shed aging veterans, moved up and down in the draft, made one-for-many and many-for-one trades, signed FA’s, and waived Vin Baker.
Almost the only commonality was that at the end of each cluster of moves, Danny had pocketed another future draft pick. Halfway through that first season Obie threw up his hands and jumped ship, to be replaced by assistant John Carroll. The only piece acquired that lasted was Perkins, a pudgy high-schooler who began a five-year plan of development, transformation, and maturation.

In one year Ainge had made 17 moves involving 30 players, some multiple times. At the end of the 03-04 season Doc was hired and over the next year the D&D braintrust pulled the trigger on another 13 moves involving 19 players. The following twelve months saw 12 more moves involving 21 bodies. In three years Ainge had been involved in 42 actions (drafts, resignings, trades, waives, FA’s) altering careers some 70 times. Walker was traded away, reacquired, and traded away again. Payton was acquired by trade, traded away, and re-signed after being waived.

While searching for the article I sought I ran across this posting (which caused me to muse about the three-year frenzy leading up to the 06 off season.

Set in stone active roster slots (first five by starting position).
2) Pierce
12) Scalabrine
I said camp would be interesting.

Contrast this to what will almost certainly be this season’s starting active roster:
Set in stone active roster slots (first five by starting position).
1) Rondo
2) Allen
3) Pierce
4) Garnett
5) J O’Neal
6) Robinson
7) Wafer
8) Daniels
9) Davis
10) S O’Neal
11) ?
12) ?