Danny has put together a team almost entirely consisting of players on one or two year contracts. I think there is no money to sign Harangody, if he is indeed the 15th player, to more than a two year contract. As it stands, at the end of the 2011-12 season (if there is one) the Celtics will have only three players under contract—Rondo, Pierce, and Bradley. Maintaining flexibility for the post-CBA-renegotiation is one thing, starting over is something else again.
Now there are a number of story lines yet to be played out, and at the least we might expect two new rookies next draft, but at what point does Ainge begin building a roster to play ball in November of 2012? Admittedly the new CBA may change the financial playing field, and Danny has avoided crippling contracts that will drag on into the next era. Even next year will see some maneuvering with Daniels, Davis, Wafer, Erden, and Perkins all in the final (or only) year of their contracts. Now maybe some of them will be resigned, although Daniels, Wafer, and Davis are taking less money than they would like in hopes of cashing in next summer. Perhaps the new bargaining agreement will make their “low” salaries seem more reasonable.
Certainly several of the older stars will be absent from that 2012 team (likely the O’Neals, perhaps Ray and maybe even Garnett). If Garnett and Ray play on, it will be for significantly less money. Jermaine might even be retained. We hope Perkins recovers fully and gets/deserves an extension but that is hardly guaranteed.
Perhaps my point is this. If the mixture is oldsters and short timers, wouldn’t you like to see some players in development for the future. I readily admit that I have more positive feelings about this crew than I did last year where far too much of the bottom half of the bench were players just filling in. Those stop gap solutions (House, Williams, Finley, Scalabrine, Giddens, Oliver, and Gaffney [although I do see potential there]) were either never or no longer candidates for the long haul. I guess I would just like to see some young improving players that were not just playing for a better contract.