Summer Lockout May Include Writing

To say that the Lockout of 2011 has left a hole in the NBA blogosphere is understating the case. To play What-If/How-About in the absence of a CBA is like playing carnival barker to Madam Cleo casting bones onto a Ouija board in a graveyard. If that weren’t chilling enough, consider that contemplating how to fill the Celtics’ needs, and they are several if not many, involves enticing talent to join the Big Three in what may likely be their last hurrah—definitely a limited engagement. Weigh that against the more enduring prospect of joining the mid-20’s 3Ego in Miami, 1-stud-shy-of-a-load in New York, or up-and-coming youth movements in Chicago or Oklahoma. The only contenders against which we are reasonably competitive recruiting are over-the-hill gangs in San Antonio, LA, or Dallas. It hurts my head just to think about it.

I think Danny goes into this season (assuming there is one) riding light and loose in the saddle and straddling the fence between a run for all the marbles and bailing out into full rebuilding mode. With this in mind I see Ainge
filling out the second unit with veterans. However the third string (if there even is a full five) will be made up of OJT neophytes and second-chancer’s with the possible exception of a 5th experienced big man due to the fragility of Jermaine’s body and Glen Davis’s (yes, I see him coming back) mind. Due to the strong likelihood of a severely abbreviated signing/camp prelude to an also likely abbreviated season, there may be a premium on signing our own free agents and a near impossibility for players to climb into the rotation by pre-season performance. Given those limitations my crystal ball (with a conflicting combination of wishful thinking and grim resignation) yields a roster something like this:
West-Von Wafer/Marquis Daniels-Jeff Green-Glen Davis-Kwame Brown
A. Bradley-E. Moore-G. Brown-J. Johnson-T. Murphy

The caveats are many. Moore may sing in Europe during the lockout and have no out clause. Marquis may not be ready (or a reasonable risk). Perhaps only one of Moore and Brown (if either) would be kept. Davis may get an offer for more than $3M (and I would make at least $500K of that contingent on keeping his weight down.) Brown may be comfortable in Charlotte or prefer playing out of the spotlight in which he has been so uncomfortable but I do favor him in spite of his flaws due to his defense and health. West may find higher offers although I think he prefers the “family” support in Boston.

I would prefer a full training camp and a number of make-good contracts. Wafer, Murphy, Brown, and Moore of those I listed. Also Joe Alexander, Tony Gaffney, DeShawn Simms, and Stephane Lasme. One restricted free agent I would hope Danny would ask about is Josh McRoberts. If Troy is indeed fully fossilized, perhaps Jeff Foster because there is no doubt that the second and third string centers are going to see a lot of playing time on this team.

There may not be a trade deadline but I have to believe that one severe injury to any of the Big Four would essentially close the window. In this case it is hard to see how Danny could NOT deal his aging assets for new chips. Next time the urge to write overcomes my disgust with the whining millionaires/billionaires, I’ll try to address the demolition scenario.