PLUS/MINUS: Is it in Boston's best interest to get into some MeloDrama?
This week, Eric Blaisdell, Julian Edlow, and Padraic O’Connor talk about the MeloDrama reaching Dwightmare heights, if Lance Stephenson is worth fighting for, and if the Celtics’ draft pick should be on the move.
With Carmelo Anthony wanting the "Dwight Treatment", the Celtics should consider rolling out the green carpet in hopes of bringing him to Boston.
Eric Blaisdell: Plus. Whenever you have the chance to bring in one of the best scorers in the game, you have to take it. Sure, Anthony has his warts, but no one can question his talent and anyone putting the blame for the Knicks downfall on his shoulders weren't watching the Knicks. Their ineptitude came from horrid front office moves, not because of Anthony's play. Right, Amare? Because of Boston's asset situation (they have a metric ton of them), the Celtics could snag Anthony to pair with Rajon Rondo and still have the ability to add another All-Star. You can't tell me a trio of Anthony, Rondo and Kevin Love wouldn't be contender. Too bad there is zero chance Anthony dons a green jersey, unless it's a Bulls' St. Patrick's Day one.
Julian Edlow: Minus. There are a handful of players out there in the next couple of years that will be worth recruiting to come to Boston. Anthony is not one of them. He is a fantastic scorer, and an underrated rebounder, but Melo is still not a winning player. If he proves himself otherwise, I would change my mind, but lets see how the lottery goes first. Give me Jabari Parker any day.
Padraic O’Connor: Minus. Melo is yet to have his “Garnett” moment. Here me out- I’m not comparing KG and Melo as players, but as cornerstones of franchises. Garnett, in choosing to come to Boston and then go to Brooklyn, did so with a championship in mind but knowing that it came with a massive shift in both role and priority. That’s not Melo’s game plan. He wants to win a title and do it in a major market. Boston isn’t a destination for him and Danny’s efforts are better served elsewhere. I reserve the right to change my tune if he comes here and proves me wronger than wrong.
Danny Ainge shouldn't rush the rebuild since the Heat are still the team to beat in the East and no one is going to beat them until the Super Friends disband.
Eric Blaisdell: Minus. As much sense as it seems to make to wait out the run of the Heat, that's just bad business. You build your team and to hell with whatever the rest of the league is doing. Because when LeBron James is gone, Kevin Durant will still be here, then Anthony Davis, then the next big superstar. As they say in poker, scared money don't make money. Boston GM Danny Ainge also doesn't really have the luxury of waiting around. Rondo, his only All-Star, is quickly approaching 30 and point guards don't usually get better after that age.
Julian Edlow: Minus. Ainge should not rush the rebuild, but it has nothing to do with the Heat. If opportunities present themselves this summer to get better, then take them. However, it is unfair to expect another 2007 offseason. It is much more realistic to expect additions over the next few years to fight back into contention, but if Ainge can get it done this summer, do it.
Padraic O’Connor: Plus. I speak for the entire staff at CelticsLife when I say no one wants a quick rebuild more than someone who blogs about the Celtics. Having said that- don’t rush the rebuild, Danny. And having said THAT- now is the time. We’ve got the assets and draft positions NOW to make an impact and you have to go for it. But… if the opportunities don’t present themselves, don’t push it. I don’t need like three years and $25M worth of Pau Gasol or something crazy like that.
The Heat, unfortunately, are looking like the kings of the mountain again and my guess is the Super Friends will all resign and make room for another dude to make another run at another title. This is a long, long, long play. Wait until the opportunity presents itself.
Lance Stephenson is someone the Celtics should target this offseason and would be worth matching any and all offers he will receive.
Eric Blaisdell: Minus. Boston should absolutely target Stephenson, but matching any offer is too much. He's a real nice player and an upgrade over Avery Bradley, but that doesn't mean he deserves a bad contract that would be clogging up the books in the middle of a rebuild. With so many off-guards in this year's draft, Boston can easily address that position with a rookie of comparable talent to Stephenson, and for much cheaper.
Julian Edlow: Plus. I like Stephenson much more than I do Bradley, so if the price is not insanely high, Stephenson is worth going after. He would be a nightmare on the break with Rondo, and can take it coast-to-coast himself with the best in the league. He would be a big upgrade at the off-guard spot.
Padraic O’Connor: Plus. I’m willing to put the eggs in the 8th Grader’s basket. Unless he’s getting max contract offers and we get priced out, you have to make a bid. Boston presents him with a James Harden opportunity that hopefully he sees. He’s one to watch out for and make a run at… maybe even more so than a certain power forward in a Planet Hoth-like state. David West opted for Indiana over Boston for a very similar reason- a better opportunity to win. The Celtics can offer that; we’re closer than we think.
If the Celtics don't get a top-three pick, they should package their pick with assets and trade for a superstar rather than roll the dice on a lottery talent.
Eric Blaisdell: Minus. Had this statement said a top-5 pick then I'd tend to side with trading it, but even though Boston has no chance at picking at four they can pick at five. If there is one thing you should know about the NBA draft is no one has any idea what will happen. Remember Anthony Bennett? That pick shocked the world, well at least Bill Simmons. Some GM picking ahead of Boston could really want Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle and then, boom, Joel Embiid somehow falls to the Celtics, or Jabari Parker, or Andrew Wiggins, or Dante Exum. There look to be four "can't miss" guys in this draft and if Boston gets the fifth pick, would you really want to throw away a chance at some GM passing one of them over? Given recent history, I wouldn't.
Julian Edlow: Plus. Obviously the right opportunity must present itself. Trading for Josh Smith does not count as trading for a superstar. But rather than use the 5th or 6th pick in the draft, creating a desirable package for Kevin Love (or any player of that caliber) would be a smart move.
Padraic O’Connor: Plus. This draft has been about three guys for a while. Yes- there are waaaay more than three talented players in this draft, but there are lots of teams out there with much worse draft positions than wherever the Celtics end up. That means the Celtics hold a very powerful chip that they should consider cashing in i.e. trading a future building block for a current cornerstone. If they can package the fifth pick, a piece, and a few future second rounders for a young superstar now, that’s what you have to do.
Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, and Jeff Green will not be on the Celtics at the start of the 2014-15 season.
Eric Blaisdell: Minus. If we were talking just Bradley and Sullinger I'd have said plus, as Bradley could easily sign an inflated contract to play elsewhere and Sullinger is just as likely to be dealt for a veteran as to return to Boston. But Jeff Green? Channeling my inner Boondock Saint, that guy is going NOWHERE. You find me a team willing to pay Green $9 million for the next two seasons and I'll find you a GM who doesn't want his job anymore. Green has talent and can be a nice role player on a contender, but winning teams don't pay role players $9 million per. Hell, mediocre teams don't pay their role players that much. Best case scenario is Boston deals Green's expiring deal next summer or he opts out after next season. The roller coaster ride that is Jeff Green will continue in Boston for at least one more season.
Julian Edlow: Minus. This is just too much to see happening. If Sullinger is not on the Celtics next year (unless a personal issue arises), that would be a fantastic thing. It means he was packaged up in a deal for an elite player, otherwise there is no chance he goes anywhere.
Green we can only hope will be gone. But his contract is going to be almost impossible to move, and there is no way he opts out of it. Bradley on the other hand could be gone. He may want more money than he is worth, and his injury history may give Ainge reason not to pay him what another team could be willing to. It would not surprise me if Bradley stays or goes, but there’s no way all three are gone.
Padraic O’Connor: Minus. No way they will all be gone. No way. Bradley is probably headed out of town, but Jeff and Sully could be sticking around unless a few trades call for some serious firepower.
Bradley has been solid for the Celtics from day one. He’s going to get a lot of offers and will have the chance to get PAID this summer. Boston doesn’t have a great track record for getting into bidding wars, so that might be the story here- a case of “best of luck in your future endeavors.”