The presto chango rebuild: How Boston can become contenders this summer
So, it's pretty fair to say that most Boston fans are still a tad miffed at how Tuesday's draft lottery turned out. But fear not! All is not lost. I've discovered a way to turn last year's 25-win team into title contenders by October.
You're going to have to bear with me on this one. Lots of moving parts.
I'll go in descending order from biggest moves to smallest. All salary info is from Shamsports.com.
"The KG move"
Jeff Green $9,200,000 Keith Bogans $5,285,817 Avery Bradley $3,581,302 Jared Sullinger $1,424,520 Joel Anthony $3,800,000
No. 6 overall pick in 2014 draft
No. 17 overall pick in 2014 draft
Brooklyn's first rounder in 2016 Total: $23,291,639
Kevin Love $15,719,063 Kevin Martin $6,792,500 Total: $22,511,563
All Minnesota's Kevins belong to us! Ok, so, the biggest hangup to this deal is Bradley. He would have to accept the $3.5 million qualifying offer from Boston in order to make this happen. However, that's not as big of a catch as it seems. Bradley has yet to stay healthy for an entire year, this past season included, and his value has certainly taken a hit from it. At only 23 years old, Bradley's agent should be able to convince him to take the qualifying offer this year and try for a bigger deal in unrestricted free agency after the end of next season instead of taking an inferior offer this summer.
For Minnesota, they get two really nice draft picks in a stacked draft to go along with their own selection at No. 13. Those three picks should enable the Timberwolves to do whatever they want, whether that be move up in the draft or pick three rookies to start over with. Did I mention they get another real nice first rounder from a Brooklyn team that should be in shambles by 2016? They also get two nice young pieces in Sullinger and Bradley, both of whom took significant strides in their development this year. No long-term money would be headed Minnesota's way either as Anthony and Bradley would be expiring, Bogans can be waived yesterday for instant savings and Green could easily opt out after next year looking for a deal with more guaranteed money.
For Boston, they get a top-10 player in the league to pair with Rajon Rondo and a serious upgrade at off-guard in Martin. Boston had expressed interest in Martin previously and the guy scored 19.1 ppg last season. Martin should be easy to throw into the deal as he has two years left on his contract plus a player option in 2016-17. If Minnesota is trading Love, they are starting completely from scratch. Guys like Martin, 31, don't figure to be a part of that plan.
Before you kill me in the comments, keep reading.
The Ray Allen move
Kelly Olynyk $2,075,760 Vitor Faverani $2,090,000
Clippers first round pick in 2015 Total: $4,165,760
Luoul Deng $12,000,000 Total: $12,000,0000
For Cleveland, they get a nice, young, cost-controlled piece in Olynyk and a future first rounder for a guy who could have walked away for nothing.
For Boston, they get a former All-Star who won't turn 30 until the end of next season essentially for the worst first rounder in the Boston war chest. This would have to be a sign and trade deal. They should be able to get Deng for something like four years/$48 million. He turned down an offer of three years/$30 million from Chicago last season because he wanted more years and a bit more money. But that decision wasn't totally about finances, as he was unhappy with how the team handled his spinal tap procedure in July. It's safe to say that Deng's brief stint as a Cavalier didn't make him any happier. He should jump at the chance to join a veteran team led by Rondo and Love.
If the salary cap projections for next year hold true, Boston should have about $7 million in cap space right now and they also shed a bit more in the Love deal. That should be enough to fit in Deng's contract. Boston could also back load the deal to make sure they can fit him in.
The rim protector move
Brandon Bass $6,900,000 Chris Babb $816,482
Protected first round pick from Philadelphia in 2015 Total: $7,716,482
Omer Asik $8,374,646 Total: $8,374,646
For Houston, all of the leverage they had in an Asik deal sailed after the last trade deadline. Teams are going to see that $15 million he's owed in real money ($8.3 million for cap purposes) and say, "No, thanks." The Bass/Asik swap is not a new concept and it still makes sense. Houston gets a big who can stretch the floor with a sweet jumper and plays good defense. Bass is also now expiring, which makes him more appealing. Babb's deal is non-guaranteed so he can be waived. The Rockets also get a potential first-rounder, but unless the Sixers make the playoffs next year, it turns into two second rounders. Still not a bad haul for a guy who hasn't wanted to be in Houston since before last season.
For Boston, they get a true defensive center that they desperately need. The $15 million price tag is daunting, but ownership would gladly swallow that pill to put the finishing touches on this revamped roster in the quest for banner 18.
Love and Asik would have to be signed to extensions, but after assembling all of this talent, that shouldn't take much convincing. Boston should also re-sign Kris Humphries with the mid-level exception.
Here's what Boston's new depth chart would look like:
PG: Rajon Rondo, Phil Pressey SG: Kevin Martin, Chris Johnson SF: Luol Deng, Gerald Wallce PF: Kevin Love, Kris Humphries C: Omer Asik, Colton Iverson
Keep in mind, all of this would be done without having to try and shed Wallace's contract and Boston would still have all of their own first round picks after this summer, the rights to swap firsts with Brooklyn in 2017 and a Brooklyn first in 2018. Add a couple guys with veteran's minimum deals and you got yourself a contender. Lots of shooters for Rondo and guys like Asik and Deng who play great defense.
I have no clue how possible any of this is and maybe I'm still delirious from the lottery. But if the goal is to win sooner rather than later, this is certainly one way to do it.