Roundtable: Which All-Star caliber player (if any) is joining the Celtics in 2015?
The third edition of our roundtable series is here, and today's question is:
Which All-Star caliber player (if any) will be joining the Celtics in 2015?
Check out the answers from five CelticsLife writers below. Mike Dyer
To be honest, Monroe is more of a guess than anything. But here's what I'm comfortable saying:
If the Celtics retain Rajon Rondo, he will be joined by an All-Star (or near All-Star) quality big man. I feel comfortable in saying this for two reasons:
1. The Celtics will have an intriguing combination of cap space, young talent and the presence of a star (Rondo) to try and woo free agents.
2. There is going to be an insane number of big men flooding the market. Seriously, check out the list here. LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Paul Millsap, Kenneth Faried, Omer Asik, Nikola Vucevic and Al Jefferson all hit free agency next summer. You can argue that in terms of talented big men, next summer is the best free agent class in history.
Sure, some of these players are going to re-up with their current squads. But some will not. Among the players I could see leaving are Monroe, Lopez, Millsap, Asik and Hibbert. And if the Cs can retain Rondo (again, this all is reliant on that), I am very confident that they can lure one of these players to Boston with a big deal.
So why am I giving the edge to Monroe? Well, for one, Monroe is the least happy of any of the players listed above in his current home. So much so that he's willing to sign a 1-year, $5 million qualifying offer as opposed to a 4-year big money offer with the Pistons so he can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He wants big money, and he wants to be the alpha dog, something he's unlikely to get with Andre Drummond playing next to him.
No, Monroe's game is not a perfect fit for the Celtics. He has defensive questions, and some aspects of his game are similar to Jared Sullinger. But he's one of the most talented young big men in basketball, and the Celtics should jump at the chance to give him a big contract next year. This could open up Sully to be dealt with draft picks to try and bring a legitimate small forward to the Celtics, unless of course the Cs can fill that void in the 2015 draft.
I think the answer here is none. In order for the Celtics to have any chance at adding an All-Star caliber player during the season it would inevitably involve trading Rondo, and my gut feeling is that's not going to happen. At this point the realistic scenarios for Rondo deals likely include young players and draft picks anyway.
Boston could make a major trade next offseason, or sign a free agent like Paul Milsap, Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge. But if I had to bet, I'd say the rebuilding project continues, and the C's are only able to bring in mediocre talent while they hope for success in the draft.
This is under the assumption that Rajon Rondo is no longer on the roster next summer. If he is, no All-Stars or fringe All-Stars are coming, due to Boston's tight cap situation. If Rondo is gone, either by trade or walking as a free agent, then Monroe is absolutely attainable. It's no secret that he wants out of Detroit and he very well could be the first major free agent signing by Boston in quite some time. Even though he'll be a year older next summer, 25, he'll still be young enough to build around with Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger. There is some concern, rightfully so, about Monroe and Sullinger playing together in terms of rim protection, but in terms of rebounding and scoring, that's a hell of a two-headed monster. There's no reason why the team couldn't go out and grab a shot blocker and rotate around the three bigs. Using Sullinger in a Taj Gibson-like role would make a ton of sense on that roster. All they'd need is a good wing and with some seasoning, James Young could be that guy. Then all you have to do is sit back and let everything simmer. It's not a perfect plan, but it certainly gives the team a strong foundation to build upon.
I’m not sure the Celtics will get a net new All-Star level talent on their roster this season. As I write this i am furiously shaking my Boston Celtics Magic 8-Ball and the only answer coming up is “outlook not so good.” After this season there will be quite a few open spaces on the Celtics, so there is always a chance a big fish gets caught, but as of the posting of this roundtable the forecast is cloudy as hell. Here are a few contracts that are up in 2015:
There’s No Chance Their Current Team Lets Them Go:
Aging and Injury Concerns:
Someone Is Going to Pay Them, and It Should Not Be Boston:
In 2016, I hope the Celtics go all-in on Durant. If the window in OKC continues to close, there’s a chance. There’s always a chance. Try to control your eyerolls as you consider this. At one point before the trade went through, Kevin Garnett has no interest in the Celtics either.
I'm not convinced he'll be an All Star, but if the Celtics sign anyone next Summer, I think Nikola Vucevic is probably the top guy on the Celtics wish list.
Vucevic won't bring sexy back to Boston. But when I take a look at the free agency class of 2015, and the amount of teams that will likely have money to spend, I'm foreseeing a lot of 'nice pieces' getting paid like they're franchise altering stars.
So if I'm forced to overspend, I want to do it on a 25 year old double-double machine with some height. If he doesn't mature any further, I know I've got an above average player at a position that is difficult to fill.
If they're looking to acquire a player by trade, one name I could see becoming available is Al Horford. Atlanta might have money to spend, but it's hard to see them attracting free agents anytime soon after this most recent debacle. Their best bet may be to cash in on the assets they've got while they still have value, and look to load up for when they're done riding out the storm.
I think the most realistic situation, however, is probably the least fun. The Celtics take another year of rebuilding, and look to be able to offer 2 max salaries in the summer of 2016. It won't be Durant nor Lebron, but they will have an interesting pitch for the next tier of guys