|Posted by GeeZeeCeltics on June 13, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
I hate that the Finals are still being played and that we are not there, so I am trying to keep myself occupied with reading a lot about the Celtics across a plethora of forums and blogs. While doing that, I have come to a conclusion about what I feel like Danny Ainge should do before October.
The first question to answer is whether to rebuild or to reload? As in, bring the band back or blow this whole thing wide open? I think it is intelligent to reload for one more year because there simply isn't anyone worth it in this FA class to sacrifice a shot at winning.
So with that out of the way, I am going to try and build a winner here. Let's look at how much dollars we have to spend. Pierce's contract is $16.8 M, Rondo is $11 M (WHAT A BARGAIN!), Avery Bradley is at $1.6 M and JaJuan Johnson is at $1.1 M. Then you have the $2 M that will be taken up by the two first round draft picks. And then there are the cap holds (if you are not familiar with the intricacies of the CBA, just hold on, we're close to the final number) which take up about $3 M more. With that, we are at $35.5 committed in salaries. If we presume that the cap may be at $60 M, which is a reasonably possible number, then we have $25.5 to spend. This is not counting Bass, who will probably opt out, and Stiemsma, who is a restricted free agent. Also, that is if every player that has a cap hold is renounced.
First thing is first - resign Kevin Garnett if he doesn't want to retire. Let's presume that he doesn't. Give him 2 years, 20 million. I think that is very reasonable for KG. It may be an okay idea to give him a player option in the final year or give him a no trade clause. This signing removes his ghost cap hold as well.
With that, we have $15.5 to spend. Some may argue that Ainge should use that to bring back Ray Allen, but for this scenario I am going to ride with the reports and say Jesus Shuttlesworth leaves Boston. With that, Avery Bradley becomes your de facto starter, so you just need a starting center/forward (depending on who you consider KG to be).
This is where a guy like Kris Humphries comes in. He is currently making $8 million with the Nets, so let's say he may get more of the same in his next contract, though his price may be driven up to 10 mil. But let's leave it at 8. He is someone that gives rebounding help for a team that desperately needs it.
Next up is Jeff Green, who won't command a lot of dollar right off heart surgery. And then there is the interesting case of Michael Beasley who is a headcase but has a good toolbox. I know Doc and Ainge learned their lesson in 2010-11 with headcases, but I think this kid is worth the shot and both decision makers have been linked to him in the past. You divide the rest of the money you have between these two guys - Green and Beasley. New idea: alternatively, you can sign Bass instead of Beasley but more money may be required. That is if he opts out. Him opting in is both unlikely and would be a dream for the Celtics.
If I am not mistaken, the Celtics still have a few exceptions to use now that the cap space has been used up. A good idea may be to use our Bird Rights on Chris Wilcox and Mickael Pietrus right away and sign them to play the center and shooting guard respectively. That leaves us with the MLE to use on the backup point guard spot. A great option would be Andre Miller, but he may get more money elsewhere, however, he gets to come in a winning veteran environment. Then try and keep Stiemsma, offer him the qualifying offer and hope he goes for rather cheap dollars.
So, what does that leave us with? It looks a little like this:
Rajon Rondo / Andre Miller / E'Twaun Moore
Avery Bradley / Mickael Pietrus
Paul Pierce / Jeff Green
Kevin Garnett / Michael Beasley OR Brandon Bass / JaJuan Johnson
Kris Humphries / Chris Wilcox / Steamer
+ the two guys DA drafts.
This lineup features much of what worked earlier in the post season with the core of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce and Garnett intact, adding a guy who can both put the ball through the hoop for you if asked to and can rebound very well. The bench has a few guys Rondo would love to run with - Green, Beasley, Wilcox - and provides a little veteran leadership with Miller and Pietrus. The second unit would surely be able to give a spark and score the ball much better than past benches.
I kind of feel like this team would become true only if we get a few breaks regarding the money some of these free agents is where I've put it at. Humphries may demand more, Jeff Green may demand more, so could Beasley. Andre Miller could too. But I guess for this first scenario, I'll just leave it as it is.
So, how do you like it? Make sure you let me know!