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Don't expect a spash in the free agent pool for the C's

Posted by shawn cassidy on July 1, 2013 at 12:30 AM





The Celtics don't have big money to throw at Dwight Howard, or Josh Smith. For some of you guys who expect a big splash this offseason.The only way a big name comes to Boston is from a sign-and-trade,and the odds of that seem very unlikely. But I wouldn't count out Danny, we know the Celtics are in rebuild or reconstruction mode. We have some picks, and some other players that could be on the move. I would honestly be shocked to see any big sign-and-trade's this summer that would bring a Milsap, or Smith over to Boston.



ESPN Boston


Last July 1, Doc Rivers made Jason Terry his first phone call, trying to recruit the veteran sixth man who the team thought would certainly cure its longstanding bench anemia. The Celtics loaded up knowing full well that the 2012-13 campaign might be the last run for a veteran core led by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, throwing three years and $15.7 million at the now 35-year-old guard. Terry tattooed a Celtics leprechaun spinning the Larry O'Brien trophy on his arm and immediately endeared himself to the region; maybe he can use some of the 7.5 percent trade kicker that Boston will soon pay him to aid the removal.

This year? The Celtics don't even have a coach to make recruiting pitches. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is more likely to call a rival general manager about a deal than try to sweet-talk a big-name free agent.

Terry is just the latest of Boston's midlevel misfires (Jermaine O'Neal, Rasheed Wallace and Chris Wilcox before him). Alas, as an over-the-cap team, the Celtics have often been at the mercy of their few exceptions in hopes of giving their veteran core a boost.

Now, as the Celtics simply count the days before a blockbuster swap that will send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Terry to Brooklyn can be officially completed, the team is more likely to examine the trade market while trying to unclog cap constraints with the goal of overhauling its roster as quickly as possible.

So while the Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers all draw headlines as they prep their Dwight Howard recruitment packages, Boston is more likely to examine if some of its remaining high-salary talent could be moved for future assets via trade. Even after the Nets swap -- which apparently will not be official until July 12 -- Boston still has long-term money committed near the top of its salary structure and must find ways to trim costs so that it's in prime position as it endures this roster overhaul.

Getting the salary structure in order is no simple chore. Sometimes it means showing great restraint, which is a little easier if you don't want you team to be too good. The Celtics, who will be hard-capped if Keith Bogans is sent to Boston via sign-and-trade as part of the Nets deal, will likely desire to stay below the luxury-tax line next season. New repeater rates loom after this season, and the Celtics won't be looking to add big dollars to their roster.

So despite the fact that Boston could have some valuable exceptions available (like the non-taxpayer midlevel or bi-annual), it might be better for the Celtics to simply sit on their hands, or at least err on the side of short-term additions.

The Celtics have only one player of their own set to hit the free-agent market tonight in Wilcox. His first season in Boston, one in which he signed for the full value of the mini midlevel ($3 million) in 2011-12, was shortened by a heart ailment. Wilcox returned last season on a minimum contract, but the team tried to deal him away at the February trade deadline (he utilized his veto rights to block a trade to Washington). Given that Wilcox will be 31 before the start of next season, it's hard to imagine a third tour of duty, but he did have a strong bond with some of Boston's new locker room vets like Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green.



The Celtics used the midlevel exception every year bringing guys in like Sheed, and JO, and Posey for a season. The Celtics used it because they were contending for a title. The Celtics are not that kind of team anymore, and the Celtics will take the cheap approach next season. They still don't even have a coach so there you go.

Categories: Free Agent News 2013

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5 Comments

Reply paul
1:25 AM on July 1, 2013 
I think there could be a sign and trade, perhaps. I think Danny could be working towards that, although I have to wonder if Pierce and KG would have been useful for such?
Reply shawn cassidy
2:12 AM on July 1, 2013 
paul says...
I think there could be a sign and trade, perhaps. I think Danny could be working towards that, although I have to wonder if Pierce and KG would have been useful for such?


Nobody was going to trade a star for them. Unless they planned on buying the two and they would have started a rebuild instead of the Celtics. Just a thought. The value was much higher last season, and maybe Danny should have moved them last year after the Rondo injury if he planned on moving them down the road.
Reply C'slife
3:23 AM on July 1, 2013 
paul says...
I think there could be a sign and trade, perhaps. I think Danny could be working towards that, although I have to wonder if Pierce and KG would have been useful for such?


Smith will be on the Celtics. I think it's happening.
Reply paul
6:50 AM on July 1, 2013 
Basically, Danny decided he wanted picks at any price. So he gave up his best non-Rondo assets, AND took on bad salaries, in order to get picks. By doing this, he boxed himself into a corner where the rebuild is going to take several years, at least. At least, that's how it looks. But I think he could have gone a different route.
Reply paul
7:37 AM on July 1, 2013 
I think Danny could still make moves, though, and that this article is the usual media hackery, where the media are acting as voice boxes for the message Danny wants to put out. I think he wants to soften people up for the notion that he isn't going to make any moves. It's to make us accept it when he doesn't make any moves.