|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 7, 2014 at 1:05 AM|
The once promising season, seems not so promising after the Celtics have dropped 4 in a row. The Celtics have fallen 4 games out of first in the Atlantic, and of course how the east is. The Celtics are just one game back from a playoff spot. The season is still young, and seasons can turn on a dime at points, and sometimes they can leave you false hope. I'm an optimistic guy, and haven't been a fan of tanking. But the Celtics look a step behind lately. The effort seems to be there, and the execution seems like it's being attempted by the guys in green.
But something is missing. The lack of focus against the Hawks and Pelicans have the Celtics off kilter. The obvious answer is Rondo's missing. I wish I had the answer. With the Celtics falling in the past few weeks, and with Rondo returning in a few weeks at best. Danny Ainge isn't done after trading Lee. The salaries look like this next summer, in a year that the Celtics get two first round picks. I guess depending the whole Hawks and Nets thing.
Following the Courtney Lee-Jerryd Bayless swap, the Boston Celtics will be committed to roughly $44 million in salary for next season (not including qualifying option for soon-to-be restricted free agents Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford). A glance at Boston's current salary commitment for next season:
Rajon Rondo: $12.9 million
Gerald Wallace: $10.1 million
Jeff Green: $9.2 million
Brandon Bass: $6.9 million
Keith Bogans: $5.3 million
Avery Bradley: $3.6 million (qualifying offer)
Jordan Crawford: $3.2 million (qualifying offer)
Vitor Faverani: $2 million
Kelly Olynyk: $2 million
Jared Sullinger: $1.4 million
Phil Pressey: $816,482
Total salary commitment: $44 million ($50.8 million with QOs)
Keep in mind that neither Bogans nor Pressey are guaranteed (though the latter is likely to stick around as a low-cost backup with development potential). Bogans' salary can either be shed completely for more cap flexibility, or used in a trade to acquire established talent.
If you look at the potential roster next season. Danny made the move for a number of reasons. Danny rather pay Crawford, and retain Crawford then pay Lee. Danny would also like to resign Bradley. So how much are those two guys worth to you? Basically I say waive Bogans 5.3 million this summer, and give that money to Bradley and Crawford in their next deal. So basically give them around 5-6 million a season. It sounds cheap, but the Celtics won't win banners with those guys getting over paid. Those two guys are young, they'll have another big contract if they both continue to improve.
That would still keep the Celtics at around 50 million next season, if not a couple more over 50. So that still gives the Celtics options to perhaps trade, or sign for a max contract player. So what if Danny wants more cap to play with next year? Bass is the next guy to go. He could help the Celtics in cap relief as well, and that would have the Celtics at 45 million in committed deals. I'm not the arm chair GM type. But the bottom line is that Danny is still selling the team off. I don't think that means Rondo, not by any means. I think he plans on going all in some how next summer, or at least he's going to attempt creating this team in a contender again. Look at the East. The Pacers and Heat. With the Heat aging, and with the "Big 3" being free agents. The Heat's run looks like it's coming to an end.
The Pacers are a bit old in some spots. With West, and some bench guys like Scola up there in age. The East is wide open more so after this season/ It's been wide open for a decade, and that's why the Celtics ran it for so long with an injury plagued roster and a genius point guard, manning the ship the entire time. Do you believe the Cavs, Wizards, Pistons, and every other team has an elite team coming up from the ground? I don't think so. They have the players, like Kyrie, or maybe John Wall, and some other solid players. But do they have a GM like Ainge? Do I like Ainge? I was waiver on him, he does a lot of great things, followed by ruthless acts of diregard.
Trenni Kusnierek sat down with Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely to discuss who might be the next player out the door for the Celtics.
No, it's not Rajon Rondo. But according to Blakely, it's a player who has been around for a couple seasons.
"When you look at the way this roster is put together, Brandon Bass seems the most logical guy to be on his way out," Blakely said. "It has nothing to with performance, and everything to do with the fact that he's a guy that can get a talented player in return. Like a guy like Omer Asik in Houston. Even though Houston has put off talks of trading him, I think those talks will rekindle once we get closer to the deadline. You also have to look at a guy like Gerald Wallace, and another guy Kris Humphries who is starting to up his stock as well."