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Tanking vs Pride

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 30, 2013 at 5:20 AM

Since the blockbuster deal that sent Paul and Kevin to the Nets. Many fans, and writers, along with bloggers have asked the question. Should the Celtics tank next season to get a great lottery pick in a very deep 2014 draft. The hopes is Kansas wing Wiggins. How can you tank games? Ask M.L Carr that if you want an answer. The Celtics have been down this road twice and it's ended up the same way.The Celtics wanted Tim Duncan, so the Celtics had a dismal 15 win season before the 1997 draft. Does the 2007 draft ring a bell? It does for two reasons. It was the night the Celtics picked 5th despite having the best chance at a number one or two pick that year. Instead the Celtics traded for Ray Allen, and it was the start of a new era.The Celtics have never had a number one pick, and  honestly I don't want to waste a season even if the Celtics are a team likely designed for a first round exit.

Most of the other C's blogs have covered the money of the Celtics financial future. It doesn't excite me much. Here's CelticsLife.com's breakdown.

This Celtics-Nets deals has so many moving pieces, and involves so many of the lesser known cap provisions, that it takes a PHD in capology to sift through all of the details.

Thankfully, Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld is here to help us out. Pincus broke down the deal, analyzing the ins and outs of the finances, and says that the Celtics and Nets could actually break the deal into three smaller transactions, which will help the Celtics acquire a valuable trade exception.

From Pincus' article.

The Celtics will have to decide how to account for the trade but breaking it into three transactions would yield them the largest trade exception.

Paul Pierce and Jason Terry for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries

Kris Joseph arriving as a minimum player without Boston sending out any salary

Kevin Garnett for Keith Bogans

The difference between Garnett’s and Bogans’ salary would generate a trade exception of $7,374,735 for Boston.

Additionally, using sign-and-trade on Bogans will trigger a hard cap for the Celtics (which is expected to be $75.5 million next season). The team will have between $68.3 and $72.2 million in guaranteed salary after the deal is complete.

Sadly I had to look up the new Labor Rules about the Amnesty clause. I was hoping to do so with Wallace. I read somewhere you could, and another place you couldn't. The rule says the player needs to be under contract before the new labor agreement that was created in November/December 2011. Only Rondo and Bradley fall into that category, which those guys won't be used with that, so the Celtics lost that opportunity. With that being said, the best hope is the trade exception. That is a tool that can be used, and the dream of many fans is Josh Smith or Al Jefferson, and even Paul Milsap. Many fans want to the Celtics to hold off on Josh Smith or someone of that nature so the Celtics can tank, so they have a chance in the 2014 draft.

My stance is this. If your committed to Rondo then go all in with a quick rebuild. If that's taken one season off collecting picks and contracts. Then so be it. I think one year is okay, especially with Rondo returning. Maybe the Celtics are even looking at the 2014 Free Agent market. No way Lebron James comes to Boston guys. Just putting that out there. The 2014 market looks good on paper with Miami's Big Three potentially hitting the market again. I can see some shakeups there if they fail to three-peat. Outside of Miami you have Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire, Paul George, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and someone like Rudy Gay who isn't a franchise type, but a good player that could help a team out. (Free Agent list)

I believe the Celtics roster as it stands is still a playoff team. They will likely be a 7th or 8th seed, and that's not ideal in a season when the 2014 draft is supposed to be one of those once and a lifetime drafts. I don't mind a season of losing. Especially if it's to make sure Rondo doesn't rush back. But losing games on purpose is something that I won't stand for, and with a new coach. I highly doubt he wants to lose games. Although Danny has shown loyalty to coaches. Maybe the new coach would be fine with that tactic. Danny had said the Celtics are in a better spot now compared to when he took this team over the first rebuild. Paul Pierce wasted two seasons during Danny's rebuild that didn't last long. That rebuild allowed him to bring in two future hall of fame players. Can lighting strike twice? Those two players were there for Danny at the right time, and that will be hard to duplicate.

By Jackie MacMullan | ESPNBoston.com

The Celtics must endure the trials and tribulations of downgrading their talent pool so they can position themselves for a loaded 2014 draft headlined by the Next Big Thing, Kansas-bound guard Andrew Wiggins.

Angling for pingpong balls is a tricky business. It requires the delicate balance of putting a basketball team on the court that plays hard but has little chance of winning. It also puts you at the mercy of Lady Luck.

The last time the Celtics did that was in 1996-97. M.L. Carr was the coach and general manager, coaxed into the dual role one year earlier by owner Paul Gaston, who paid him $1 million to replace Chris Ford on the bench and, as Carr described, "take one for the team."

According to Carr, Gaston made his objective for the 1996-97 season clear: Land Tim Duncan in the draft.

Thus, Carr's charge, with a roster that included Antoine Walker, David Wesley, Dana Barros, Dino Radja and Rick Fox, was to play hard -- and lose.

"It's so difficult," Carr said, "because it goes completely against your basketball DNA.

"Danny (Ainge) is absolutely doing the right thing for the Celtics franchise. But he's going to have a real tough road while they rebuild."

As GM, Carr made sure he didn't sign any expensive or overly talented free agents. Because he was his own coach, there was no backlash from the bench regarding his personnel decisions.

"I was bringing in guys like Nate Driggers and Brett Szabo," Carr said. "It was a joke. But the idea was not to make a move that would help us too much."

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Reply paul
6:45 AM on June 30, 2013 
I have no regard for this kind of strategy at all. You do your best every season. Deliberate tanking is a sports crime, basically, and, really, a form of fraud. And remember, the Cs won't be the only ones tanking. Now I don't consider it tanking if the coach plays lots of players, so that they all have a chance to develop, and to show who is best. But this is a crucial year to build the team's attitude, to develop a team strategy, and above all - assuming we keep Rondo - to give Rondo a chance to work out a new working relationship with his coach, one where he has a lot more say, on a team built around him. Frankly, I find the slobbering that goes on over a HIGH SCHOOL KID disgusting. It's disgusting, it's reductionistic -- almost to the point of reducing players to their athletic ability -- and it's predatory Kids are coming out earlier and earlier and there seems to be precious little teaching going on, and I think it's warping the game. IF we cannot make a trade now for a player we really want - eg. Josh Smith (who is, admittedly, less desirable now that KG, who might have mentored him, is gone) - then I can see waiting for 2014 and trying as hard as we can to move up in the draft via trades, but to tank? Never. Don't do it. No. And riddle me this : if we tank, and Rondo plays some of the worst basketball of his career, which is what will surely happen if we tank, is the crescendo of blame going to rise even higher against him? And how exactly are we going to cure whatever bad habits he gets into due to that when bad habits are already crippling his game and what we want him to do is fix them, not acquire more?

And man, I do NOT want to hear MLCarr blame Gaston. He should have refused to tank. How much blame can we lay on Carr and Gaston for the way Walker's career went? What about some of the other players on that team? Dana Barros? Dino Radja? Tanking is dishonest, unethical, bad karmically and just plain bad.

I'm not sneering at top picks. I don't think the Cs ever had the top pick, but Russell was really a number two pick - but even there the Cs acquired him via trade. They had a much lower pick. Auerbach was not as good as Ainge at utilizing lower picks, but one thing he knew how to do was figure out what players he really wanted. There's no replacement for that ability. That's what it's really all about.
Reply paul
6:51 AM on June 30, 2013 
I don't think Danny has ever understood that. The stupid way he criticizes Red for keeping Bird, Mchale and Parish too long shows this. In his warped mind, the fact that the Celtics suffered devastating deaths of their top prospects twice in six years had nothing to do with the collapse of the franchise. Danny isn't so bad himself at identifying talent he believes in - look at Rondo. Danny turned a 21st pick into a guy who may prove to be an all time great, who has already had a brilliant career, all based on his belief in the guy. Red might not have been able to pull that off. But what Red could do that Danny can't do is commit to his guy. For a great player to truly become the cornerstone of a franchise, mutual commitment is needed. Right now Rondo needs this, but instead, Danny continues to dangle him for trades. And please, I don't want to hear this stuff about how he's just listening to offers.
Reply rcraig617
11:58 AM on June 30, 2013 
I honestlly believe if we are able to acquire josh smith in a sign and trade our team will be able to a 4-5 seed next year at the moment I see us being a 7-8 seed so there's no reason to tank.
Reply Greg
1:05 PM on June 30, 2013 
You nailed it Paul. Rondo hates losing,and he wouldn't stand for it. Especially for the Celtics to draft some high profile kid.
Reply paul
3:19 PM on June 30, 2013 
with the right coach and the right additional player or players, and if Rondo comes back strong like we expected this last year, this team could surprise people