|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 5, 2013 at 5:15 AM|
How many leaders are we at now? Rondo is the clear leader, and franchise player, for now, Danny dropped his phone in the toliet. The Celtics have many players emerging this year as leaders. The leaders that I want beside Rondo? Bradley, Green? Not really, I like the thought of Bogans, and Wallace as leaders with Rondo. These guys don't threaten the status quo. They're veterans, and they can command others attention. They're also good role players, and no more than that.
These are the guys that will confront other players, and they''ll be able to speak the same voice as Rondo and Stevens. These are guys who are at the end of their careers. Maybe not Wallace as much, but they want to win, and they see Rondo as something.
"Keith Bogans is a guy that's known throughout the league as a consummate teammate," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "You look at him, and he's a guy that may not start in the starting lineup, but he's found his way into a starting lineup a lot over the course of his career. He makes shots and, on a day like today, where we lost our legs a little bit, he stood out a little bit more because he's in really good shape, he takes care of himself, and he competes all the way until the end."
Bogans is an NBA vagabond. He's played for seven different teams -- Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Chicago, Brooklyn and two stints in Orlando -- over the course of a 10-year career. He's been traded four times (including once for former Celtics assistant coach Ty Lue) and waived twice (including during his time with Brooklyn).
The 33-year-old swingman was rewarded this summer for his persistence when he inked a three-year, $15.9 million contract to be included in the monster Boston-Brooklyn swap via sign-and-trade. Not bad for a guy who had earned $14.1 million over his first decade in the league.
The payday left some incredulous, but it appears to be a very savvy move by Boston's front office. The team has wiggled under the luxury tax and -- should it stay there -- Bogans' inflated deal is relatively benign.
Remember, too, the way Boston worked the deal, Bogans' pumped-up contract helped them walk away with a $10.3 million trade exception, something that could aid the transition process as much as the three future first-round draft picks plucked from the Nets.
What's more, while Bogans got a payday, his contract will aid the Celtics down the road. Only the first year of that contract is guaranteed. That means Boston can do one of two things next offseason: waive Bogans and create salary wiggle room, or use his non-guaranteed deal to help swing a trade for a mid-level value player (with the other team able to waive him for cap flexibility).
Bogans doesn't apologize for his payday and knows his time in Boston could be short. That won't stop him from trying to steer these younger players in the right direction.
"I'll naturally just ease my way into [a leadership role]," Bogans said. "It's not anything that I'm going to try to force. I'm the older guy. The guys look to me for leadership. It's natural. They're looking to me for leadership."
Will both Wallace and Bogans stay long term with the C's? Probably not, but these are the type of players that Rondo needs, along with star players. He needs a veteran leadership core that will back him. That will be about the team, and not about me. I'm not saying that's the case with anyone on this team, but Rondo needs players like Bogans, and Wallace.