What Now?

Looks like the “fireworks” had already happened, well before the NBA draft last night.  The Boston Celtics made all their draft picks, so no wild trades occurred.  Well, they kind of made all of their draft picks.  They moved around a bit.  No big whoop…they still took 4 players.

Doesn’t mean “Trader Danny” won’t pull something a little more major off in the coming days, but it doesn’t guarantee he will either.

So what are we looking at?  Who the hell knows really?

The big news really happened over the last several days.  Kyrie Irving opted out of his contract, which we knew was coming.  Al Horford then opted out of his contract…which we didn’t necessarily see coming.  I mean, who is passing up 30 mil plus when they are a 33-year-old “big man” who had to be managed because of a bad knee (or two?).  Welp, apparently Big Al is.

There were rumors the C’s were trying to turn that 1 year, 30 mil deal for Al into something along the lines of 3 for, I don’t know, 15-20 per.  But apparently, it will turn out some other team will give him 4 years for 25ish per.  Seems surprising.  But I guess that’s what is happening.

Marcus Morris is also an unrestricted free agent, as are the 2 “G-League” guys if that matters.  Not to mention that there are 4 restricted free agents on the roster, led by backup point guard Terry Rozier.  If they all leave, that leaves 12 guys on the current roster, if you include the 4 draft picks from last evening.  Which I am not sure I want to be doing now.  But I will for the purposes of this exercise.

What is “this exercise”?  Well, since I have no idea who Danny Ainge may be targeting in free agency when that opens up within a couple of weeks, nor do I know who he may go after in trades, I think the best thing we can do here is take the 17 bodies from last years’ roster and the 4 draft picks and talk about what we think the plan is with each.  Plus perhaps what I would do, for whatever that’s worth.

I mean, Wyc Grousbeck, the “Lead Owner” of the Boston Celtics, said a couple of weeks ago on local talk radio something like “we are going to look at all the players on the roster and see who stays and who goes…”

So let’s do that right now…since…I’m just as smart as Wyc, right?  RIGHT??!!

Haha…let’s move on, starting with the bottom of the roster.  Why?  Because of the off chance someone will read about them.  If we start with the stars, will anyone read until the end?  Wait, is anyone reading anyway?


Draft picks–Romeo Langford (#14), Grant Williams (#22), Carsen Edwards (#33), Tremont Waters (#51)–A shooting guard that shot a mere 27% from three-point land (going to a team that shoots too many threes already); a “small” power forward whose selection elicited a notable ‘wow’ type of response from one of the analysts (that probably wasn’t meant to be picked up by the microphones); a big-time scorer, but one that is undersized and a “small” point guard (“small” was emphasized three times right after the pick).  Consider me underwhelmed.

PJ Dozier/R.J. Hunter (Unrestricted Free Agents)– Here are your two G-League free agents.  Do you care?  Probably not.  I really don’t.  But you all should know that Hunter averaged 17 points a game for the Celtics last year.  Betcha didn’t know that!  Ok, he played one game that didn’t mean anything and scored that 17.  But still, “PPG” says “17.0” on the stat sheet.  No one can ever take that away from him.  So there’s that.

Jonathan Gibson (Restricted Free Agent)–This dude will be 32 in November.  And has played 21 career games in the NBA.  17 for the Dallas Mavericks in 2016-17 and 4 for the C’s in 2017-18.  Signed again with the Celts in mid-April 2019 and was on the roster for the playoffs, but didn’t play.  All of that is so you know who this guy is.  That being said, I’ve seen some of his garbage time minutes.  This cat can really shoot!  Could do worse for a 15th man.  But I’d be surprised to see him back…until April anyway.

Robert Williams–Yup, the Celtics first-round draft pick from last year was actually the 14th man on the roster and a regular inactive when everyone was healthy last season.  Seemed odd, when he had at least one skill (shot blocking) that would have been useful in certain game situations, whereas some other players that suited up seemingly had none.  Whatever.  Unless he gets traded this summer, hopefully, there will be some minutes available for him in 2019-20.  I’d like to see more.

Brad Wanamaker (Restricted Free Agent)–A third point guard is nice.  And the Cs will have one next year.  Will it be Brad?  I don’t know.  Maybe Shane Larkin will come back.  Or the second rounder from above.  Does it matter?

Guerschon Yabusele–The Dancing Bear!!  The 16th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Yabu has given the Cs 74 games at 6.6 minutes per game for 2.3 points per game in 2 years.  Seems solid for that draft slot…sigh…  Now he’s on the books for over 3 million next year, does he somehow earn more minutes this season?  Let’s hope not.  And also hope Danny can include his salary in a trade for something more useful.

Semi Ojeleye–I’ve never understood the “Shemi” infatuation.  Coach Brad Stevens always seems to shoehorn him in every night.  “Cuz he always guards Giannis well”, they will say.  Ok.  But what about everyone else?  I do see his minutes per game went down from 16 his rookie year to 11 in his second.  Didn’t realize that.  Only on the books for 1.6 next year, so I imagine he will be on the squad.  Let’s just hope his minutes don’t spike into the 20s based on the lack of other bodies available.

Daniel Theis (Restricted Free Agent)–I love this guy.  Is it rational?  Probably not.  He plays less than 15 minutes per game.  And probably is a 20 minute per guy max.  And shoots more threes than I like (although that’s what this team does…and he did actually hit 39% on them last year, surprisingly enough).  But he’s always flying around, rebounds well (which you know I love, or maybe you don’t know…but I love rebounders) and there is just something about him.  Hard to say what will happen to him.  He may get an offer sheet that the Celtics don’t match.  His rights may have to get renounced because the Cs go after a bigger fish.  No idea.  Would love to see him back, I think that goes without saying.

Aron Baynes–As opposed to Theis, I cannot stand this guy.  Is THIS rational?  Probably not.  Why do I hate him?  Loves to rebound with one arm for one.  Seems silly…along with that stupid hairdo.  He opted in last week, but now reports are they have shipped him to Phoenix.  For his well over 5 million dollar salary let’s hope that is accurate.  Along with many other reasons.  Williams should be able to do what he does for a fraction of the cost.  I just never understood this infatuation either.

Terry Rozier (Restricted Free Agent)–Since the starter at point guard appears to be gone (more on that later of course), many people think that the team should re-sign “Scary Terry” to a significant deal.  I am not sure I am one of those people.  Actually, I am not.  This guy is a borderline Hall of Famer, just ask him.  Rozier is a decent player, but nothing more.  I will ALWAYS maintain that.  Sure he has played well in some starts.  But he has also been putrid in some starts.  Then he goes off on the team after last season ended.  I say he should take his attitude elsewhere.  Let some other team overpay for this headache.  Even if that leaves the Celtics without their top 2 point guards next year.

Marcus Morris (Unrestricted Free Agent)–I give this guy a lot of credit.  He’s a notorious hothead.  With the complete dysfunction in the Celtics locker room last year, one would figure he would be right in the middle of it.  Amazingly enough, we rarely heard a peep from him.  Seems surprising.  And, for good measure, he may have been their best player in the first half of the season.  Second half…not so much.  I’d take him back actually.  But not at the dollars he will likely command.  I’m not talking a max contract guy, mind you.  But he will want to be paid.  I wouldn’t do that here.

Gordon Hayward–Time to sh&t or get off the pot Gordo.  In all fairness, yeah, a season lost to a gruesome injury then another season pretty much trying to work his way back.  Much to the chagrin of it would seem to all of his teammates, who did not like Coach Brad taking their minutes and force-feeding them to Hayward to try and get him back on course.  Nah, no selfishness there (Terry?).  In any event, he ain’t going anywhere, so let’s hope the second year back from that injury does the trick.

Marcus Smart–I like this guy.  His overall game anyway.  His defense.  His hustle.  He seems to care.  Do I love him at 13 million per?  Not particularly.  But that’s the price these days I guess.  He really, really, REALLY needs to stop shooting as much as he does.  Though sometimes those shots do drop in key moments.  Unless his salary needs to be included in a trade, it would seem he is here for the long haul.  That’s not entirely a bad thing.  But let’s hope he isn’t one of the top players on the roster come the onset of next season.

Al Horford (Unrestricted Free Agent)–As referenced earlier, really surprised that Al is going to be gone.  He was never a max contract player, though the Cs gave him one.  That being said, we think this helped attract players during the teams latest incarnation.  A very good, solid, if unspectacular, player and we should appreciate his contributions to the team over his tenure here.  That also being said, if those numbers on proposed contracts are accurate, let’s also make sure we wish him well at his next stop.

Jaylen Brown–Recent reports are out and are trying to make Brown out to be one of the huge problems in the Celtic locker room.  It’s entirely possible, as we know there was a problem between the young guys and the veterans.  Wouldn’t shock me anyway.  Brown is another one of the kids that thinks he’s better than he is.  But he’s way better than Rozier.  And he’s worth keeping around to see if he can take that next step while presumably getting more than 30 minutes per game.  The skills appear to be there.  He will be entering his 4th NBA season.  Let’s see if that huge jump comes next season.

Jayson Tatum–Seemed to me that Tatum didn’t make much of a step up this year for whatever reason.  But then I looked at his numbers and they were up all across the board…other than shooting percentage.  Must have been the ho-hum season of the team that made me think that there was no growth.  Tatum will be entering his 3rd NBA season and it seems at this point the best move is to build around him and Brown and maybe another third young guy…if they can actually attract one.  Ainge may alter that plan with some moves come July.  But that’s the way I’m leaning for sure.

Kyrie Irving (Unrestricted Free Agent)–I don’t even feel like talking about this guy.  A great, great, great player.  But undeniably not a leader.  It is assumed he is leaving, possibly (probably?) to Brooklyn, but don’t rule out a number of other teams.  There have even been whispers of him coming back to Boston.  I don’t believe that, but with this dude, you simply never know.  The Celtics may not be a better team on paper with him gone.  But could they be a better team on the court?  Perhaps.  People like to point to the previous season when Irving (and Hayward) were out and the team came within a hair of the NBA Finals.  I can’t say I expect that to happen next season while being led by Tatum and Brown.  But I can say I have no personal interest in bringing Kyrie back…under any circumstances.  That’s too bad because he’s a fantastic player.

This was a long one.  But hell, we haven’t written in a while so there was a lot to say.  My apologies.  In any event, long way to go to shape the 2019-2020 Boston Celtics.  This summer should be an interesting one.

About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on June 21, 2019, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I don’t think I can go in the weeds like you did, because I don’t think it matters that much. The only guys on the roster that matter.

    Kyrie and Horford are gone. Fuck Kyrie. Leave. Al I am a bit disappointed about, but if he thinks he can get a max contract at 34 (which he will be next year) go get it. There is no way Celts should pay it. I was in for 3 years at 20, which I think he could be worth, but other than that. No thanks.

    So, it is a reset then. I am in. Tatum and Brown can both be all-stars. There is no question in my mind. I have watched them grow, and this year with Kyrie and Gordon they were stalled. I expect them to come out lighting it up next year. Give them the reigns. The team is yours.

    Hayward. I will give him some time. About a month! If he doesn’t prove he is back to all-star form. Trade him. I think he can help, but I am weary about it. It felt like he was breaking out and then Kyrie fucking tanked it in the playoffs. (I agree completely on Kyrie. Great player. Terrible leader. go away).

    Rozier: I totally agree. And what I think is happening (with the Baynes trade) is opening up cap space to go after D. Russell, if Kyrie signs there. Russell, Jaylen and Tatum would be an enormous get for this team, and I say the sky is the limit.

    Add in R. Williams who has tremendous upside if he can find a work ethic (the reason he did not play much last year despite enormous promise was to give him a year to get used to the NBA) gets the starting job. Boom. It is yours.

    I say keep Semi and Theis too. Both defenders, and big bodies. What is the harm on the bench. If Semi can knock down that 3 his upside is Jae Crowder and that is not bad on your bench.

    The draft was spectacular actually. Langford has tremendous upside. Ainge and Stevens drafted with character, teamwork and grit in mind (the opposite of Kyrie). Langford played with a ligament tear in his shooting thumb, and is a much better shooter than portrayed, but admittedly needs to work on the shooting. Williams and Carsen have huge potential too in my opinion. Williams is more of a finished product, but is a great prospect.

    Word is they are clearing capspace to run at D’Angelo, but if not Rozier gets signed and they chase a center or possibly a trade.

    Hand the keys to the kids, the team in 2018 was so much more likeable. Let’s do this.

    Go Sox!

    • Great post Johnny J!! I just like writing about stiffs, that’s all!! I know most of the first several guys don’t matter. But they should get their due…haha!! I am ok with building around Tatum and Brown…as long as Brown wasn’t a huge part of the locker room garbage. That would be a problem for me. But they need another stud or two for sure. Russell? Still young and on the rise, it appears. I’d take him over Rozier for sure. I hope Gordo comes back strong. But let’s face it, there is a logjam at the SG/SF position. I would say Brown, Tatum and Gordo are all SF’s. I guess it doesn’t matter so much in today’s NBA. But when you throw the minutes Smart and his contract will demand, then there is another issue. Don’t get me wrong, I like Smart. But again…the logjam. I really have no love for Semi but at his salary he can stay on the bench. I would LOVE for Theis to come back…but it depends on the contract. Someone could give him 8 figures a year. I’m not so sure about that price. I’ll take your word for it on the draft. They apparently were getting good draft grades in some of the articles I read today. So maybe it’s better than I thought. Then again, I don’t follow college hoops other than the tourney though. And speaking of the tourney, Edwards was awesome in it last year. Makes you wonder why he slipped to the second round. We will see what happens over the next few weeks…should be fun!

  2. Oops. forgot Marcus Smart. You get what you see with him. A first team all defender and a frustrating shot. If you could go get Clint Capela with his contract, I really might bite, if they struck out in FA. What the heck. Smart and Williams for Clint Capela. I really might do that.

    I am also keeping Brad Wannamaker. He is really solid. 4th or 5th guard to fill out the bench? Yes.

    • Smart just needs to stop shooting and he would be fine. Capela? Maybe. The contract is reasonable, now that I looked at it. But I’d be surprised if Houston did that deal. Wanamaker? Sure. But a third PG like that could be anyone.

  3. It was a weird draft for sure. “flat” as they called it. I think Ainge did as good as he could do. Even the 4th pick people are wondering if the 60th pick is as good! Or Tacko Fall who the Celts just signed. 7’6! WTF. A guy like that can’t even get drafted. I think the NBA needs to do something about that. Give me a break. Change some rules to make bigs relevant again.

    It is annoying. They say Horford has a four year deal worth $112Mil. Fuck that. Let someone else overpay. Supposedly Ainge offered him a good K. I get it. Go get your $$ and the Celts were a disaster.

    Jaylen, I see what you are saying about the lockerroom garbage. They are saying he and Tatum didn’t get along for sure. And sure, they need to take their part in it, but when I look at Kyrie and them, I take their sides. He was a bafoon half the year the way he handled things. I just harken back to that play in Orlando, when he made a fool of himself whining. Anyway…is the NHL draft coming next?!

    What is up with Sale tonight!

    • Yeah Tacko…I rooted for him in the tourney last year. But I have to tell you he’s not going to make it in the NBA. Bigs being relevant or not. He had some numbers based on his height alone. But against better competition he will just be like Chuck Nevitt or something…yeah, going back a bit, but I think Nevitt was 7’5″.

      I saw that 4/112 rumor. That’s silly. Yeah, that Orlando thing was stupid with Kyrie, as were many other things. It’s hard to imagine Tatum and Brown not getting along…I always thought it was young versus old guys. Brown could be a bigger problem than we know.

      I know nothing about NHL prospects, but the next thing I’m working on is a B’s wrap up…similar to this one. Has taken me a bit to recover from Game 7. Real life has been pretty busy as well and the blogs have suffered in recent weeks!

      I have some Sox thoughts jotted down too. Next week it looks like something there. I am still not sold. Very disappointing this year, to say the least.

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