Picking up right where we left off…just remember, DEMETRIUS JACKSON. Ok, I will stop yelling now that I have your attention. On to the rest of the roster, still in alphabetical order…
*Jonas Jerebko/Amir Johnson. I’m going to lump these two together. Because I can. And they are next to each other on the roster. More importantly, it’s because I thought neither one of their options should have been picked up before the season. To me, it was a colossal waste of 17 million for a combined 36 minutes a game for these stiffs. They couldn’t have paid one player the whole 17 mil and received a better return?
Harsh assessment? Most assuredly. But it is what it is.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I have no idea what Johnson brings to the table. None. Doesn’t rebound. Doesn’t block shots. Doesn’t score. Defense? Perhaps. But when I watched him, he didn’t make much of a difference. Never comes up with a “50/50 ball”. Etc. Yet he started almost every game this year. Oh, if you take away Jackson’s 1 for 1 on threes, then Amir led the team in three-point percentage. Yup. 27 for 66, for 41%. And yes, I just looked it up. Actually, I was looking for something (anything?!) Johnson contributed and stumbled upon that nugget. I know, only 66 threes attempted, so big deal. But if you asked anyone if they thought Amir shot that many threes this season, they wouldn’t believe it either (10 for 43 for 23% last year, by the way…found that interesting as well). So I guess I discovered something he did add to the mix.
You know what else I realized about Johnson? That he was the second highest paid Celtic this year. A distant second to Al Horford, but second highest nonetheless. Yikes!!
I know, Johnny Kid…you will disagree with the above analysis. But that’s how I saw it…
As for Jerebko, well, I didn’t have much love for him either. He sure as hell hustles his arse off and can hit the occasional three himself. But…seemingly takes up space for the most part.
I can’t even talk about these guys anymore. I hope neither of them are back. Although if Brad Stevens uses Jonas going forward like he did at the end of the playoffs, which is…barely…then if he wants to come back for a veteran minimum salary and there were open roster spots, I wouldn’t complain…too much. Johnson? I wish him well at his next stop. If there is one…
*Jordan Mickey/James Young. Uh oh. There goes the alphabetical order! But it made sense to lump these guys together. Plus, “Y” does come after “M”, you know.
Before the season, I had high hopes for both of these guys. I had no idea if either of these two could play in the NBA. Unfortunately, I still don’t. That’s what happens when these guys apparently drew straws for the 13th and final active roster spot on a nightly basis.
With the way this team was sure to have (and did have) problems rebounding, I was hoping Mickey would get some minutes to try to help that problem. Young, being his third year but still only 21, I was hoping for him to get minutes to see if he would finally develop into something useful. Neither one got those minutes because they went to Gerald Green, Jerebko, Johnson, etc.
We already know what the veteran bench guys can do. We didn’t (don’t) know what Mickey or Young can do. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe they just sucked really bad at practice and they didn’t ultimately “earn” their time. But it would have been nice to find out about them in real games.
Based on the above, I don’t see either back next year. Young is unrestricted anyway. Mickey has non-guaranteed money, but doesn’t seem likely the Cs will guarantee it.
I have no idea why, but I bought into the Young hype from Day One. Left school early, top 10 talent if he stayed in school (“they” say anyway), steal for where they took him in the draft (17th), etc. I’ve always had this vision that he is like Jermaine O’Neal. Not the style of play of course. Not the “Boston Celtic years Jermaine O’Neal”. But the O’Neal that came into the league at 18 years old, languished on the bench in Portland for 4 years, then blossomed into an All-Star as soon as he went to Indiana.
Yeah, Young probably doesn’t turn out to be anything. But please note both he and Jermaine were taken at #17 in the first round of their respective drafts. So if my hunch is right…somebody owes me something…
*Kelly Olynyk. Who do I dislike more, Johnson or Olynyk? It’s close. If “Game 7 against the Wizards Kelly Olynyk” showed up more, it’s obviously a lot easier to trash on Amir. Goes without saying. But unfortunately, THAT guy shows up once every 40 games or so. Or something like that. It’s mostly the abundantly average KO that is around most of the time. So it makes the decision tougher.
Listen, Olynyk will always be better than I will ever give him credit for. It’s just that I like my 7-footers to be able to rebound and play down low. And he can’t. Which infuriates me a little as well because it looks like he may actually have some ability down inside, believe it or not. I know, this is Brad’s system and that’s what he wants Kelly to do…blah, blah, blah. I get it. But I don’t have to like it.
As for next year, Olynyk is a restricted free agent coming off 3.1 mil this year. If you ask me, I let him walk. He will want a nice raise, for whatever reason. But look closely at the numbers. Four years in the league and no improvement really. He has essentially been the same guy for those four years. Is he all of a sudden take a step up in his age 26-27 season next year? Or beyond? Doubtful. So why give this guy a fat raise for that? He is what he is and there is some value to that. Just not the value in dollars he likely will be looking for. Let him go.
Honestly though, I think Danny makes a good effort to keep him, sad to say. It probably depends on what they do with the guards and who they bring in and all that. He may not fit financially when all the chips fall into place. But Danny does try to keep him here.
*Terry Rozier/Marcus Smart. Pairing these guys up based on position…and length of this post! Smart played pretty much starters minutes and Rozier was essentially your 4th guard. Rozier seems like he may be the better ballhandler and rebounder, Smart could possibly have the better all around game when you throw in his D. Both are 23 years old with birthdays in March, so there’s that. Even better, they were the only Celtics to shoot less than 40% from the field (about 36% apiece for both), so I suppose there are some similarities.
Despite the fact that he shoots entirely too much and no one bothers reining him in, and despite the fact that he can still be a knucklehead at times, Smart grew on me this past season. If Avery Bradley is indeed moved as I think, I believe Smart moves into the starting lineup and takes another step up. Just a gut feeling.
Rozier? Don’t be shocked if he is moved either. Yes, he could step up to be the primary backup guard. I can’t say I would be opposed to that, as he showed some growth between his rookie and sophomore years in the NBA. But I have other ideas for the #3 guard. One could be Jaylen Brown, as discussed in the previous post. Brown filled in there when Bradley missed time earlier in the year. If Jae Crowder stays, Brown has to get more minutes somewhere. And he no doubt has more upside than Rozier.
I have another player in mind for the #3 guard. That’s a story for a different day however.
Next: Still a big name missing…