Selfish

The “cool” thing to do the past couple of seasons has been to take pay cuts in order to build a team that can contend. LeBron did, Bosh did (even though he does not deserve what he makes now), Wade did it, Garnett did it, and Tim Duncan did it. Even Dirk offered to do it, but no one wants to take him up on it. Kobe Bryant’s salary next season is going to be worth a total of $30.45 million and he won’t take a cut. He said the following to Lakers Nation:

I’m not taking any at all — that’s the negotiation that you have to have.For me to sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m just going to take a huge pay cut. Nah, I’m going to try to get as much as I possibly can.”

I mean, how much money does this guy need? He already has to be one of the richest around, and he’s about to play for a team that is too scared to rebuild and that will fight to make a playoff spot since Howard bolted. This guy is selfish and deserves every single loss that is coming to him. Lakers suck, so does Kobe.

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Boston’s Building Blocks: Back to Square One

It’s been one week…since the blockbuster draft day trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, and a slew of future draft picks was made. While that trade may not technically be official until July 10th, the Boston Celtics are officially back at square one.

Picture Courtesy of backpagelead.com

With Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett gone, all that remains of that 2008 NBA Finals title team is point guard Rajon Rondo. Just like that, an era is over. As the new era of Celtics basketball begins, let’s take a quick look at what is in store for Boston in the 2013-2014 season:

Likely Lineup:

PG: Rajon Rondo

SG: Courtney Lee

SF: Jeff Green

PF: Gerald Wallace

C: Kris Humphries

Sixth Man: Avery Bradley/Brandon Bass

Role Players: Jared Sullinger/MarShon Brooks/Jordan Crawford

Depth Chart:

PG: Rondo/Bradley

SG: Courtney Lee/MarShon Brooks/Jordan Crawford

SF: Jeff Green/Keith Bogans/Kris Joseph

PF: Gerald Wallace/Brandon Bass/Shavlik Randolph/DJ White

C: Kris Humphries/Jared Sullinger/Fab Melo

Head Coach: TBA

(Have to wait and see if draft picks Kelly Olynyk and Colt Iverson survive summer leagues before an accurate roster can truly be drawn up. Depth chart info is courtesy of hoopsworld.com)

Now that you have an idea of how the 2013-2014 roster is going to look, let’s see what the pros and cons are for the Celtics going forward:

Picture Courtesy of kobebeefnba.com

Pros

The Celtics still have Rondo, Green, Lee, Bass, and Bradley. All of whom have played together and won together.

The Celtics have young developing players in the form of Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, MarShon Brooks, and Kris Joseph.

Boston will have a pair of NBA veterans in Wallace and Bogans to help bring some experience to what will be a younger C’s squad.

Boston will have two first round draft picks in each of the next three NBA drafts, and more draft picks to use as potential trade sweeteners down the road.

Cons

The Celtics will have obvious chemistry issues with new guys like Wallace, Humphries, Joseph, and Brooks coming in.

It’s still not clear if Danny Ainge wants to make Rondo the center piece of the Celtics or trade him away and completely start from scratch.

The Celtics will most likely be looking to dump the higher dollar contracts Wallace (3yrs at $30million), Lee (3yrs at $16.4million), and Bass (2yrs at $13.4million) to make room in the salary cap to sign a few future free agents. (contract figures courtesy of ESPNBoston.com)

The Celtics are going to be without a “true” head coach for at least a season or two.

Final Thoughts: Granted, Boston would appear to be gearing up for a 2007-esque regular season in 2013-2014. However, before you start believing the Celtics future is bleak, remember that the very next season (2008) the C’s made a splash in the free agency and captured a championship. Boston may be back to square one right now, but all it takes is one or two moves from the front office to be back in business.

How do you see the 2013-2014 season playing out in Boston? Is Rondo next on Ainge’s trading block? Leave a comment below.

2013 NBA Draft: Celtics Choices

Picture Courtesy of tsbsports.net

Draft Day: After shipping Doc Rivers out west and being uncertain about the futures of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Danny Ainge  has some big decisions to make, and soon. The decision making process will begin today. This evening, the 2013 NBA Draft will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Celtics have only one draft pick this year at number 16, so they’ll have to make it count.

Seeing as Pierce and Garnett may be out of the picture sooner rather than later, and given the string of injuries last year (Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, Leandro Barbosa, and the list goes on), Boston will be in a rebuilding mode for a little while before they can get back to business (chasing banner number 18). To make matters worse, C’s fans looking for a quick fix in this year’s draft…can keep looking elsewhere.

There won’t be any superstar potential left by the time the C’s are on the clock. Honestly, after the first few picks, the star power won’t be shining nearly as brightly as it has in recent draft years. Nevertheless, what there will be at pick number 16 are a few role players that could ultimately help provide some depth on the roster. So, let’s take a look at who could be donning Celtics green in 2013-2014:

Miami (FL) Point Guard Shane Larkin will likely be the best fit for the Boston Celtics according to draftexpress.com and hoopsworld.com Picture courtesy of mlb.mlb.com

Potential Picks:

Shane Larkin Point Guard Miami (FL): Larkin will likely be Boston’s best option tonight. Larkin, you may remember, helped lead a Hot Miami Hurricanes team into the NCAA tournament a few months ago in March. Larkin averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals a game in 2012-2013 for Miami. Larkin would provide depth at the PG position once Rondo returns and Bradley stays healthy at the shooting guard spot. A downside to Larkin though, he is undersized at 5’11″/171 pounds.

Kelly Olynyk Center Gonzaga: Olynyk would certainly be a solid choice for the Celtics if he’s still available at pick number 16. Like Olynyk’s 7’0″ frame though, that’s a pretty big “if”. He’ll likely go higher to the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder (picking 12th) or the Utah Jazz (picking 14th). The big guy from Gonzaga was a key cog in the Zags stellar season in 2012-2013 he averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game.

Mason Plumlee Center Duke: Should Shane Larkin not be arouns by the time Boston picks, Plumlee may not be a bad pick. At 6’11″/238 pounds, Plumlee certainly has the size and skills to at least survive in the NBA. In 2012-2013 Plumlee averaged 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks a game for the Blue Devils. If nothing else, he would provide depth at the center position, something the C’s will need after Garnett is gone.

Giannis Adetokunbo Small Forward out of Greece: Averaged 7.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 2012-2013. At age 18 and 6’9″/196 pounds, Adetokunbo has the time and the potential to prove himself in the league. With his 6’9″ frame, Giannis has the size and the right skill set to earn a spot on the C’s roster for the 2013-2014 season, should he be chosen.

Picture Courtesy of cdn.turner.com

Final Thoughts: While the Celtics may be coach-less, they are certainly not hopeless. Though it will take time to rebuild, Boston will be back in business before we know it. Remember, there are always big moves to be made in the NBA (See Celtics 2008 for example) and anything can happen…or in the words of Garnett “Anything is Possible!!!”

Who would you draft? Should the Celtics make a big move this off-season? Who will be Boston’s next bench boss? Leave a comment below.

Why not take a chance?

Multiple sources have come out saying that the Boston Celtics will wait until the end of the summer to choose the right head coach for them. This way, Ainge can draft the players he wants, and he can get a chance to see assistant coach Jay Larranaga run the summer league team. By then, most of the top head coaches with experience should be gone. This could bode well for him. Why not take a chance on someone like that, like the Nets are doing on Jason Kidd? Clearly, we are not going to be a contender for a few years, at the very least, so we don’t need to waste money over paying an amazing head coach.

Better yet, why not try having a player coach? David Cowens and Bill Russell have done it. Yes, I’m being serious. Why not have Kevin Garnett try it? Pay him one salary, give him a few good assistant coaches, and who knows, downloadpeople may want to come play for him. He already came out saying he admires Bill Russell more than anyone and shapes his game to be like him. I mean, he’s the greatest champion in all of sports. He won two titles as a player-coach after winning 9 others. Clearly, the Celtics aren’t in the same position to win any titles but there are some pro’s to this extremely, extremely unlikely possibility:

  • KG is one of, if not the best, defensive mind in the game. He knows exactly where to be at all times, and often barks out orders to others so that they get their act together, and move around correctly.
  • Let’s face it, whoever coaches this team, is going to have to put up with Rajon Rondo, assuming we keep him. That’s no easy feat. KG already has been able to help mold Rondo into a better leader and this is someone who Rondo can respect. The last thing we need is someone like Stan Van Gundy coming in to ruin things (like he did in Orlando by driving out Dwight Howard).
  • KG probably does not want to play for anyone but Rivers due to his extreme loyalty, and that seems almost impossible now, seeing as the league vetoed it. He probably wouldn’t mind playing for himself though, and since we are not going to be in line to win a championship, he can decrease his minutes and mold the younger guys, like Sullinger, into a KG 2.0.
  • Everyone respects him. Most people have said that he is the best locker room presence there is. Why take that away? He brings the championship mentality to the court every night. Just because he can’t do it himself anymore, doesn’t mean we should allow that to get away.

Let’s get one thing straight: In no way do I think this will happen. I just think it is an interesting way to look at things. In a time where we are rebuilding, why not take a shot on someone like him. It could make Danny Ainge the smartest man around. Red Auerbach did it when he retired as coach and moved into the front office, and that played out quite nicely for the greatest coach this game as ever seen.

Can you blame him?

If you haven’t heard already, Doc Rivers will be going to the Clippers. The Celtics will receive a 2015 first round draft pick for compensation in letting him out of his contract 3 downloadyears early. So far, we cannot trade Garnett there for Jordan, and it is widely assumed that the league will veto any trade between the two teams during the summer, stating that you cannot trade players and coaches together.

I don’t like the way this happened, but you gotta look at it from both sides. It is understandable that Doc Rivers didn’t want to go through the whole rebuilding process. Sure, it would have been better if he didn’t publicly come out saying he was ready for it when he signed the contract extension, but still. He was the greatest coach we could have had for these players. Everyone loved him, and until 8 days ago, so did you.

He brought the winning mentality back to Boston, and that is exactly why Danny Ainge kept him around after horribly-losing seasons, to work with the newly assembled Big 3. If we didn’t release him from his contract to go coach in LA, you can safely assume that he would have been taking a year or two off, and most likely broadcasting. This way, we at least get something for him, and he made sure of that. He still loves it here, he will admit that today in the press conference at noon. If only we could have gotten one of their draft picks from when they sucked. Right now, it looks as though they will be near the top of the standings, so their pick isn’t anything special. Two late round picks can be traded for a pretty penny though. No hard feelings Doc.

Trade Update

There has been a new breakthrough in the potential Celtics trade with the LA Clippers. Since the Clips were not gonna let Eric Bledsoe come here, we have decided to go another route. We want them to take the contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee (both are owed $11 Million over the next two years). We would now trade Garnett and Doc Rivers and one of those two to them for Deandre Jordan (solid player and fun to watch, but not someone you build your team around) and a future first-round pick, and maybe even another role player. They are saying that the deal, if it goes through, will be done later today or Tuesday the 18th.

C’s Talking Trade

For most, they probably did not even hear about the possible cross-country change because the Bruins were busy evening up the series last night. Anyways, here’s the jist of it. The Clippers of Los Angeles want Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett. They want to do so by making a trade with Deandre Jordan and some other compensation. Jordan is a solid center and a lot of fun to watch, but the Celts want more. They want backup Guard Eric Bledsoe. However, The Clips want to use Bledsoe (and reportedly, Blake Griffin) to convince the Lakers, who share the same building with them, to sign-and-trade Dwight Howard to them. The Clippers-Celtics talk has fizzled a little bit since yesterday, and could be completely blown up if nothing happens by Tuesday or Wednesday.

A few opinions:

  • Doc Rivers has most of the power here. My guess is that he has not agreed to come back yet because he wants to make sure that Ainge wants to bring back KG and Pierce. He has one last chip to hold on to. He doesn’t want to rebuild yet.
  • The Clippers will not change their opinion on Bledsoe, they would rather use him to lure Howard in, not a coach.
  • The Lakers are not scared to do a sign-and-trade, even if it is to their counterparts, the Clippers. It’s better than getting nothing for them. The only way Howard will do this is if good friend, Chris Paul, agrees to stay in LA.
  • If the deal isn’t worked out, the only way we keep Rivers, is to keep all three. They believe in loyalty and want to stay loyal to each other.
  • The Clips will see that trading two solid players (or trade chips) for a coach is not worth it.
  • Pierce should retire a Celtic, and Garnett should too. Even if Pierce leaves, we should at least sign him for a day after and let him retire in the Green and White, and retire his jersey ASAP.

Coach Karl Ousted

The NBA’s Coach of the Year, George Karl, of the Denver Nuggets has been fired, according to a source with ESPN. Karl had one more year on his contract and wanted to come back to the team, but after their GM left for Toronto, the team decided that they downloadwanted to go in another direction. Karl led a team with absolutely no All-Stars to a 57 win season and a 3rd seed in the playoffs. Yes, they lost early again. Karl has only made it out of the first round once out of nine times. I get that part. But he hasn’t always had the best players. He had a young, more immature than now Carmelo (hard to believe after this, I know), and a bunch of below average players. Even this season, their leading scorer was Ty Lawson with 16.7 PPG (31st in the league).

The Nugs were 38-3 at home this season which was best in the league. They were also 24-4 after the all-star break. Karl has coached 25 seasons and has a 1131-756 record but can’t seem to get it done in the playoffs. You can bet that a team is going to pick him up for next season. He has already talked to the Clippers.

The Post Paul Pierce/K-G Era

Picture Courtesy of setevintecinco.blogspot.com

It’s the Summer of 2014…Danny Ainge sits in his comfy office chair smoking a Cuban cigar, attempting to do his best Red Auerbach impression. Papers are scattered on his desk listing the players who need to be cut and the available free agents left on the market to pick up. His phone lines are ringing like crazy, on the other end waits a number of teams looking to trade for Rajon Rondo and draft picks. He just lets them go to voicemail. He puts out his cigar, sinks his head into his hands, and lets out a breathe of concern.

A Few Months Earlier: The Boston Celtics have been knocked out of the NBA Playoffs in the first round yet again. Celtics great Paul Pierce retires from the NBA a few days later at the age of 36. A few weeks before Pierce’s announcement, Kevin Garnett publicly states he is retiring after the C’s season is over. Doc Rivers, who was coerced to coach for Boston for one more season, calls it’s quits a few days after Pierce, and just like that…an era is over.

October 2014: The 2014-2015 regular season is about to get underway for the Boston Celtics, it’s opening night at the TD Garden, but the seats aren’t quite as full as they normally would be, the Celtics are about to be introduced by the PA announcer, but something’s missing. The announcer goes through the starting lineup, but there’s no mention of Pierce or Garnett, and instead of Rivers, someone else is on the sideline going through the game-plan with the team before tip-off.

The referee brings the ball out to the middle of the court, lobs it up for the tip, and without a second thought, the post-Paul Pierce/K-G era has begun.

Picture Courtesy of celticshub.com

The Truth Hurts: The paragraphs above are not something straight out of a science fiction novel, they are harsh realities that will come to light over the next two seasons, maybe even sooner depending on how this year’s off-season goes. The fact is, Pierce, Garnett, and even Doc Rivers will all be gone at some point, between now and the 2014-2015 regular season.

How the Celtics will prepare for this post-Paul Pierce/K-G era has yet to be seen. Replacing the likes of Pierce, Garnett, and Rivers will be nearly impossible from a character standpoint. Pierce has been everything Boston could have ever wanted out of a player since the C’s drafted him back in 1998. Garnett has been a key cog in the Celtics machine since 2008. Rivers has coached the Celtics through the best of times and the worst of times.

Boston can however, draft or add players who will provide the kind of production that Pierce and Garnett have for so many seasons. As for the next bench boss of the Celtics, only time can tell who will fit the bill for Boston.

In the meantime, here’s a look at what the Celtics roster will likely look like in 2014-2015 (minus draft picks, free agent signings, and trades) in comparison to their current roster.

Current Roster (when fully healthy)

C Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox, Fab Melo

PF Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, D.J. White, Shavlik Randolph

SF Paul Pierce, Jeff Green

SG Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Jordan Crawford, Terrance Williams

PG Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jason Terry

2014-2015 Roster (some of the players listed above were removed due to the likelihood of being cut, Terrence Williams, Shavlik Randolph,  or potential retirement, Jason Terry.)

C ?, Fab Melo, Chris Wilcox,

PF Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, D.J. White

SF Jeff Green, ?

SG ?, Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford,

PG Rajon Rondo (if he hasn’t been traded away), Avery Bradley

(The question marks above resemble open spots on the roster that can be filled by draft picks or free agent acquisitions/trades)

Picture Courtesy of boston.cbslocal.com

As you can see there will certainly be a few holes to plug up by the time the 2014-2015 rolls around. Upon review of that potential depth chart, some might say the Celtics need to prepare for the future right now. However, good things come to those who wait. So, before you decide that selling the farm by trading away either Pierce, Garnett or Rondo right now is a simple solution, consider some of these 2014 free agents:

Point Guards

Kyrie Irving

John Wall

Eric Bledsoe

Kemba Walker

Damian Lillard

Shooting Guards

Dwayne Wade

Jamal Crawford

Thabo Sefolosha

Klay Thompson

MarShon Brooks

Small Forwards

LeBron James

Carmelo Anthony

Paul George

Rudy Gay

Khawi Leonard

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Power Forwards

Zach Randolph

Dirk Nowitzki

Tristan Thompson

Greg Monroe

Kenneth Faried

Centers

Chris Bosh

Demarcus Cousins

Andrew Bogut

Andre Drummond

Now I’m not saying that LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh are all going to take their talents to Beantown, nor am I saying that Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving will leave their respective cities to play for Boston.

Because let’s face it, James, Wade, and Bosh are going to continue to shine in South Beach for at least another five seasons. Furthermore, Anthony will probably lure someone like Irving to play alongside himself and Amare Stoudemire, creating a “Big 3 in the Big Apple”

However, once you eliminate those top tier free agents, what your left with is a list of mid to high level guys who can help the Celtics compete for a championship well after Pierce and Garnett leave.

Final Thoughts: “The Truth” is, sooner than we would all care to admit, two “Big Ticket” names are both inching closer and closer to retirement. In a fantasy world the Celtics would have a roster consisting of Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Paul Pierce, and a few more Celtics greats every year. This, however, is the real world, and even the greats have to go at some point. A new era of Celtics basketball is on the horizon, one can only hope those running the front office are ready for it.

What should the C’s do? Who should they pursue once Pierce and Garnett are gone? Leave a comment below.

LeBron MVP

Well the Celtics season is over after a heart-breaking loss on Friday to the cocky and arrogant, New York Knicks. The next few months will really show where this organization is headed with the decisions they face with KG and Paul Pierce. However, this story is not about that. Lebron James won his 4th MVP this weekend. He became the second player to get 120 of 121 possible first place votes. Shaq did it 13 years ago. The lone voter, who decided to back Carmelo Anthony instead, was the Boston imagesGlobe’s Gary Washburn.

To me, this is ridiculous. I know everyone in Boston hates LeBron, but the main reason why he wasn’t unanimous, was because everyone thought he would be. Just so happens that it was a guy from Massachusetts to snub him. We all know that he is the best player in the league and by far the most efficient. If he took as many shots as Melo, he would be the leading scorer, but he is more than that, clearly. Plus, Melo sucked against us during the last 3 games of the series and I really thought we had a chance to steal it from those scumbags.

Kevin Garnett did receive one vote for MVP, but not a first place one. This was enough to tie him for 12th in the balloting.