May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett (5) shakes hands with head coach Doc Rivers in the final seconds of play against the New York Knicks in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Celtics 88-80. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Assessing The State Of The Celtics

With every offseason comes important decisions . Accompanying said decisions are a host of possible alternate realities and courses. For every action there is a reaction whether it be beneficiary or detrimental to the future of the team. The Celtics are in a peculiar spot right now where while they’re in control of what happens nothing will result in instant contention. They seem to be, if you will “stuck between a rock and a hard place”, an expression which signifies that neither course of action is preferable, but the fact remains that decisions have to be made.

I wrote earlier this week about the growing concern about Doc’s hesitance to announce his status next season. This remains to be probably the biggest domino that has yet to fall amidst a host of others. His hesitance to return is most likely the cause of the increasing rumors of potential personnel changes(We’ll get in to that later). Doc being (IMO) one of the 3 best tactical and overall coaches in the league, it’s extremely vital that he returns to the bench as a transition period as delicate as this one needs him guide it.

Now to assess the personnel and what would behoove Danny to do with it(Though what do I know?).  It’s a very delicate situation right now as it seems like everything is in flux with the roster when in reality barring any major changes(which are likely to occur) Boston will be bringing back the same core. Though with that conveyed, changes could be in store for Boston. Pierce on numerous occasions has been linked to various trade rumors and rumors about being waived (Has $4 Million buyout clause which has to be exercised by June 30th).  Garnett has been linked to various retirement rumors as well. What exactly would this entail for Boston? Our resident Editor Michael Sykes outlined it in his latest post on the Cs cap situation. Basically what it says is currently Boston has no cap room and even if they were to dump Pierce’s and Garnett’s salaries off the books(without getting anything in return), the resulting cap space would be insignificant and not worth it. What this means is that it’s more likely that at least one of the two will be traded(preferably for a couple young players and a pick) so as to not waste assets.

I’ve covered at length players and personnel that may not be here next year now lets talk about who will definitely be here next year and for the foreseeable future. According to Basketball Reference,  Boston only has 8 players under contract through the year of 2014-15. Of those 8 players I can only really see 3 players as definite locks to be on that 2014-15 team two years from now, those players being Rondo/Green/Sully.

Rondo, the enigmatic point guard seems to be on schedule for a training camp return and his future in Boston seems to be safe.  His future as the unquestioned leader and best player though seems a bit more obfuscated in that we don’t really know whether Danny could build a contender around him. That is in no way a slight to Rondo’s maturity but his skill set is best suited to be the 2nd option on a contender.

Green’s future in Boston got a little more secure with his end of season exploits as a full time starter. In 17 games as a starter he averaged 20.1 ppg on a 61.8 TS% and basically every single advanced metric was boosted with his new found minutes.  He improved mightily as a clutch performer this past season as his confidence grew and he adjusted after not playing basketball for a year. Improvements aside we still haven’t seen him play at this level for an entire season which is what I hope will happen this subsequent season.

As muggy and dark the future gets it seems a little better that we get to see Sully play. Sully, who recently called his back “completely fixed” is looking like he’ll be apart of this team for awhile, already inserting himself firmly into the hearts of many fans with his hard-working attitude.

Another issue to take note of is obviously the upcoming draft. The Celtics are slated for the 16th pick and while admittedly I’m the last NBA Writer anyone would go to for draft advice, it is an important thing to keep in mind. I am, however, constantly aware of the Celtics needs, one of which is to get a secondary ball handler off the bench. Guys like Jamaal Franklin, Shane Larkin and MCW come to mind as potential picks for Boston, all of which have been scheduled to be picked around Boston’s pick. Whoever they pick they won’t be a game changer but they’ll be an asset which is important for a team with little to no assets.

Nothing is set in stone right now with the Celtics. Everything and seemingly everyone could be subject to change. Somethings will likely remain but nothing will ever be the same. A Tank or semi tank could be prevalent next season or we could try to compete for a playoff spot. Really who knows besides Danny and the front office? I’ve addressed it multiple times already and it would be beneficiary to contemplate it.  Watching the finals right now makes me yearn to watch Boston compete for another title and I’m all for any method that expedites that process.


Follow me on Twitter @TreyAdell

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Tags: 2013 NBA Draft Contract Buyout Danny Ainge Doc Rivers Free Agency Jared Sullinger Jeff Green Kevin Garnett Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo

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