Oct 23, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of a preseason game at New Orleans Arena. The Heat defeated the Pelicans 108-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Boston Celtics one Expiring Superstar Away?

The Boston Celtics made a name for themselves in the last decade by trading for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Both of those players were dealt to the Celtics from teams that were preparing for a rebuild.

The climate of the NBA today is vastly different than it was six years ago, though. There aren’t any Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen players available, currently. But if we pay close attention, we see that the Celtics do have the assets in order to make some things happen in the future.

And because I’ve gone insane and have experienced numerous occurrences of withdrawal over the summer  miss the game so much, I’ve come up with a few situations that Celtics fans should keep their eyes on as time continues to tick by in the Celtics’ new rebuilding era.

There are three things to consider here. First, and most importantly, we have to keep in mind the Celtics’ assets and how they could be put to use over the next few years. Is it worth it to give up this asset? What would a fair deal be?

Secondly, we have to think about what superstar players in the NBA are going to want out in the next few years. It’s very unlikely that the Celtics are running into another situation like they did with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Those two were All-Timers at their respective positions. And, plus, their deals were about to expire.

Thirdly, we have to think that the Celtics would need to keep Rajon Rondo in order for these teams to be effective. If you trade one star player for another, you’re essentially in the same scenario that you were in before. The only difference is that you would have less assets to build toward the future with.

Now, here are the tradeable tools that we have to work with.

Boston Celtics Draft Picks

2014

  • Celtics own their first round pick
  • Celtics own the least favorable draft  between the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets. Nets acquired pick in Joe Johnson trade; sent pick to Celtics in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett trade.

2015

  • Celtics own their first round draft pick
  • Celtics own Clippers 2015 first round pick as compensation for Doc Rivers.
  • Celtics own their second round pick.
  • Celtics own Kings second round pick; acquired in Sam Cassell trade; top 55 protected pick.

2016

  • Celtics own their first round pick.
  • Celtics own Nets first round pick; acquired in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett trade.
  • Celtics own their second round pick.

2017

  • Celtics own their first round pick; have the right to swap first round draft picks with Nets.
  • Celtics own their second round pick.
  • Celtics own Kings second round; acquired in trade for Marquis Daniels; top 55 protected pick.

2018

  • Celtics own their first round draft pick.
  • Celtics won Nets first round draft pick.
  • Celtics own their second round draft pick.

So, in total, the Celtics have 13 draft picks over the next five seasons to use. That doesn’t include the two unprotected second rounders that they acquired from the Sacramento Kings. They’re in good shape to build through the draft if that is the angle that Danny Ainge wants to take. But don’t be surprised if he ends up turning at least three to four of these picks into trade assets.

Boston CelticsExpiring Contracts

As far as expiring contracts go, the Celtics have plenty of those in the near future as well. The only expiring that the Celtics have for this season without a non-guaranteed deal is Kris Humprhies.

The Celtics, if they’d want to find an already established star player instead of working through the draft, would want to wait until that player is nearing the time to consider their third extension. Players entering their second deal aren’t ideal and are considered much more of a gamble.

Below are a the expiring contracts that the Celtics have coming up over the next three seasons. (NOTE: Players on rookie deals were not included.)

2013-2014

  • Kris Humprhies
  • Keith Bogans (if the Celtics don’t guarantee his deal over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.)

2014-2015

  • Rajon Rondo
  • Jeff Green (player option.)
  • Brandon Bass

2015-16

  • Gerald Wallace
  • Courtney Lee

In other words, the Celtics have plenty of ammunition if they want to send a few prospects and expiring deals over in a trade for a star player. They’ve got plenty of rookie deals to work with at this point.

They’ve got seven players who are currently playing on rookie contracts this season. Those deals are easy to move around and provide teams with prospects to work with. The only players that are won’t be on rookie deals next season that are this year are Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley. And even still, their deals should be relatively short and manageable.

Now, as for the Celtics targets, let’s look at some of the upcoming free agents that could be available in the next two offseasons.

Target Players

  • LeBron James- 2014
  • Carmelo Anthony- 2014
  • Chris Bosh- 2014
  • Dwyane Wade- 2014
  • Greg Monroe- 2014
  • Pau Gasol- 2014
  • Amar’e Stoudamire- 2014
  • Danny Granger- 2014
  • Rudy Gay- 2014
  • Klay Thompson- 2014
  • Kevin L0ve- 2015
  • Paul Milsap- 2015
  • Lamarcus Aldridge- 2015
  • Brook Lopez- 2015
  • Marc Gasol- 2015
  • Roy Hibbert- 2015

 

****

Now, I understand that those are a lot of names. In fact, most of them are very unlikely. But all it takes is one volatile situation for a player to want out of an organization. Kevin Love and Lamarcus Aldridge should be prime targets. There have already been rumors started about those two, and where there is smoke there is fire.

I can’t see any of the Miami Heat big three leaving–let alone coming to Boston. The same goes for Carmelo Anthony. He may not be a Knick, but coming to Boston is extremely unlikely.

Klay Thompson is a restricted free agent, but it’s likely that the Warriors will have to choose between him and Harrison Barnes. With the addition of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors have a surplus of wing players on their roster. There won’t be room for them and someone is going to get left out. Odds are that it isn’t Iguodala because of the contract that he just received. Barnes and Thompson are on rookie deals, but with Jeff Green already on here the Celtics would be more interested in Thompson.

Players like Danny Granger and Amar’e Stoudamire will be available, but they’ll be cheap and there will be little interest in them. The same goes with Pau Gasol because of his age.

Even though a lot of these are unlikely, the Celtics do have the sources to make one of these deals happen. With their surplus of expiring deals, rookie deals, draft picks and a pending extension on Rajon Rondo, they could be in good shape for a deal with a team in the future.

Next Celtics Game Full schedule »
Saturday, Nov 11 Nov7:00at Houston RocketsBuy Tickets

Tags: Boston Celtics Boston Celtics Draft Picks NBA Free Agency 2014 NBA Free Agency 2015 Trades

comments powered by Disqus