According to Mark Murphy, Doc has a vision for the offseason, and I like what I'm hearing:
The Celtics didn't do enough last off-season:
"[E]very team we competed against this year -- the ones at the top -- added to their team, and we didn’t.”
"Losing P.J. (Brown), (James) Posey and Sam (Cassell from the 2007-08 championship team) took away something like 35 or 40 years of experience, and we got back zero."
The Celts need veteran help:
“We have to add someone this summer if we want to win it (again),” he said. “We have to add shooting, and Paul (Pierce) needs a solid backup, which would help Paul drastically.
“One thing we have to absolutely add is a veteran. One thing that happened (following Garnett’s injury) was that we got young quickly. Bringing in another veteran, having him in the locker room, helps all the young guys.
The time to win is now, not in the future:
“[The window] is shorter,” Rivers said. “We understand that. We want to win now, not in the future, and it’s good to be in the now. Twenty-two teams in this league think about building, and seven live for now. We’re still one of those seven teams.”
The Celts have at least three holes they need to fill:
“I’d say we have to get a (center) first, and we have to get a small forward. Then there’s the point guard situation.”
Sign me up for the Rivers plan. Seriously, it makes me feel better that Doc recognizes exactly what went wrong this season, and wants to address it to avoid a repeat.
There can be no doubt that the main reason we didn't repeat was the injury situation, primarily to KG but also to Powe. However, as Doc points out explicitly and implicitly in his interview, last year's team was handicapped from the start. There were too many projects on the team, who didn't deserve playing time. The team let veterans like James Posey and P.J. Brown walk away, and replaced them with... nothing. Or, Tony Allen and Patrick O'Bryant, if you like, which is the equivalent of nothing. The team was too worried about the future (i.e., POB and two rookies, and refusing to give Posey a fourth year on his deal), and not worried enough about bringing in guys who could actually play.
However, the past is the past. There were limited options in free agency last season, so if the team couldn't find any players who would fit the team and the team's salary structure, I can understand that. However, it will be completely unacceptable if the team doesn't make significant additions this off-season. There are a ton of good veterans on the market, and with the economy where it is (and many teams saving cap space for next season's free agent bonanza, which we can't participate in), there should be a lot of bargains.
Yes, the team has financial restrictions, as just about every team does. If the team signs BBD, uses the full MLE, and fills in the roster with the LLE and minimum deals, we're looking at total salary and luxury tax committments in the $100 - $105 million range. That may be a bridge too far, but even if the team commits to just using the MLE and the LLE, we should be able to sign some very good players. (For instance: Grant Hill, Joe Smith, and Antonio McDyess are all coming off deals for the LLE or less, as are Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes, and Quinton Ross.)
Doc gets it. Now, let's hope the people handling the check book do, too.