As far as I'm concerned, Danny Ainge has done a remarkable job this summer, considering the very limited resources he's had at his disposal.
Let's skip the huge rebuilding summer of 2007, when Ainge pulled off the necessary moves to bring us banner no.17, and bringing delight to the die-hard Boston fans, such as myself, who have waited patiently for, oh these 21 frustrating years.
We'll also skip the recent season, when a key injury - aka K.Garnett's knee, and then Leon Powe's knee injury as well, helped finish us off, albeit not without going down fighting to the last game of the seven game series [ we'll all try to forget the last game- it's too painful to remember ] against Orlando, who made it to the finals in the end. The necessary resources, aka money, to bring in some much needed help never materialized, and when it came down to Scal being a starter, we knew we were in trouble, with a capital T [ no disrespect to Scal, who gives everything of himself, but let's face it - "himself" is limited ].
Fast forward to the coming season, with a prayer for a healthy team throughout the playoffs, and I foresee banner no.18 proudly being unfurled at the end of playing time [ most hopefully against the Lakers, in order to show them that 2009 was an abberration ].
Our starting five, R.Rondo, R.Allen, P.Pierce, K.Garnett and K.Perkins have to be the most formidable starting five in the NBA today.
Where D.Ainge has performed his magic this summer is in providing a bench that is second to none as well.
Eddie House is coming back, hopefully to see no.19 unfurl after this season as well, and that was a good start, as his key 3 pt. shooting has always added to our game.
Re-signing Glen 'B.B' Davis, after protracted negotiations [ or lack thereof, on behalf of other teams showing an interest in him ] and locking him up for the next two seasons at a price that we can afford [ and hopefully, that he can live with, without being disgruntled ] secured us a power forward with strength, who can handle pretty much whatever is thrown at him.
Our key weakness has been the lack of a big man, who can replace K.Garnett and/or Perk effectively. With the brilliant use of the mid-level exception, we managed to snag Rasheed Wallace, no less, who I believe will have a banner year[s] with Boston, and will be playing with a renewed passion for the game. He, along with 'B.B', will anchor the second team, and will, at times, be a starter, instaed of Perk, e.g., depending on the team we'll be facing.
Marquis Daniels, who still remains unsigned, but has committed to playing for Boston, will be a very helpful back up for any one of three positions, but will mainly be used to fill in for Pierce and Allan, while in a pinch, can go for a few minutes together with House, as a Rondo fill-in.
Having that second team strength and versatility will allow Doc Rivers the luxury of doing some experimenting with new signees such as Sheldon Williams, and perhaps a trial period with Lester Hudson.
If both J.R.Giddens and Bill Walker remain with the squad, they will have an extra year under their belts, and will be anxious to show that they belong, not just in the NBA, but be worthy of playing for Boston.
Brian Scalabrine is who he is, and may stay with the team, or not, as he has an expiring contract, which Ainge might use later to trade for a solid back up point guard, prior to the trade deadline. If not, he's always managed some effective minutes.
If Tony Allen can't be traded for anyone, he may yet surprise us [ hopefully, in a good way ] and demonstrate the talent that at one time we thought he had; if not- farewell.
It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Marbury come into training camp with the desire to show the world that he still has "it" , and stay for the coming season- he must still crave a ring, not to mention the respect of his peers, no matter what anyone says or thinks.
There you have it. With limited resources this summer, Ainge has given us a bench that would be the envy of many of the starting line-ups of a majority of the teams in the NBA.
What can I say, except- bring it on. We're ready for all comers this season.