So, we have our starting five coming back with Jermaine O'Neal holding down Perk's spot till he gets healthy. But the bench consists of Big Baby and a handful of rookies. That's it folks. Right now the cupboard is bare and Danny needs to keep shopping for groceries.
Tony Allen is not coming back because Danny has drawn a hard line in the sand. Ainge wouldn't give Allen that 3rd year fully guaranteed. Unless your name is Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, or Kevin Garnett, you are not getting a guaranteed contract past the 2011/12 season.
Ainge has expressed interest in Nate Robinson but no movement has been made on that front and I have to assume that has something to do with the offer that is on the table. Nate probably thinks he can get more elsewhere and he's probably right. Don't even ask about Marquis Daniels. I think he couldn't leave town fast enough.
So where are we going to find help on the wing? One has to hope and assume that Danny has another plan for filling that void. He's still got Rasheed's contract to offer around the league but I wonder how easily he'll be able to use it. The teams that were looking to slash payroll already did prior to The Decision. If we had a decent sized roster I'd say to hold onto the Sheed option until February and see what the season shakes out.
We also have the option of offering up Big Baby and even Perkins in a trade. However, with that hard line in the sand I mentioned before, I would bet that Danny isn't exactly eager to get rid of either guy since they are in the last year of their contracts.
So unless that Sheed contract can bring back multiple players on reasonable contracts, we might be stuck filling the roster with veteran minimum free agents looking to catch on with a contender. You know, the same kind of players that the Heat will be full court pressing to fill out their even shallower roster.
Perhaps he has a good feeling about picking up Barbosa (who's contract expires in that magic year of 2012).
The lack of depth on the wing is particularly concerning because we'll need reliable backups to ensure that Ray and Paul are rested for the playoffs. Ideally we'd like to get some young, talented, and experienced players to back up those two with big minutes in the regular season and the playoffs. I don't know if you can find those guys with the veterans minimum.
So the next move is Danny's and there's no telling when he's going to make it. He might make a move now that Tony isn't an option or he might be waiting to see who else is willing to sign here now that the money is starting to run out. Keep in mind too that a number of free agents wait months into the summer before settling on a contract. Ainge needs to keep an eye out and shop wisely.