FanPost

Danny Ainge will have to trade Bass et al in exchange of . . .

PRIMER : Boston Celtics 2012-13 Agent Status and Game Stats To-Date

NAME 2011/12 SALARY [$ Mn] Remaining Contract Yrs Agnt Type FG% 3P% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
Jermaine O'Neal 6.23 UFA 42% 0% 72% 1.6 5.1 6.7 1.1 1.8 0.4 12.0
Kevin Garnett 21.20 UFA 47% 30% 78% 2.5 8.7 11.2 3.8 1.4 1.3 19.6
Paul Pierce 15.33 2 43% 35% 82% 0.9 5.6 6.5 4.0 0.7 1.3 21.4
Ray Allen 10.00 UFA 45% 42% 90% 1.0 3.1 4.0 3.4 0.3 1.1 19.4
Rajon Rondo 10.00 3 44% 28% 64% 1.6 4.2 5.8 8.5 0.2 1.9 13.8
Chris Wilcox 3.00 53% 0% 64% 1.6 3.5 5.1 0.8 0.4 0.5 8.6
Brandon Bass 4.00 1 50% 0% 92% 1.7 2.2 3.9 0.4 0.4 0.5 7.7
Mickael Pietrus 1.22 45% 39% 70% 0.7 1.8 2.5 0.6 0.6 0.7 8.9
Marquis Daniels 1.22 43% 25% 72% 0.9 1.2 2.1 1.2 0.1 0.4 5.0
Avery Bradley 1.52 3 40% 6% 58% 0.3 0.8 1.1 0.8 0.1 0.4 2.7
Greg Stiemsma 0.76 50% 0% 70% 0.6 1.5 2.1 0.4 1.1 0.3 1.6
JaJuan Johnson 1.04 4 58% 0% 67% 0.4 0.6 1.0 0.2 0.2 0.1 3.1
Sasha Pavlovic 0.85 39% 34% 53% 0.5 1.4 1.9 0.9 0.1 0.6 5.6
E'Twaun Moore 0.47 36% 35% 100% 0.2 0.6 0.8 1.1 0.2 0.4 3.0
Keyon Dooling 2.16 46% 38% 81% 0.1 1.0 1.1 1.3 0.1 0.5 7.1

If the C's are planning to bolster its bench after the All-Star Weekend in preparation for its title bid this year, I believe Danny Ainge has a very narrow elbow room. Based on the salaries and agent statuses above, Danny doesn't have enough non-FA blue chip player left for a significant roster overhaul through one reasonable Sign-and-Trade deal with any team across the league, unless he is considering trading Rondo (@$10 M/yr) with another NBA team in exchange for a $4M PG and at least a $6M forward to add scoring punch into its line-up [definitely Pierce is out of the question].He definitely cannot leverage on the big purse, aging unrestricted free agent (UFA) stars (KG, Ray-Ray & JO). But let's go back to the team management's aim....Win a championship THIS YEAR...let's worry about the subsequent years, they will have a some of freed up salary space come 2012-13 - more or less a total of $15-$20M - on or below the $58 M salary cap due to the expiring contracts of veteran players (some $12M in total) excluding KG and Ray-Ray. But due to KG and Ray-Ray's love of the Celtics, it's still highly possible that they would still be wearing green jerseys and receive veteran's pay for at least a year or so and be content coming off the bench in order for the soon-to-be new guys to get the playing time and fit into Doc's system. So including KG and Ray-Ray's annual pay beyond 2012, the C's will still have some $10-15 M to spend and shop for the needed young, talented and aggressive pieces....Or better yet, exceed the salary cap again by more or less $20 M and acquire two $10 M/yr reliable superstars.

So based on the arguments above, what do the C's need to do at this juncture of the season in order to give itself a better chance of at least getting into the Finals? What position/s do they need to reinforce? Do they have to trade or stick to their current roster in order to do this?

Bottom line, I strongly believe they only have to address their weakest link - the SF/SG positions - which are at the same time their bread and butter through Paul and Ray-Ray. Weakest because, these two guys are prone to fatigue already. It is already be too much for them to play reliably and effectively for at least 40 minutes of the regulation time. Moreover, there isn't enough talent and toughness from their bench, which they can rely on whenever one of these two guys need to rest for at least 4 minutes per quarter due to fatigue or poor performance in the course of a game the game. More so if these two guys are tired or not performing at the same time. If you'd notice, and I'm sure you'll concur, almost all of their losses are all due to either Pierce or Ray-Ray, or both of them are not performing as expected or are rested.

Other than the above-mentioned positions, their current roster is solid with some considerations on the extended exposure and crucial playing time for the rotational or second stringers. They have enough reliable bodies, talent, versatility, toughness, experience and length at the C/PF positions with KG, Wilcox, Stiemsma, JaJuan and JO completing that rotation. Moreover, the potential of these C's/PF's would even be exploited once the SF's/SG's are able to consistently extend the defense all throughout the duration of every game - just like what the C's did in their 2007-2008 championship run and Dallas' championship run last year. With respect to the PG position, Rondo is now slowly performing again as the 4th member of the Big 4 with two reliable back-ups in Avery and Keyon off the bench. So it would suicide if you even consider trading him since there is no other available PG out there that, at the very least, comes close to possessing his playing IQ, talent and skills.

So how would they address this seem-to-be problem? Based on facts and stats stated in the table above, it is of my strong opinion that they need to offer Bass for a Sign-and-Trade deal since he is the only bankable player at their roster whose contributions I strongly believe would not matter when replaced, in fact, it would even help address the said lessened efficacy and potency of the SF/SG positions. My proposals are illustrated below:

NAME 2011/12 SALARY [$ Mn]

Remaining Contract Yrs

Agnt Type FG% 3P% FT% OR DR REB AST BLK STL PTS
Brandon Bass 4.00 1 50% 0% 92% 1.7 2.2 3.9 0.4 0.4 0.5 7.7
E'Twaun Moore 0.47 36% 35% 100% 0.2 0.6 0.8 1.1 0.2 0.4 3.0

FOR

Omri Casspi (CLE) 1.34 2 43% 36% 67% 1.0 3.2 4.2 1.2 0.2 0.7 9.2
Alonzo Gee (CLE) 0.88 RFA 47% 40% 75% 1.1 2.2 3.3 0.9 0.3 0.9 7.2

OR

Dorell Wright (GSW) 3.80 1 36% 25% 100% 0.3 2.4 2.7 1.3 - 0.3 3.6
Nate Robinson (GSW) 1.07 37% 33% 82% 0.2 0.5 0.7 1.0 0.1 0.3 4.0

OR

DeMar DeRozan (TOR) 2.63 2 46% 21% 80% 0.9 2.6 3.5 1.3 0.3 0.8 13.3
Rasual Butler (TOR) 1.23 41% 42% 83% 0.1 1.4 1.5 0.3 0.2 0.1 4.4

OR

Vladimir Radmanovic (ATL) 1.35 44% 39% 74% 0.9 2.8 3.7 1.2 0.3 0.6 7.6
Tracy McGrady (ATL) 1.35 47% 58% 76% 0.2 2.7 2.9 2.3 0.3 0.3 6.8

Therefore, the revised roster/depth would be:

Position Starting 5 Second 5 Reserves
C/PF J.O. Stiemsma - - -
SF Pierce (Derozan/Casspi/Wright/Radmanovic/TMac) Daniels/Pavlovic
SG Allen Pietrus (Gee/Butler/Lee)
PG Rondo Avery Dooling/(Robinson/Dragic)

So, what do you think?

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