How Much Is Stiemer Worth?

April 18, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma (54) gets knocked to the floor by an offensive foul from Orlando Magic forward/center Glen Davis (11) during the fourth quarter at TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics won 102-98. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Greg Stiemsma is a restricted free agent, as the Celtics have offered him a $1.05 million qualifying offer. The question is, how much above and beyond that $1.05 million do the Celtics go if another team signs Stiemer to an offer sheet? Is he worth $2 million per season? $3 million? How about... $8.33 million? Probably not, but that's what Houston just offered a very similar player:

Restricted Access: Bad News For C's - Chris Forsberg - ESPN Boston

Player A: 3.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1 bpg, 14.7 mpg, 50.6 FG%, 45.6 FT%, 66 games (2 starts)
Player B: 2.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 13.9 mpg, 54.5 FG%, 70.7 FT%, 55 games (3 starts)

... Player A is Chicago Bulls second-year center Omer Asik. Player B is Celtics rookie center Greg Stiemsma. ...

And before you bark about how good Asik is defensively, hear us out. There's no denying Asik's talents on the defensive end. Of all NBA players with at least 250 defensive possessions against them last season, he ranked No. 1 allowing a mere 0.653 points per play, according to Synergy Sports data.

Stiemsma? He ranked No. 7 at 0.711 points per play and often was the first big off the bench to spell Kevin Garnett, so it's not like his numbers were overly inflated by sharing court time with Boston's defensive anchor...

There's at least a strong possibility that Stiemsma is going to be offered more than his QO. Matching a contract offer -- even a reasonable one -- can be tricky under the cap rules, though.

Stiemsma is a "non-Bird" free agent. Basically, that means that we can only go over the cap to sign him for his qualifying offer this season. If we want to pay him more, we have to use another exception -- the MLE or the bi-annual exception (BAE). Let's say another team offers him the modest sum of $2 million in the first year of his deal. Unfortunately, we can't match that without using our MLE, meaning that rather than being able to offer $5 million to a guy like Jason Terry, we'd only be able to offer $3 million. That's a serious loss of flexibility.

Additionally, our budget is constrained by the $74 million hard cap for teams that want to use the full MLE. Signing Stiemer to an amount greater than his QO jeopardizes our ability to stay within that restriction, which would result in the loss of the BAE and would confine us to the "taxpayer's MLE" of $3 million. Again, that's a loss of flexibility (especially if 2/3 of that "taxpayer's MLE" is spent on Stiemer).

So, faced with those options, what do you do? To me, I wouldn't feel comfortable going over the $1.05 million qualifying offer, and I definitely wouldn't offer more than the bi-annual exception ($1.957 million). While Stiemsma is a good story and a decent project as a backup center, I think his production can be almost matched by a number of veteran minimum type centers. I just don't think we can sacrifice our flexibility to bring in free agent upgrades for a guy with fairly minimal production.

In This Article

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.

Join CelticsBlog

You must be a member of CelticsBlog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at CelticsBlog. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.