KG: "What else do I have to do? I keep calling him and calling him." -- Pierce: "Maybe give him some space big fella."
No new news this morning but I wanted to take a quick step back and assess where we're at right now.
We had our lead guitarist and lead singer in place in Rondo and Pierce (occasionally Paul will step back to let Rondo do his solos). We brought back our drummer (everyone marches to the beat of Kevin Garnett). We picked up a great backup singer in Jason Terry and now we have added our Bass player (naturally). Jeff Green is most likely returning as our keyboard player and "play whatever instrument we need in this song" guy (needs more cowbell). All that's left is getting back our rhythm guitarist and we've got the band back together again with a few tweeks to make it better.
Granted, we've got a young rhythm guitarist ready to step up into the spotlight in Avery Bradley, but he might not be available right away and the deeper the band/team the better. If for some reason Ray decides to go to Miami, we'll still have to use the rest of our cap space to sign our own free agents because you have to be over the cap (but under the luxury line) to use the full Mid Level Exception on Jason Terry. So look for some combination of Pietrus, Stiemsma, Wilcox, and even Krstic to be signed to eat up that space. In that situation I could see us having money left over to sign another free agent with the bi-annual exception as well.
Regardless of how it all shakes out, the team that we see on the floor next year will look a lot like the team that was on it this year. That's not a bad thing (I like the songs this band plays) and as we've gone over before, it was probably the best option available. Still, I can't help but feel surprised that Danny Ainge didn't make a bigger splash this offseason. He's been timing his contracts to come off the books this summer for the last 3 years. He's steadfastly refused to go to multiple years on guys and refused to trade for guys with long term contracts - presumably so he would have the flexibility to use his cap space this summer.
But that space was only on paper and when Kevin Garnett agreed to re-up, all plans to wipe the books clean were tossed out the window. There was no chasing after big name free agents (not that there were any worth chasing), no poison pill contract offers to restricted free agents (hi Houston), no lopsided take-on-salary trades (Joe Johnson anyone?). Looking how all that is working out for most of the league, I'm pretty happy about that (see Roy's article on 3 franchises). Still, I just can't believe that Ainge hasn't done anything ...drastic yet. Of course, as a cowboy once said to Billy Crystal, "the day ain't over yet."
So here we go again. Two or three more years of old jokes and worrying about injuries and championship windows and hopefully lots and lots of wins. There are a lot of worse situations to be in.