With a surplus of players at the shooting guard and power forward positions, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has hinted that there will be moves to balance the roster before the start of the regular season. To find out what the readers of CelticsBlog want Ainge to do, I have posted a series of six articles asking if the C's should keep or trade certain players before the start of the season. Here is how you all responded:
|Player||Total Votes||Keep Him||Trade Him|
|SG MarShon Brooks||1776||84 percent||16 percent|
|SG Jordan Crawford||2348||22 percent||78 percent|
|SG Courtney Lee||2245||69 percent||31 percent|
|PF Brandon Bass||2993||26 percent||74 percent|
|PF Kris Humphries||2637||52 percent||48 percent|
|C Fab Melo||2273||44 percent||56 percent|
Reviewing the Results:
CelticsBlog readers would clearly prefer that the Boston Celtics trade Jordan Crawford and keep both MarShon Brooks and Courtney Lee. With virtually opposite voting results - 84 percent in favor of keeping Brooks and 78 percent in favor of trading Crawford - it appears readers agree that Brooks and Crawford are very comparable players but one of them has to go.
From a strict basketball standpoint, I prefer Jordan Crawford's current skill-set but I would like to keep MarShon Brooks for the long run. He's more of a traditional two-guard that can play off-ball as well as he does with the ball in his hands. I think he has shown flashes of what he is capable of doing and could potentially become a much more dynamic scoring threat than Crawford. With Rajon Rondo at point guard, I don't think Crawford's ball handling or passing skills are nearly as valuable as they could be for another team.
Then again, as CelticsBlog.com commenter Andy Gonzalez says, "Bradley and Lee are good defensive guards who don't score well. Brooks and Crawford are offensive guards who cannot or will not defend. Boston needs one player who can do all of it well, and then maybe Bradley in for defense when needed."
He's right; none of these shooting guards are the long-term answer at the two-guard. In their own ways, they all have strengths and weaknesses, but nobody should expect them to become any more than an important role player on a contending team.
I was most interested to see the results of the Kris Humphries poll and it was basically split 50-50. I think a lot of Celtics fans have already come around to Humphries after realizing what a rebounding machine he is. "Bfitzg," one of the commenters said, "Here is a guy that can provide defensive rebounding, as well as hustle and grit. Humphries also won't be looking for any offensive touches that he doesn't create for himself through offensive rebounding. Yet people have a problem with him?"
He's right. Humphries can help fix a problem the Celtics had last season, especially after Jared Sullinger went down with injury. Speaking of Sully, him and Kelly Olynyk should make for an interesting duo when they are on the court together. The problem is that they won't be able to get much time unless another big is traded. CelticsBlog.com seems to hope that guy is Brandon Bass.
Even though I would love for the C's to trade Bass -- I didn't even want him resigned last offseason -- I was surprised at the voting turnout for him. With 74 percent of almost 3000 votes in favor of trading him, it's obvious that many Celtics fans are ready to move forward with the youth movement. With Olynyk and Sullinger on the roster there just isn't enough playing time available to warrant keeping a guy like Brandon Bass.
That doesn't even factor in the center position, where young players like Fab Melo must receive time on the court in order to improve their games. A lot of fans have already given up on him but commenter "GetYourSoxOn" disagrees, asking, "Who gives up on a two-three year project after just one year?" He continued, "To give up this early shows a lack of long-term planning. His salary is really not enough to add to a trade package to be of any worth. If Danny Ainge thinks he has made strides, they will keep him. I'll let them be the judge of this."
What should we expect?
I think the Boston Celtics will make at least one move before the start of the regular season, perhaps during training camp. The Boston Celtics simply have too many shooting guards and power forwards on the roster, and not enough small forwards or centers. Power forwards Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Kris Humphries, Brandon Bass, and Vitor Faverani can all play center but their skills are better suited at four. That means Fab Melo is the only true center on the roster. I don't know about you, but I don't feel comfortable with that.
At guard, Rajon Rondo and Phil Pressey are the only true point guards. What happens at this position hinges a lot on Rondo's health. If he's ready to play in the season opener, I don't think another one-guard needs to be added. Rondo will play over 35-minutes per game, Pressey will get his time off the bench, and I'm sure Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee will play some point when needed. But then there is a logjam at the two with MarShon Brooks, Jordan Crawford, Lee, Bradley, and even Keith Bogans.
At small forward, only Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace can play the position, with Keith Bogans spending time there too. Depth must be added there and at the center position. In order to that someone has to go, whether it's through a trade or another fashion.
If I were Danny Ainge, I would look to trade Brandon Bass before anyone else. Ideally I would package Jordan Crawford with him for a position of need. It would open up another roster spot, allowing the organization to sign another player, or hold the spot for a trade towards the deadline.
What would you do? Vote in the poll, comment below, or follow and tweet me @Kevin__OConnor with your thoughts.
Keep Him or Trade Him Poll Results:
Fab Melo - 56% Trade / 44% Keep
Courtney Lee - 31% Trade / 69% Keep
Kris Humphries - 48% Trade / 52% Keep