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2nd Rounders = Safe Investment

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Scott Souza makes a good point about 2nd rounders:

Thinking further about Steve Bulpett’s story in the Herald today about Ryan Gomes, you have to give a nod to the front office for signing a second-round draft pick to a three-year contract. In a summer when the Pistons are going to have to decide whether to offer high schooler Amir Johnson - he of a 30-point night against the Celtics in the season finale, but only 11 career games played over two seasons - a multi-million dollar, multiyear deal, Gomes is back in the fold for less than $800,000.

Some have questioned why Danny Ainge takes up chunks of his mid-level exception to sign second-rounders every year, but this is an example of that working out about as well as possible. With buyout clauses, there isn’t much downside to the move when it doesn’t work out as well (Where have you gone, Orien Greene?).

The problem comes next year when the Celtics have to decide whether to give a huge raise to a player they have been paying near-minimum money - a stumbling point that often makes it hard to re-sign a second-round steal.

With salaries for marginal free agents expecting to soar (Steve Blake at $6 million a year?) Ainge might be better off investing some of that money in Glen Davis and Gabe Pruitt instead.

Eventually you have to pay the piper, but if Gomes is willing to play for around the mid-level exception, I don't see why we can't re-sign him next year.  I was kind of hoping that he'd get an extension this offseason, but I can see why the team would hold off for flexibility reasons.

By the way, with 2 second rounders to sign (using part of the MLE) and with two guys making max dollars on the roster, I think the chances of signing someone with the full MLE are somewhere between slim and none.