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A Very Interesting Offseason

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Checking in from the beach on a friend's computer, I'm just as happy having an excuse not to blog about last night's game.  To me the bottom line is that the were who we thought they were without Garnett.  Good enough to win the first round (though barely) and a tough out in the 2nd round.  I would have liked to have seen us knock the Cavs down a peg, but I'm actually happy we didn't have to see Garnett limp out onto the court for a valiant but useless attempt to save the season.

Anyway, today is the first day of our next drive for a banner so I'm already ready to start looking forward again.  I really believe this will be one of the most interesting offseasons (league wide) in recent memory.  Between the economy and the looming 2010 free agent class, we should see a good number of sellers on the market and I tend to think that the Celtics will be buyers.

Can Danny Ainge upgrade the roster without killing our cap situation for years to come?  Will KG finally get that surgery done and get a clean bill of health moving forward?

The silver lining of this season was the development of Big Baby and the Leap that Rondo took.  Both should be rewarded hansomely for their efforts this offseason (Baby with a new contract and Rondo with an extension).

There will be a long, heated debate on these pages about trading Ray Allen or holding onto him for the long haul.

Tom Thibodeau's name will come up in more head coaching openings.  Ainge has already said he's free to interview where he wants.  I would wish him well anywhere he goes, but here's hoping he gets overlooked for at least one more year.

After the jump I have some more important dates and notes on the offseason coming up.

I found this article by Eric Pincus to be useful, if only to highlight important dates and map out some cap projections.

Key Dates:

May 19 - Draft Lottery - Obviously the C's won't be in the lottery, but teams with lottery picks are going to know more about where they stand after this date.  As the article states: "With teams looking for cap space in 2010, it may be easier than ever for teams to buy into the lottery."

June 25 - NBA Draft - Again, the Celtics have no first round pick as a result of the Garnett deal, but there's no reason to believe that Ainge won't buy his way into the draft at some point if he sees someone he likes.

Summer League - The summer leagues start right after the draft and the Celtics will once again be part of the action.  We'll see Billy Walker, JR Giddens, and Gabe Pruitt invovled, as well as any other young players we pick up through the draft.

July 1 - Moratorium on Player Movement - Teams can negotiate but not offer contracts to free agents.

July 8 - Cap designated and Free Agency Begins - Salary Cap, Luxury Tax, and Mid Level Exception, etc. are computed and free agents are free to sign.

Recent projections have the cap dropping slightly from $58.68 million to $57.3 million.  If the tax threshold drops a corresponding 2%, it would fall from $71.15 million to $69.73 million.

I'm guessing that we've seen the last of Mikki Moore, unless there really is nothing else out there (the thinking could be that with a full training camp in our system that he could learn the defense better - but I'm skeptical at best).  I wouldn't be surprised to see the Marbury experiment come to an end.  Everyone is pulling for Leon Powe to get a contract and roster spot.

I'll be curious to see if Tony Allen sticks around or is traded (or even possibly released).  His on court performance hasn't lived up to previous expectations and his off court distractions aren't helping anything.  One would think that Eddie House would stick around, but he does have the option of using a player option to become a free agent.

We'll be following all the rumors and breaking news all offseason long right here on CelticsBlog.com.

Thanks everyone for a great season on the blog.  The drive for Banner 18 starts (again) today.