No doubt about it, the Celtics should be in for a busy off-season. As things settle down over the coming days and weeks, there will be plenty of time to figure out what went wrong, and how we should move into the future. In the meantime, let's look at some of the early thoughts from some of the Celtics free agents:
"I don't know... it's too early to know right now," said Davis. "I love Boston. It's a wonderful place. But if the opportunity is here, it's here. If it's somewhere else, it's somewhere else. I have to go where the opportunity is.
"I love it here, the city, the fans," said Davis. "The coaching staff has been a really important part of my game, helped me, first, as a player. This is my first start here, and I'm always going to have that Celtics pride. We won a championship here. I hope that it works out for the best."
Davis was then asked about the potential for the Celtics to get back to championship-caliber basketball next season, particularly if he was back in Boston, and he seemed to hint he'd even be OK resuming his role off the bench.
"Yeah, especially with my confidence coming off the bench, understanding the game even more," said Davis. "With Paul (Pierce), a hungrier Kevin (Garnett), it's going to be hard to beat us."
"I mean I love it here, I loved playing basketball here," said Marbury. "That's where I am right now... I don't know what my future holds. I"m just going to wait and see what the future holds."
“I would love to be here,” Moore said. “No doubt.” . . . Right now I’m like at a handicap. I came in late and haven’t been playing. My timing’s off. But just being able to concentrate on one playbook and one role and knowing how to play with each player, it’d help out a lot.
The Celtics have a team option on second-year guard Gabe Pruitt, who said he'd like to return.
... and Doc looks forward to KG's surgery, while explaining the team's thinking regarding KG's injury:
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team was still hopeful Kevin Garnett could have returned had Boston advanced past the second round of the playoffs, but Rivers declined to give any definite timeline.
"You know, we were hoping," said Rivers. "Obviously I didn’t think it would happen. But someone asked me that today and clearly that’s why we didn’t do surgery. I think that was not a secret. I still didn’t think there was any chance of it to happen. If we had won this series, I can tell you there was no way he was going to play the next series. But, you know, as reported as one point he was going to do surgery. And then we decided well, why? Just fate, hope, you never know. So we were hoping. But we didn’t -- I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
Rivers said Garnett will eventually have surgery on his ailing knee.
"Yeah, he’ll get surgery eventually, him and, you know Leon [Powe] has had his already. But it’s no rush. His surgery is not going to be anything that’s going to take all summer."
For more, see Marc Spears writeup for ESPN. My quick thoughts? Obviously, our chances next year hinge primarily on KG. Let's hope his surgery is successful, and that he makes a full recovery by the start of next season.
In terms of our free agents, we need to get BBD back in the fold. He's proven that he can make a consistent impact in games, and he allows the Celts to do a lot of things offensively. Starbury showed me enough for me to want him back on a one-year near-minimum deal; let's see if he'll take something along those lines. I'd love to see Powe back, although the word is that he won't be playing until at least the all-star break. Lastly, let's hope that Eddie House picks up his player option and stays with the team.
In terms of the rest of our free agents, good riddance to Mikki Moore. I believe Gabe Pruitt's deal is only partially guaranteed for next season, as well, so I'd gladly show him his walking papers.
(As a preview of coming attractions, Jeff should have more on this topic later this morning.)