The official Celtics slogan headed into the season was "Reloaded." Now I'm wondering if the offseason slogan might be "unloaded." I still think there's a very good chance that we keep our starting 5 in tact, but after that is seriously anyone's guess.
Here's a quick rundown of our 15 man roster as it existed on the final night of the Finals.
- Tony Allen - free agent
- Ray Allen - free agent
- Marquis Daniels - free agent
- Glen Davis - under contract for one more year
- Michael Finley - free agent (retiring?)
- Tony Gaffney - free agent (summer league invite?)
- Kevin Garnett - under contract for 2 more years
- Oliver Lafayette - free agent (summer league invite?)
- Kendrick Perkins - under contract for one more year but hurt
- Paul Pierce - opt out option
- Nate Robinson - free agent
- Rajon Rondo - locked up (thank goodness)
- Brian Scalabrine - free agent - I'm starting my "keep Scal as an assistant coach campaign" now
- Rasheed Wallace - pondering retirement - possible buyout?
- Shelden Williams - free agent
So the bottom line is that if Rasheed retires and assuming Pierce isn't going anywhere, we'll have 5 guys under contract headed into free agency. I'll let Roy Hobbes cover the salaries and cap room equations, but from what I gather, we won't be players in the top tier free agents.
So who would you want to bring back? Or perhaps the easier question is who are you happy to let pack their bags?
For my purposes I'll split the free agents into 3 categories.
So Long An Thanks For The Memories
Scalabrine leads this list. Like I mentioned above, I'd love to see him back as an assistant coach. He knows the personalities on this team and he's a great locker room guy that always worked his tail off to be ready when the team needed him. Then there's Marquis Daniels, who ended up being the biggest disappointment of the year. I don't see him coming back. Ironically, we tried trading Tony Allen for nothing just to have the chance to give him more money (and avoid using up the Bi-Annual).
Only If You Take The Minimum
Shelden Williams seems like a nice guy. He was a very good college player but he's been a big bust in the pros so far and couldn't take advantage of multiple opportunities this year. Still, this team is going to need to fill out the roster with cheap talent, so why not give him one more shot? Also in this category are the rookies Gaffney and Lafayette, who I'm sure will be invited to the summer league.
Depends on the Price
I love Ray Allen and I want him back, but if it becomes a bidding war then I'd think twice. And I'm not really talking as much about the money as I am the years. If he's willing to take 2 years, fine. We can line his contract up with KG's. But anything more than that is crazy for a shooting guard of his age.
Nate Robinson is interesting. He'll never be more than a backup here and there were rumors of the C's being unimpressed with his immaturity. Then he stepped up in the playoffs and seems to have bought into the culture here. Besides, he's a hilarious interview - especially teamed with Big Baby. That said, he was looking for big bucks last summer and I don't know how much other teams would be willing to pay him (he is, after all, capable of scoring 20 points per game with an extended role).
Finally, there's Tony Allen. He seems to have nine lives on this team. So many times he's shown promise and failed to live up to it. Now he seems to have finally found his role and proven himself to be very valuable in the process. I think he gets re-signed for around the same money he's making now.
Of course none of these decisions is straightforward and none are made in a vacuum. It depends on who else we can get in free agency, the draft, and trades and what price each of these guys would be willing to play for.
There could be quite a bit of turnover on this roster, even if the starting 5 (or top 7 or so) stays in tact.