Why Bledsoe?

Harry How

This is a question that I've been wondering ever since the "Cliptics" chatter broke out. Why do the Celtics want Eric Bledsoe so badly? I hope to discuss this briefly here, and get your opinions.

To start lets look at the Celtics Point Guard rotation. As it stands right now the Celtics have Rondo slated as their starter and Terrence Williams as their backup. It should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about the price of tea in China (Williams probably knows better than most,) that the Celtics need a solid backup point guard. While Williams did look serviceable at the point in the playoffs, he's a little big, and it's not his natural position (no matter how much Ainge wants it to be.) So I wonder are the Celtics bringing Bledsoe in to be their backup PG?

The answer is probably not. It just doesn't make sense. True Bledsoe has posted solid numbers as a backup when given a chance. But chances are when Bledsoe enters Free Agency this coming offseason, he's going to want to go to a team who is going to start him. Several teams come to mind as possible destinations for him where he would be an instant starter. So while he would provide a nice bench presence this season, it wouldn't be a long term pickup..... Unless something happened to Rondo....

A lot of people seem to think we'll dump Rondo if we can swing Bledsoe.... This is a possibility I suppose. You could flip Rondo for someone like DMC, and have a nice young squad, but I don't really buy this. As much as I would be ok with this ideology I just doubt it. What's Bledsoe's ceiling in this league? Probably no more than Rondo in my opinion. Bledsoe will be good, but I just don't see him being a perennial all-star. While he is younger, and therefore gives us more time, what if he doesn't fill out his potential? We're left with what? An average PG, nothing more. So I just don't see Bledsoe taking over for Rondo, so what's left for him?

Bledsoe is a trade chip. Nothing more, nothing less. Teams will pay for his potential. Ainge knows it, the Clippers know it. Some people seem to think that the Celtic's will move Pierce and Bledsoe for Josh Smith.... I call BS. Atlanta wants Howard, they have to use Smith as bait to get him there. Maybe they'd move Horford, but I doubt it. However, there is a deal that makes more sense to me for the Celtics.

Remember about a week ago, when a story broke that said the Celtics valued Paul Milsap more than any other Free Agent. I can see these two stories being related. Utah is in serious need of a Point Guard, and while they could look to draft Schroeder, why not go with something you know? Their going to have to move either Milsap or Jefferson if your Utah, why not get your PG of the future while your at it? Milsap should get a contract of around 8-10mil. So ideally you'd pair up Bledsoe and Jason Terry (possibly C. Lee) and ship them over for Milsap. After the Cliptics deal, this would leave the Celtics looking something like this.

C- Jordan/Sullinger/Shav

PF- Milsap/Bass/White

SF- Green/Williams

SG- Bradley/Lee/Crawford

PG- Rondo

Now admittedly, this leaves us a little thin at several positions, we'll get to that in a minute, but look at that lineup. Two things I want to point out. First off, that's a solid, young (27ish) lineup probably a 6th seed in the East. Add in a couple of years together, they could compete for a ring in 3 years. Secondly, if you're going to win in the East, you're going to have to get past the Heat at some point. Both Milsap and Green have dropped 40+ on the Heat recently, and Rondo has shown he excels against them, due to their inability to guard him. Also, think of the matchup nightmares. Bosh cover Jordan (Bosh gets bullied all series), Haslem covers Milsap (Haslem is far to slow), LeBron covers Green (and this is if they play LeBron at the SF, often he plays the PF, which gives them more matchup problems,) Wade and Chalmers probably take turns covering Bradley and Rondo, but neither are capable of staying in front of Rondo. If Danny wanted to build a team to "Beat the Heat." This is a pretty solid lineup.

As for those holes in the lineup we need to fill, we'd have the 16th and 20th pick in the draft. Two options I see here: 1: Combine the two, move up several picks, and pick up Caldwell-Pope, who would be a better long term running mate for Rondo, also adds more scoring (I'll admit this is probably a pipe dream, but I like it.) 2: With Utah not taking a PG, Schroeder might be available at 16. I'd take him there to be our backup, plays like Rondo, and will have plenty of time to develop. If Schroeder isn't there, I'd look for Shabazz, Dieng, or the PG from Texas (his name escapes me.) As for the 20th pick, it's a little early for him chances are, but I'd take a shot on Glenn Robinson Jr. His offensive game is at an NBA level, so he could make a difference on that side of the court right away. He gives us depth at the SF.

As for the Celtics MLE, I'd look to sign Jarret Jack if we didn't get Schroeder or a SF if no Robinson.

The Celtics lineup after all this:

C- Jordan/Sullinger/Shav

PF- Milsap/Bass/White

SF- Green/Williams/Robinson Jr. or FA Small Forward

SG- Bradley/Lee or JET/Crawford

PG- Rondo/Schroeder or Jack

That to me is a solid lineup. It also answers a lot of the questions surrounding the Cliptics and makes us competitive in the East. What do you guys think? Does this make sense, or am I just blowing hot air?

Look forward to your comments, and if you like the post be sure to rec ;)

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