As I pointed out yesterday, our roster doesn't make any sense as it stands now. We've got too many shooting guards and power forwards and no depth elsewhere. In addition, simply as a matter of math, there's too many guys on the roster. Or rather there will be on July 12th - or whenever the trade is officially official.
It is nice to see that not only does Ainge see the same thing, but he's also admitting it publicly. It seems that Ainge doesn't telegraph his intentions unless he's already got a few things lined up. Rivers knew that the rebuild was coming and in the weeks leading up to The Trade you could pretty easily read between the lines that Ainge was working on some big blow-out plans.
Now, perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but when I read his comments below I smell the workings of another few trades or contingent trades that can't be completed until The Trade is completed and some free agents find new homes.
Ainge admitted that Boston's main objective this summer is to get its salary structure in order and the team will continue to explore the trade avenues while seeking to gain more cap flexibility in future seasons. That is likely to put players such as Bass and Lee in the spotlight because of the money committed to them over multiple seasons (and the same with Gerald Wallace upon his arrival in the Nets deal). ....
"As a matter of fact, we have too many players," Ainge said. "We have logjams at power forward and center and shooting guard. We have a lot of guys potentially, if things continue as they are. I think that our job is to try to clean that up through the summer."
Priority one would appear to be flip Gerald Wallace as soon as possible - preferably for an expiring contract. That might be a hard sell after the year he had in Brooklyn. So we might be stuck with him for a while. Or at least until he can be showcased. If he can hit a few shots early in the year, that might remind people enough about why he got that contract in the first place and talk themselves into buying into the last 2.5 years on his deal.
Brandon Bass would be the next priority and actually I think he might be the easiest to move. His salary ($6.5M next year) is not small change, but he's a starting caliber power forward that can knock down shots and play very good defense in the right situations and system.
I still feel like we could get the best out of Courtney Lee over the long haul, but it does come down to a numbers game. We have a glut of shooting guards and there's no question that Avery Bradley is the keeper in the group. MarShon Brooks is no sure thing, but he makes Lee that much more expendable.
Like it or not, I fully expect Humphries and Bogans to be around at least until the trade deadline and probably till next summer. Their expiring deals are too valuable for the cap space that they free up at the end of the year.
So what can we get for Wallace, Bass, Lee, and whatever other fillers we can add in? Not likely a lot. I just hope that it does not cost us any of our picks or young players to get those contracts off the books. But like I said, Ainge's words had an encouraging effect on me. I'm hoping that he's already got some deals ready to go in the coming month.
Meanwhile, I'll just grab my popcorn and watch the Dwightmare 3.0 unfold and laugh at teams overspending for free agents. This is what a "bridge year" feels like folks. Let us just hope that it doesn't turn into "years."