In just a little over one month the Boston Celtics will reconvene for training camp to prepare for the 2014-15 season, but there are still moves to be made before that point. As we slog through the dog days of summer here are some general Celtics musings to help you through:
There's no hurry in cutting Bogans
Last week I was asked why the Celtics haven't cut loose Keith Bogans yet. He has a non-guaranteed contract and clearly has no interest in playing for the organization, so why not just get rid of him? Well, the answer is pretty simple: If they get rid of Bogans now, they'll lose one of their most valuable trading chips, a $5.3 million non-guaranteed deal.
Maybe Boston could package non-guaranteed contracts, like Bogans, with multiple draft picks and an expiring contract like Brandon Bass, Vitor Faverani, or Joel Anthony in order to reach a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks for center Larry Sanders. It'd be a risky move considering Sanders' love for marijuana and his large contract, but it would immediately thrust Boston into the playoff conversation.
Milwaukee might start John Henson at center this year, which once again raises the question of Sanders' status with the team. Not to mention Giannis Antetokounmpo has grown to 6-foot-11, so he could spend even more time at power forward. With three-years, $33 million remaining on Sanders' contract, it doesn't seem to make much sense to give a reserve role to one of the league's best and youngest rim protectors.
But it doesn't really matter if a deal is brewing, because one could realistically come up before the season, even if it was only a minor one. Taking away the chance of a transaction by cutting Keith Bogans now just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Wyc Grousbeck doesn't have to be Glen Taylor
When I read that Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor criticized Kevin Love after trading him to Cleveland, I couldn't help but think about how lucky Wyc Grousbeck and Celtics ownership are since they never have to resort to this kind of behavior. It's not that Taylor is a good or bad owner for saying what he said, but in his positions he feels like he needs to defend the move in order to deflect a massive PR hit after trading their franchise player again.
It's actually understandable since not every fan base is as loyal as Boston's, so that gives teams like the Celtics a lot more flexibility when it comes to making risky moves. Danny Ainge has dealt fan favorites like Antoine Walker, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, and while some of the trades were met with disappointment, fans came right back after the initial shock was over.
You'll never see a true Celtics fan become a Kings fan if Rajon Rondo is traded there, or a Red Sox fan become a Mariners fan if David Ortiz is traded there. Boston fans aren't going to burn their jerseys or abandon ship like some other fan bases are. Even though the 2014-15 season looks to be another rebuilding year, fans will still fill the seats once again. I'm sure Wyc is incredibly thankful that he doesn't need to defend himself in order to keep fans interested...especially if Rondo is traded later this season.
Where's the playing time?
I can't help but keep thinking about what the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn published this earlier this month:
NBPA makes history with hiring of Michele Roberts - The Boston Globe
An NBA source said the Celtics are working to clear roster space over the next few weeks in order to make room for Evan Turner in the rotation. The Celtics aren't expected to announce the signing until those moves are made, although the sides have reached an agreement.
Sure, that's pretty obvious, but by room Washburn doesn't necessarily mean roster spots, he means playing time. There just aren't enough minutes to go around right now. There are too many mouths to feed. Here's a look at how the playing time distribution might look with the current roster:
|Position||Starters (Minutes)||Bench (Minutes)||Reserves (Minutes)||Possible Cuts|
(Centers and Power Forwards)
|Tyler Zeller (24)||Kelly Olynyk (24)||Joel Anthony (0)|
|Jared Sullinger (27)||Brandon Bass (16)||Vitor Faverani (5)|
(Small Forwards and Shooting Guards)
|Jeff Green (30)||Evan Turner (15)||Gerald Wallace (0)||Chris Johnson (0)|
|Avery Bradley (31)||Marcus Thornton (15)||James Young (0)||Keith Bogans (0)|
|Point Guards||Rajon Rondo (33)||Phil Pressey (10)||Marcus Smart (10)||SG Chris Babb (0)
Did Evan Turner sign in Boston to play only 15 minutes per game? No. Will Marcus Thornton be satisfied with 15 minutes? No. Can Gerald Wallace handle a goose egg in his minutes column almost every night?
No. Maybe. Even if you cut Smart's time and assume he spends time in the D-League, I don't think allocating those extra 10 minutes to Turner and Thornton will be enough.
Maybe Jeff Green or Marcus Thornton could be available; there have been already rumblings circling around both players anyway. I'm not sure how much Green would net in a trade, but an expiring contract and a draft pick could be enough to get it done. How about Kendrick Perkins and OKC's 2015 first rounder? As for Thornton, he can't be dealt in an aggregated trade until September 10, but that date is right around the corner. (Maybe that's why the Celtics are waiting to get rid of Bogans.)
If Green's 30 minutes were eliminated, both Turner and Thornton could play 25 minutes per game, Smart could play more, and even Wallace would get some time. Green is a valuable player -- much more so than many fans think he is -- but he's still expendable, especially for a rebuilding team. And though Thornton's spot-up shooting would be valuable off the bench, he's not worth it if he's not playing enough minutes.
Don't bank on it, but it appears the chances are that we'll see another transaction or two by the Boston Celtics sometime before training camp begins. Don't worry, we'll have a lot to talk and write about sooner rather than later.
What are musing about on this hot summer day? What would you like to see the Boston Celtics do next? Should they go for Larry Sanders? Who will be traded or cut to open up playing time for Evan Turner? Comment below or click that "follow" button to tweet me your thoughts.