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Mailbag Answers - Al Horford, Greg Monroe, sandwiches, Rusted Root, and relationship advice

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Jeff Clark answers CelticsBlog reader questions.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Celtics are up 20 points on the Bulls in the first half as I write this, so it seems like a good opportunity to multi-task and answer some mailbag questions. Enjoy.

Is Al Horford a positive or negative asset on his current contract? Not saying he’s a bad player. Just curious as to how you think other teams would value him in a potential trade this summer with 2yrs and $60M left on his contract. - TWH22

Not sure why we keep doing this. Sure, Al Horford has been struggling to score lately. Slumps happen and Al has never been a guy that fills the stat sheet. But he’s an All Star center who defends both inside the paint and out to the 3 point line, has point guard vision, spaces the floor, and generally acts like a coach on the court. He got a max contract when the Celtics signed him because other teams would have given him that. He’s only got two years left on that deal (so no long term commitment). I have a preeeeetty strong feeling that if he was put on the market, several teams would be bidding to add him to their squads. The Wizards, Bucks, and Blazers come immediately to mind and I’m sure there are others that would jump in there as well. Moot point though, because I can’t see any reason for the Celtics to look to move Horford. He’s really good folks. Enjoy him.

Semi Ojeleye in 5 years will be
a) All-Star caliber
b) Starter
c) Rotational player
d) End of the bench
e) Out of the league
- Blue Steel

I’ve always seen Semi as a 3-and-D guy, which is valuable in this league. With enough time and experience I think he could carve out a Jae Crowder type career so I’ll go with rotational player with an upside of starter.

When is Gordon Hayweird coming back this year? - JanneyWheels

Not sure if that’s a typo or a new nickname but if it is the latter I don’t think it will stick. He’s not nearly weird enough.

Oh, and he’ll return this year... in September.

Greg Monroe - Why did reasonable, smart people write him off so quickly? Made no sense. He’s huge, has quick hands on defense, good court vision and eats up rebounds. You don’t lose those skills quickly. Plus he’s so good finishing inside and is now in a system that constantly works. Up and down the list people who write about the C’s for a living wrote dumb articles last week. - JWL77

To be fair, Monroe isn’t exactly a plug-n-play player. Not in the modern NBA at least. It took the Bucks a long time to figure out how to use him properly. His game requires him to get looks on the block which doesn’t always make sense in a ball movement offense. With that said, I agree that we all needed to give him and Brad Stevens enough time to figure things out. Looks like that patience is paying off already and it could really help in the playoffs.

Is it reasonable to think Theis can be a starting big for us? - Pellegreen

I like Baynes in the starting lineup but we’ve essentially got a 3 man platoon between Baynes, Theis, and Monroe. Stevens can mix and match depending on matchups and game flow. If Theis continues to develop and in particular if he keeps developing that 3 point shot, he could be a solid starter in the future.

If a middling team Knicks, Hornets, Pistons, offered three unprotected 1st round picks for Jaylen Brown? Do you trade him? - waynefelch

Man, that’s tempting. In particular the Knicks. It would hurt because Brown fits the timeline while those picks would be spread out and pushed into the future. I think I’ll cheat and say “only if we have a deal in place to flip the picks for Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard and get to keep Tatum.”

Who on the current roster won’t be here next season? - cpheron

Anything can happen with Danny Ainge in charge, but after last summer’s upheaval, I don’t see a ton of movement coming up. In particular because the team will be adding Gordon Hayward next season. So the easy answer to this question is at the end of the bench with guys like Abdel Nader or the Dancing Bear (as sad as I would be to see him go).

Who’s more valuable down the road: Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Larry Bird, or an unprotected 2029 1st rounder? - ItsNotLuck

Hmm, I might have to take a flyer on the 1st rounder, in particular if it is from the Seattle Supersonics or the Vegas Vultures. On the other hand, if we develop cloning technology, I’ll take Larry Bird and see if I can mix his genes with Jaylen Brown.

Can I get relationship advice? - BoJackHorseman

Listen more than you talk, ask open ended questions, and learn the other person’s Love Language. (Seriously, this helped me a lot)

two part question

I was thinking about Scary Terry the other day and realized the scariest thing about him is still that spaghetti/sugar/ranch sandwich he came up with. Terry Rozier’s infamous sandwich is hilarious and disgustingly offensive but it got me thinking about who I would want to get lunch with. Spoiler alert- it’s not Rozier!

So Jeff, who on the current roster would you like to go grab lunch with?

Also, if I went to my local sandwich shop and ordered a “Jeff Clark” what would be on your sandwich? - abcdef

I gotta go with Brad Stevens just because I feel like I’d come out of that lunch a better person ready to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses.

As for a sandwhich, I’ve never tried this, but if you gave me free reign of a deli I’d probably do something like pastrami, pepperoni, yellow peppers, olives, sundried tomatoes, some olive oil, grilled on a ciabatta bun.

Do you ever find yourself humming “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root, but instead saying Semi Ojeleye during the chorus? because I can’t seem to stop. - TheGreenBean

Well, no, but NOW I am.

Great questions everyone! Thanks very much.