The Celtics are in the very weak Eastern Conference. Do they have a championship roster? Should I even ask that question, no I shouldn't. The Celtics don't have a championship contending team right now. But what is Ainge trying to do? He drafted a point guard in Smart, and he's going after another in Isaiah Thomas. It appears that he's looking to move Rondo, or just let him walk, as reported by a few writers.
As for me. I've been focused on Love, and what Ainge is doing with Rondo. Then I was focused on the draft, and what would come from that. Since that's over now. It's the NBA free agent season, and the Celtics have been focused on some key free agents out there.
Let me just say this. I don't care for any of them, and it's a waste of Danny's time. Gordon Hayward?? Why bring this guy in, tell me why? Because he's Stevens' boy from Butler? Because he's a pretty good three-point shooter? Why over pay this guy, and why bring him in when we you have a guy in Green, and other young guys to work and grow with. I'm not a Green fan by any means, but Green is here for the next two season for $9.2 million a season. Are we going to pay Hayward what he wants, which is around that amount.
Isaiah Thomas is another player that doesn't makes sense to me, unless Rondo is truly out of Danny's plans. Yes Thomas can perhaps give you 20 a night, but he's well undersized, and we just drafted Smart and we have Pressey. So count me in as not thrilled with that prospect. Kent Bazemore is another player that doesn't excite me like a teenage boy on prom night. We have Bradley, just re-sign him and call it a day.
How about Jordan Hill? I don't want that, do you want that? We have Bass signed, who puts up the same numbers for the most part. Hump is someone who can put those numbers up as well. If we can get these guys on deals worth 2-3 million a season. Then go for it, but we know that's not happening.
This is what I want from Danny. Either go after a legit All-Star, which would be Love, or just hold onto the cap space for next season. Build with what you have right now. You have a second year coach, along with a fresh Rondo with some young players that hey may play well with.
I think the Celtics have a low seed playoff roster in the East right now. Danny has other ways to improve the roster without wasting cap space on so-so free agents. Work with the trade exceptions before they expire, and get out of the Keith Bogans contract for starters.
• TRADE EXCEPTIONS: The Celtics have three trade exceptions at their disposal, allowing them to absorb salary without needing available cap space. The big prize in that lot is a $10.3 million exception generated from the Brooklyn Nets trade last season. The Celtics have the ability to take back a salary near that amount (though it can also be broken in smaller chunks) but it must be used by July 12 (or one year since its acquisition -- in this case a year after the Brooklyn swap went through). If Boston envisions another rebuilding season, it could attempt to acquire an expiring salary and/or draft picks in order to gain assets before the exception expires. Keep in mind that the Celtics cannot necessarily bundle the exception with another player as part of an outgoing package.
• SIGN AND TRADE: Trade exceptions can't be used to sign free agents, though there is always the potential for sign-and-trade possibilities. Let's say the Jazz re-signed Hayward to a long-term deal with a starting salary of $10.3 million. The Celtics could potentially trade for Hayward while absorbing his salary with their largest trade exception. Sign-and-trade deals also could help Boston bring back some value if the likes of Humphries and Bayless are sought by another team.
Unless the Celtics get a guy like Hayward with a trade exception through a sign-and-trade, which is still adding cap. Then maybe I'll give it a chance. But let's focus on the roster that we have, and the free agents that we can re-sign. Maybe the Celtics can be buyers at the deadline if this team overachieves. The bottom line is this. Danny needs to worry about the big picture. The big picture isn't signing Hayward or Thomas. It's finding players to build around Rondo, and I don't see those two as players that fit.
Danny has a lot to work with, but signing bad contracts should be the last thing on his mind. Danny should be more focused on potential trades to bring in the right players. Because I don't see the right players in free agency. As I said Ainge has the trade exceptions and other assets to trade. Like future draft picks, or some of our young talent. Don't build this team on bad contracts just because you have some wiggle room in the cap this season.