Now that the NBA has come to a close its time to look ahead to July 1st, the question now lies what’s next for the Boston Celtics. Lets look into the crystal ball and see, the Celtics have four players locked under contracts going into next season those four are Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Jajuan Johnson. Those free agents are Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Brandon Bass, Mickael Pietrus, Chris Wilcox, E’Twaun Moore, Greg Stiemsma, Kenyon Dooling, Marquis Daniels, Ryan Hollins and Jeff Green. The Celtics do however have the power to match Bass and Green should they get offers from other teams.
The big question will be do the Celtics break up the Big 3 or bring them all back for one last run. If you asked that question to Doc Rivers his response would be to bring everyone back, I feel the same way but both Doc and I know the NBA is a business and its all about money. Most likely the Celtics will wait to see what decision Kevin Garnett will make before making any other moves. It was said the Danny Ainge had recently spoken to KG and his mindset was he still didn’t know if he was going to retire or play another season. Garnett had always said that he would retire at the end of his contract with the Celtics, but with the second half of the season all the way to the post-season KG was playing great basketball. The good thing the Celtics have going for them is KG said he wants to play for no one but Boston and coached by no one but Doc Rivers, but is KG willing to give the C’s a hometown discount to allow them to sign other players need for a championship run. Prediction: Re-signs with Boston
Next up is Ray Allen, who had an up and down season where he struggled throughout most of the playoffs. Allen did come on strong during the Miami series, and after the game 7 loss he said all the right things about wanting to be back with the Celtics. However, there are factors that point to him leaving the C’s, there have been plenty of reports that stated the relationship between Allen and Rondo hasn’t always been the best, there were reports of them not getting along and feuding. Also Ray wasn’t the happiest about coming off the bench when Doc planted Bradley into the starting lineup, like the great player he has always been Ray accepted it and came off the bench but it’s highly doubtful that he would want to do that for another season. There also the factor of money, Allen is going to get offers from other teams such as the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks and Bulls, so it depends a lot on how much money will be thrown at him but first he is going to have surgery to repair the bone spurs in his ankle before making a decision. Prediction: Signs with another team maybe the Bulls
Brandon Bass was a player that excelled in his role, moving into the starting lineup when KG moved over to the center position. Bass had the highlight game of his career against the 76ers, but mainly found himself on the bench in the fourth quarter when it came to crunch time. Bass expressed strong desire to return to Boston and even expressed it again when he opted out to become a free agent. Bass will no doubt be on the Celtics radar to return and finished what he started. Brandon looked good at times for Boston providing offense and grabbing boards as well as playing great D but then there were times he struggled where he hesitated to get take a shot or was just inconsistent in his shooting. Prediction: Re-signs with the Celtics
Jeff Green came into the season looking to shake off the disappointment that followed him in his trade from OKC. That never got to happen as Green missed the year with a heart condition. The Celtics were able to void his contract but mostly will look to sign him to another one year 9 million dollar deal the exact one he signed before. Prediction: Re-signs with Boston
Greg Stiemsma is someone the Celtics would like to see back on the team as he became a fan favorite. His ability to rebound and shot block gave the Celtics a much needed big man when Wilcox and Jermaine O’Neal was lost for the season. He is sure to get some attention from other teams but I can’t see him signing elsewhere. Prediction: Re-signs with Boston
Chris Wilcox was just starting to shine in his role with the Celtics there were countless alley-oops between him and Rondo, as they just fed off each others energy. Then he was gone for the rest of the season with a heart condition just like Jeff Green, just looking at the timetable Green needed a year so lets assume Wilcox will need the same, that puts him coming back somewhere towards the start of the second half of the season. Prediction: Signs elsewhere
Mickael Pietrus is another player who expressed a strong desire to come back to Boston he had good moments during the regular season coming off a knee injury. He struggled in the playoffs though but mainly struggled overall after coming back from a scary concussion that kept him out for a couple of weeks. If Pietrus were to come back it wouldn’t be for the same deal he got from the Celtics this time around it would probably be in the 2-4 million range. Pietrus is a good substitute for Paul Pierce when he isn’t on the floor but Jeff Green fills that void as well so it would be very hard to see Piteous back in a uniform. Prediction: Signs elsewhere
Kenyon Dooling spent most of the year hurt and had a up and down season. His ups came in the series against Miami but that’s where his downs where to, as he was unable to provide a spark off the bench. He was good for Rondo as he served as a mentor for the All-Star PG and he would be good to come back as a back up to the Celtics. Prediction: Re-signs with Boston
Ryan Hollins provided good minutes coming off the bench after being picked up from Cleveland. He gave the Celtics another big body for when KG rested or Stiemsma got into foul trouble. Having a lot of bigs isn’t a bad thing and Hollins did make the most of his time he has said he wants to remain in Boston and I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Prediction: Re-signs with Boston
Marquis Daniels came back from a scary spinal cord injury he didn’t provide much for Boston. Daniels found most of his time holding up the end of the bench, but when he was asked to defend Lebron and Wade he made the most of it. Daniels provided good minutes for the Celtics defense in the series against Miami, but I don’t see him coming back for another year to ride the pine again. Prediction: Signs elsewhere
With this years free agent class being thin compared to next year theres not a lot out there for the Celtics to pursue, they would have a big void to fill if KG did in fact retire. Next years class is more talented you have such players as Dwight Howard and Serge Ibaka becoming free agents to name a few, it will be interesting to see what the Celtics do to stay competitive for this year’s upcoming season.