Compete in 2014: Green for Deng (in around about way)
posted at 1/4/2014 2:37 PM EST
What if Danny does this...
Step1: Find a suitor for Jeff Green and ask for expirings and a 2014 first round pick. This clears 9M in cap space, plus the pick going into 2014
Step2: Find a suitor (at the end of the season) for Wallace bundled with the Clippers 2015 pick. Sell it to a team with cap space, non guarenteed deals and a clear rebuilding 2014-15 season. There's got to be a team, maybe the Bucks, Nuggets? If there's no deal to be made, I'd consider using the stretch provision. That would be 20M over 5 years, so 4M cap hit per year, saving 6M next year
Step3: Sign AB for a 26M contract that increments, so the cap hit in 2014-15 would start at 5M
Step4: Go hard after Luol Deng. I'm not sure if Chicago will actually trade him this season, but this is one of the most underrated players in the league. He is entering his prime at 28 years old (same as Rondo), he is a great two way player and can defend Lebron. He is averaging more ppg, rpg and has a better PER than Green. He fits in defensively, Ron Adams has worked with him, and he is a no-nonsense player. I'd pay him a nice 60M for 4 year contract.
Step5: Put an offer in for Hayward, pray, if we lose out to the Jazz, go after a free agent backup PG to Rondo at a reasonable price (4yr, less than 20M per) in either Vasquez, Fredette, Lowry or Crawford.
Step6: Draft well. If the Celtics continue to lose we may have an opportunity to go after Embiid at a 3rd or 4th overall pick. I think the Atlanta pick will be in the 15-20 range now that Millsap is their best player. With that pick I'd like to go after McDermott who may slip into that range. McDermott is absolutely NBA ready and is a very heady player with all the IQ, moves and shooting touch. I think he would play very, very well with Kelly, Rondo and Sully at times. His defensive liability would be countered by having Bass and Deng on the team.
And finally, with the third pick, from the Jeff Green trade, I would target Seldon. Lets assume the pick is also in thae 18-22 range. Seldon could work his way into a 6th man role or even a future starting SG on this team. He plays hard at both ends, can pass well and finishes well.
Your 2014-15 Celtics:
Rondo (9) / [Crawford, Vasquez, Lowry, Ridnour] (4)
Bradley (5) / Lee (5) / Seldon (1)
Deng (15) / McDermott (1)
Bass (6) / Olynyk (2)
Sullinger(2) / Embiid (4) / Favarani (2)
That's 56M in salary. I believe that Danny can still find a way to finagle an offer for Hayward, Turner or another mid level free agent.
Now, I don't expect that the Celtics will be favorites with this Roster. I do however, expect a continuation of a very weak eastern conference next year with opportunity for teams to sneak into the playoffs below 50 wins. I think that with a healthy Rondo with an improving Bradley, a budding Sullinger and consistent 2-way players in Bass and Deng, we could win some games. The supporting cast is a lot of young talent, but I think Seldon and McDermott are NBA ready, Lee knows his role, Crawford can score&assist from the bench and Olynyk, Embiid and Favarni will add enough depth.
I think the above team gets into the playoffs at a 4-7 seed while also building towards the future. The ideal situation would be for Embiid to learn defense instantly and earn a starting spot, pushing Bass to the bench. I expect Sullinger to lose weight this offseason and continue down the path similar to Lamarcus Aldridge.