2017 Celtics Offseason: News and General Discussion

Ed Hillel

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Jeff Van Gundy was just on Zach Lowe’s podcast, and he just raved about - of all people - Abdel Nader.
That contract could be such a steal. Nader looks like a legit second unit guy in the making to me, and for 1.5 million the next four seasons. Yes, please.
 

redsoxstiff

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Well,hanyways Dave Cowens was 6'9" but was a god almighty leaping athlete.find the best at 6'9" or better but possibly a player that has a upside of more value than a bigger big.

I do love what I see now...
 

Imbricus

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The Vertical's Shams Charania reported Monday that Smart hopes to stay with the Celtics but that he hasn't heard from Boston about a new contract as the Oct. 16 deadline to agree to an extension approaches.
Anyone else see this? Hey, Danny, get on the horn! This guy deserves some love.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Inexperience aside, this looks like the best deep bench depth the Celtics have had since Stevens got here. Guys like Mickey, James Young, Tyler Zeller, RJ Hunter wouldn't make this team.

They lack veteran depth. After their top 5 guys (Horford/Hayward/Irving/Smart/Morris), Baynes is probably the only guy who fits that category.

Baynes: 5 years, 4.150 minutes
Larkin: 3 years, 4,105 minutes
Rozier: 2 years, 1,541 minutes
Jaylen: 1 year, 1,341 minutes
Nader: rookie
Ojeleye: rookie
Tatum: rookie
Theiss: rookie*
Yabusele: rookie

Rozier looks primed for a major role this season. Assuming Stevens follows through with Smart coming off the bench, that suggests a bench unit of Smart, Rozier, Baynes or Morris (whichever one doesn't start), Tatum, and... either Theiss, Yabusele, or Ojeleye, each of whom have their strong points. I'd guess Theiss, but Yabu had a nice game tonight. I'd also expect Stevens to try to stagger his stars and keep one of them out with the bench unit most of the time, the most likely guy probably being Hayward (since Smart/Rozier/Baynes looks like the makings of a pretty solid bench unit).
 

Jimbodandy

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Anyone else see this? Hey, Danny, get on the horn! This guy deserves some love.
Smart looks like he added a legit foot to his vertical this offseason, which seems to have improved his finishing ability. If the improved shooting is as real is it seems at the moment, he will be a rich man soon.
 

Ed Hillel

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Do we know if Smart was asked to “bulk up” last year, or is it worrisome it took him until his contract year to show up on peak shape? I’d be a little concerned to shell out 20 million a year or whatever over a handful of seasons if it’s the latter.

I still think he’s a goner, as I mentioned a while back. He’s going to outprice his value to the team.
 

DrewDawg

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Scal said on the broadcast last night that even though there's been no offer yet to Smart the sides have most definitely talked.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Looks like Smart and Rozier will be paired together on the second unit, which should be a terror defensively (some video in this link): http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2017/10/marcus_smart_terry_rozier_bost.html.

Smart's per-36 preseason averages: 22.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.6 steals, 54.5% FG, 58.3% (!?!) 3PT.

Rozier's per-36 preseason averages: 20.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 3.0 steals, 50% FG, 50% 3PT.

Wowzers!
 

sox311

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That's what she said.
Scal said on the broadcast last night that even though there's been no offer yet to Smart the sides have most definitely talked.
In video after the game Marcus said "my agent and them haven't talked..."

I heard Scal say what you said above, but I don't think he had any knowledge and was just speculating saying that about the very last thing he said in that hit.
 

DrewDawg

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IT: "I might never talk to Danny Ainge again"

https://sports.yahoo.com/isaiah-thomas-might-never-talk-140045003.html

“Boston is going to be all love,” he vows, with one exception. “I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”
I love IT, but if he's that hurt as bad as it looks then this won't be a mistake. Also, it seems that he thought that playing through injury (he sais he should have sat out postseason) would mean Boston paid him. It wasn't going to happen.

The writer says, HOT TAKE ALERT:
Thomas gave so much to the Celtics, and it stinks they wore down his body while he was on a cheap contract then traded him before he was due a massive raise...
So, apparently the Celtics knew that making him play in the postseason would lead to this injury and that they would be able to deal him for a player no one knew would become available.
 

lovegtm

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IT: "I might never talk to Danny Ainge again"

https://sports.yahoo.com/isaiah-thomas-might-never-talk-140045003.html



I love IT, but if he's that hurt as bad as it looks then this won't be a mistake. Also, it seems that he thought that playing through injury (he sais he should have sat out postseason) would mean Boston paid him. It wasn't going to happen.

The writer says, HOT TAKE ALERT:

So, apparently the Celtics knew that making him play in the postseason would lead to this injury and that they would be able to deal him for a player no one knew would become available.
The valid gripe he has is that (from his perspective) the team ran him into the ground and hurt his future earnings to then replace his scoring, partially, with a free agent he helped recruit, and to whom his playoff performance probably made the team more attractive.
 

Erik Hanson's Hook

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Is anyone slightly worried about Baynes's injury? He had shown great promise as kind of an "enforcer", rebounder, and elbow jump shooter. Knee injuries in preseason scare me, and obviously they have a lack of bigs.
 

bosox79

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None of this should shock anyone but:

Chris ForsbergESPN Staff Writer
The Celtics waived camp invites Daniel Dixon, Jonathan Holmes, L.J. Peak, and Andrew White. Their roster stands at 16 players, including two G-League two-way players. Boston has one open roster spot.
 

benhogan

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The valid gripe he has is that (from his perspective) the team ran him into the ground and hurt his future earnings to then replace his scoring, partially, with a free agent he helped recruit, and to whom his playoff performance probably made the team more attractive.
+1 Agreed.
I usually side on the cold-hearted, "it's a business" approach. BUT feel bad for Isiah. The Celtics wrung every ounce of talent out of IT, on the cheap, and he's pissed.

IT4 delivered on everything and more for the Celtics. In tight games, in the community, in the playoffs, in recruiting Al and Gordon, in setting an example for young players, in working on his shooting with Asst Coaches. And he wanted that Brinks Truck to be backed up and deliver a max deal. And that's not going to happen with the Cavs under Ty Lue.

Danny Ainge was never waving that truck in for a 29yr old defensive liability like he will for Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is going to blossom in the Celtics system. My thinking is Brad maximizes his players' abilities and puts them in a position to succeed better than any other coach outside of San Antonio. I'm very curious to see how Jae, IT, Kelly, Avery, Amir do on their new teams.

In hindsight that 4yr Phoenix deal is what screwed up IT4's massive payday, probably why he fired his agent. Wrong coach, team and length of contract.

If my theory is correct, guys looking to improve their value will sign discounted 1yr deals to play for the Celtics and chase rings (massive wishful thinking alert).
 
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bosox79

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You don't pay players for past performance and IT is the one who signed his original contract. I can see him being upset or whatever, but he doesn't really have a gripe. Plus, if the Celtics didn't "ring" out every ounce of talent from IT, he'd never be in line for a monster pay day anyway. I
 

MainerInExile

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Danny Ainge did more positively for IT's earnings than he did negatively. What kind of contract would he have been looking at if the Celtics trade never happened? It's not Ainge's fault IT got hurt.
 

lovegtm

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You don't pay players for past performance and IT is the one who signed his original contract. I can see him being upset or whatever, but he doesn't really have a gripe. Plus, if the Celtics didn't "ring" out every ounce of talent from IT, he'd never be in line for a monster pay day anyway. I
Totally agree, except for the fact that everyone knew IT was good offensively after the regular season last year, so he didn't have tons left to prove in that regard. However, I think he (perhaps misguidedly) put his body out there in the playoffs with the expectation he'd be rewarded for it, when it fact it was probably a terrible move for him long-term.

I'm saying all this as someone who loved the Kyrie trade from day one.
 

JCizzle

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Sam Ray Not

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Great piece, thanks. Basically what I was trying to articulate in the other thread with this:

As far as Kyrie developing into something resembling 2014-17 Curry — it's not just a question of greater usage but of a transformed role. Kerr's first job as Ws coach was to totally overhaul the offense (fun piece on that on ESPN yesterday) and the heart of that was taking Steph more off ball, allowing him to roam more freely through complex screens, split actions, etc., to exploit to his most elite skill (shooting, duh), while empowering the whole roster (Draymond in particular, but also Bogut, Andre, Shaun, West, et al.) to make plays. Running him off ball more also helped turn him into a much more complete player: he became a much better screener, rebounder, and defender under Kerr. Not saying Kyrie will reach Steph's level, but in the bits of preseason I've watched, I've already seen signs of that freer, easier, less ball-poundy, more complete Kyrie under Stevens (whose coaching principles I think share a ton with Kerr's). To wit: 10 assists, 0 turnovers, and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes last night, to go with the 16 pts on 7-11 fg. All while barely breaking a sweat. Dare I say "Stephortless"?

To tack onto that a bit: Nash and Curry have amply demonstrated that elite shooting is the single most important skill for a PG in a modern NBA offense, and I think people tend to underrate how elite a shooter Kyrie is. Point guards in NBA history aged 25 and under who have averaged > .900 FT and > .400 3FG (min 4 attempts) while scoring > 20 PPG:

Stephen Curry
Kyrie Irving

That's the complete list.

Remove the position requirement and it's those two plus Kevin Durant and CJ McCollum

Remove the age requirement and it's those two plus Durant, McCollum, Peja Stojakovic and Ray Allen.
 
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lexrageorge

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I liked the Kyrie trade, as I truly believe we've seen IT's best days already (and I think the 2017-18 Nets will be better than projected). I certainly don't blame Ainge; he wasn't going to make IT4 a max player barring some miracle, and the GM needs to be focused first and foremost on the "best interests of the ballclub".

I also don't blame Isaiah for his remarks, however. IT certainly did not have to play on an injured hip immediately after his sister was killed in a car crash or immediately after her funeral; noone would have blamed him for missing time even in the playoffs given the circumstances. But play he did. He did everything that the team asked him to do, and more, and seemed to really, really enjoy being part of the Boston sports scene all around. He was my kids favorite player on the team by far (irrelevant factoid alert). So, I completely understand why he's not exactly keeping Ainge on his Christmas card list, and I have no problem with that. Personally, if the Celtics don't advance to the Finals, I hope it is the Cavs that win the title, as I would gladly see Isaiah hug the trophy, even it means LeBron is hugging the same trophy as well.
 

tbb345

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I liked the Kyrie trade, as I truly believe we've seen IT's best days already (and I think the 2017-18 Nets will be better than projected). I certainly don't blame Ainge; he wasn't going to make IT4 a max player barring some miracle, and the GM needs to be focused first and foremost on the "best interests of the ballclub".

I also don't blame Isaiah for his remarks, however. IT certainly did not have to play on an injured hip immediately after his sister was killed in a car crash or immediately after her funeral; noone would have blamed him for missing time even in the playoffs given the circumstances. But play he did. He did everything that the team asked him to do, and more, and seemed to really, really enjoy being part of the Boston sports scene all around. He was my kids favorite player on the team by far (irrelevant factoid alert). So, I completely understand why he's not exactly keeping Ainge on his Christmas card list, and I have no problem with that. Personally, if the Celtics don't advance to the Finals, I hope it is the Cavs that win the title, as I would gladly see Isaiah hug the trophy, even it means LeBron is hugging the same trophy as well.
I agree. This is all much ado about nothing to me. If I was IT, after last year and all he fought through and gave on the floor, I would fucking despise Danny Ainge.
But logically, Ainge and Brad Stevens did resurrect his career. Also, Ainge made the move that he should have made. It's a tough pill to swallow for IT but players are paid for their potential future performance and Ainge wasn't going to give him that contract.

Basically, I think every party involved is right.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I liked the Kyrie trade, as I truly believe we've seen IT's best days already (and I think the 2017-18 Nets will be better than projected). I certainly don't blame Ainge; he wasn't going to make IT4 a max player barring some miracle, and the GM needs to be focused first and foremost on the "best interests of the ballclub".

I also don't blame Isaiah for his remarks, however. IT certainly did not have to play on an injured hip immediately after his sister was killed in a car crash or immediately after her funeral; noone would have blamed him for missing time even in the playoffs given the circumstances. But play he did. He did everything that the team asked him to do, and more, and seemed to really, really enjoy being part of the Boston sports scene all around. He was my kids favorite player on the team by far (irrelevant factoid alert). So, I completely understand why he's not exactly keeping Ainge on his Christmas card list, and I have no problem with that. Personally, if the Celtics don't advance to the Finals, I hope it is the Cavs that win the title, as I would gladly see Isaiah hug the trophy, even it means LeBron is hugging the same trophy as well.
Agree with this post 100% except liking the trade at the time. I begrudge Thomas nothing when it comes to his feelings about Ainge - even allowing for the excellent points others have made here about what Ainge essentially did for IT4s career.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I think it's totally fair for Thomas to be angry at Ainge.

I also think it's totally appropriate for Ainge to pull a Belichick and get rid of a guy too early not too late, and with no concern for what he's done in the past.

Those things don't have to conflict with each other---each feels ok to me.
 

DrewDawg

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Absolutely.

I definitely don't think they will say it's a mistake in a few years though like IT said, but his overall point makes sense.
 

Imbricus

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Some good news on the Smart front. This would be a great move, if they can get a good deal. What's the least Smart would take on four years? 60, 65 million? Or too low?

The Boston Celtics are working to sign guard Marcus Smart to a long-term extension ahead of Monday's deadline, according to WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman.
 

Imbricus

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Yeah, I read that, thanks. But I think there are compelling reasons for Ainge to talk about the extension:

(1) It never hurts to get a sense of how much money Smart is looking for, and what kind of "discount" he might be willing to give a team that he clearly likes playing for.

(2) If Smart were willing to do say $70, $75 million for five years, you might want to sign him just because that's an attractive contract, and he then becomes a more attractive asset because of it (just as Crowder was). But of course that assumes the contract isn't gunked up with "no trade" clauses.

I just can't imagine that, two years from now, Smart at say $70-$75 million for five years won't look like a really good deal, barring some catastrophe.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I guess the question is whether Smart’s agent sees a monster RFA offer coming his way if he doesn’t sign. There aren’t that many teams capable of making such an offer and Smart doesn’t make sense for many of those who do.

His only reason to sign would be pessimism about his RFA market.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Yeah, I read that, thanks. But I think there are compelling reasons for Ainge to talk about the extension:

(1) It never hurts to get a sense of how much money Smart is looking for, and what kind of "discount" he might be willing to give a team that he clearly likes playing for.

(2) If Smart were willing to do say $70, $75 million for five years, you might want to sign him just because that's an attractive contract, and he then becomes a more attractive asset because of it (just as Crowder was). But of course that assumes the contract isn't gunked up with "no trade" clauses.

I just can't imagine that, two years from now, Smart at say $70-$75 million for five years won't look like a really good deal, barring some catastrophe.
I agree. We've seen his floor, and it's fairly valuable, but if he's plays like he's been playing in the pre-season, he's gonna be really useful. I think Danny and Brad would love to have Marcus's age 24-28 years at 15 mil per in the current market. He's got warts, but the dude makes winning plays.
 

lovegtm

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I guess the question is whether Smart’s agent sees a monster RFA offer coming his way if he doesn’t sign. There aren’t that many teams capable of making such an offer and Smart doesn’t make sense for many of those who do.

His only reason to sign would be pessimism about his RFA market.
Most people seem to be VERY pessimistic about the RFA market, but if Smart looks as good this year as he did in the preseason, he probably ends up being the Otto Porter guy who gets maxed regardless of need.

Obviously there's no guarantee he'll look that good.
 

lovegtm

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I agree. We've seen his floor, and it's fairly valuable, but if he's plays like he's been playing in the pre-season, he's gonna be really useful. I think Danny and Brad would love to have Marcus's age 24-28 years at 15 mil per in the current market. He's got warts, but the dude makes winning plays.
If he plays like he has preseason, 4 years at 15M per is one of the best contracts in the NBA.

I don't think 5 is happening, since I think you can only have one of those 5 year extensions per team? I imagine they'd be saving that for Tatum or Brown if one of them hit his upside.
 

Ed Hillel

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If it happens, I think it’s something like 4/72.5. I would have been a no on that before the preseason, but damn it’s tempting at this point.
 

snowmanny

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Some C's predictions/projections:

Ben Golliver SI: 3rd in East
Alec Nathan BR: 57-25, 1st in East, 3rd overall
Maurice Moton: 2nd in East, 6th overall
Westgate LV sportsbook O/U: 56.5 (1st in East, 2nd overall) (Yes, I know that's not a prediction/projection)
"Warriors vs Everybody" ESPN Rankings: 16th overall, 6th in East
Chris Johles thesportster.com: 1st in East, 2nd overall
AJ Neuharth-Keusch USAToday: 2nd in East, 6th overall
Dave Zarum sportsnet: 1st in East, 3rd overall
Matt Moore CBS Sports: 3rd in East, 7th overall
David Aldridge NBA.com: 1st in East, 2nd overall
538: 47-35, 2nd in East, 10th overall
bowiac (10/8 version): 47-35, 5th in East, 12th overall

All over the place, anywhere between 2nd and 16th overall, 1st to 6th in the East, and 47 to 57 wins, with the public perception generally more optimistic than the analytically based projections.
 

lexrageorge

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I get that the analytics don't "like" the Celtics that much. But the ESPN "6th/16th" projection is utter garbage; there's not 5 teams in the East better than the Celtics.
 

bosox79

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I get that the analytics don't "like" the Celtics that much. But the ESPN "6th/16th" projection is utter garbage; there's not 5 teams in the East better than the Celtics.
To beat the Warriors. If you look at the projected wins, they aren't 6th.
 

bosox79

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True, although the ESPN rankings are still utter garbage.
They are, but internally, they follow the trend. Their projections say 44 wins, their people are predicting 50+. Projections do not like the Boston Celtics for some reason or another. We'll see who is right.