Celtics 20-21 Roster Construction

benhogan

Granite is his new binky
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
9,390
Santa Monica
Don’t forget Ojeleye. That bench is fucking trash.
Danny isn't done a month before the season starts. He's got 8 months to build a playoff roster

It's far from trash at present. Young players have a tendency to improve after a year in the league. Other teams may value some of the young guys and offer some veterans for them. We already have Houston and OKC selling, GSW may be right behind them. There will be players available.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
Maybe they don't think he's a very useful bench piece?

I'd do that deal in a heartbeat, but I'd guess it's just the 30th pick for the two seconds straight up.
They played him a lot of very efficient minutes this year for a guy that they might not think is very useful. Which isn't even counting the bonus usefulness of the fact that they're going to have to beat Joel Embiid in the playoffs probably.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
18,256
Don’t forget Ojeleye. That bench is fucking trash.
Is it? It's young, but you're looking at Kanter (a bench big on playoff teams most years) an MLE, and then FIVE recent 1st rounders.

Go take a look at some other lineups, that bench is.... quite good. The best argument might be that there isn't a clear 6th man, but the 8-12 are going to be among the best in the East if not the whole league
 

benhogan

Granite is his new binky
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
9,390
Santa Monica
Is it? It's young, but you're looking at Kanter (a bench big on playoff teams most years) an MLE, and then FIVE recent 1st rounders.

Go take a look at some other lineups, that bench is.... quite good. The best argument might be that there isn't a clear 6th man, but the 8-12 are going to be among the best in the East if not the whole league
can't wait to see the Bucks bench of Giannis brother, Pau Gasol, Dion Waiters and Nwora
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,216
around the way
Yeah bad benches are everywhere. Seemed like we had an entire symposium on Landry Shamet getting big crunch time minutes.

Sure if they whiffed on this years draftees and last year's draftees took no leaps whatsoever and Hayward leaves for nothing, then the bench will likely suck. Like most of the rest of the league.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,486
They played him a lot of very efficient minutes this year for a guy that they might not think is very useful. Which isn't even counting the bonus usefulness of the fact that they're going to have to beat Joel Embiid in the playoffs probably.
The last two rounds of the playoffs, when they were desperate to get minutes from anyone on the bench, he played a total of 42 minutes in those 13 games.

They don't trust him when it matters.

On a team that will likely have at least 6 roster spots dedicated to unproven young dudes, the other 9 guys better have a chance to be on the floor in a playoff game. Especially since the likelihood of all 9 guys being healthy is fairly small.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
The last two rounds of the playoffs, when they were desperate to get minutes from anyone on the bench, he played a total of 42 minutes in those 13 games.

They don't trust him when it matters.

On a team that will likely have at least 6 roster spots dedicated to unproven young dudes, the other 9 guys better have a chance to be on the floor in a playoff game. Especially since the likelihood of all 9 guys being healthy is fairly small.
Because they happened to face Embiid in the 1st round and not the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Theis was getting worked by Embiid, Kanter wore him down. If you trade Kanter for nothing who is matching up with the best player on one of the premier teams in the east come playoff time? He's a backup center, what team has a backup center that is all of a sudden going to play big minutes in the playoffs because of injuries to 2 players in your backcourt?
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,486
Because they happened to face Embiid in the 1st round and not the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Theis was getting worked by Embiid, Kanter wore him down. If you trade Kanter for nothing who is matching up with the best player on one of the premier teams in the east come playoff time?
The actually decent defensive center that you sign with the MLE or BAE that can play against lots of teams, not just ones that have Joel Embiid.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
The actually decent defensive center that you sign with the MLE or BAE that can play against lots of teams, not just ones that have Joel Embiid.
Would love to know the list of centers that are big enough to defend embiid, quick enough to defend most smaller centers, and also available for a short term fairly low money contract
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,486
Would love to know the list of centers that are big enough to defend embiid, quick enough to defend most smaller centers, and also available for a short term fairly low money contract
They don't need to be quick enough to defend most smaller centers, They just need to not be as slow footed as Kanter as to not be unplayable.

I also think there is too much focus on the centers Kanter can guard. It's not usually the center that's the issue. It's the point guard. I think if Ben Simmons is running the pick and roll instead of Shake Milton, Kanter isn't playing much against even a tree like Embiid. Like in Toronto, size-wise Kanter should've been able to play against Gasol/Ibaka, but he can't because Lowry and Van Vleet would've put him in the pick and roll every time up the floor.

Guys that might be available for the MLE (which the Celtics might have if Hayward walks) down to the BAE I'd be interested in Derrick Favors(could get above MLE), Serge Ibaka, Aron Baynes, Tristan Thompson, Willie Cauley Stein. I also wouldn't be opposed to just bringing in a minimum guy instead of Kanter at 5M and see if Robert Williams can earn the spot this year, and if he can't look for an upgrade at the trade deadline.
 
Last edited:

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
18,256
\
Would love to know the list of centers that are big enough to defend embiid, quick enough to defend most smaller centers, and also available for a short term fairly low money contract
Ibaka is the obvious one if he'd sign here.
Guys who have pretty decent matchup data against Embiid and are solid bench bigs otherwise:
Favors
Milsap

And one guy....
Marc Gasol absolutely owns Embiid, the H2H stats are amazing, he just puts him in the ground every time they play.
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,254
Cultural hub of the universe
Yeah the issue with Wanamaker is not that he was bad for a 3rd pg, it's that he had no business being elevated to what his role ended up being because of injuries and young guys not being ready.
The bigger problem wasn't the drop off to Wanamaker, it was the drop off from him. There literally wasn't another decent guard or wing on the bench with Hayward out.
 

benhogan

Granite is his new binky
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
9,390
Santa Monica
Kanter is a very efficient regular-season center when playing against 2nd units. The "Kanter issue" surfaces during playoff time when teams shorten their rotations. For $5MM he'll actually add a win or 2 during the regular season, so they can live with him as TL/Grant continue to develop into their specified roles. By playoff time Theis/TL/Grant should be able to handle the mobile Bigs and PnR guards to make Kanter a low-minute option. If TL/Grant show no progress/development from last year, Danny can always find a veteran 5 like WCS for a 2nd rounder in March.

In addition to that, if the price is right, Danny should be open to adding Baynes or Favors over the next month.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
They don't need to be quick enough to defend most smaller centers, They just need to not be as slow footed as Kanter as to not be unplayable.

I also think there is too much focus on the centers Kanter can guard. It's not usually the center that's the issue. It's the point guard. I think if Ben Simmons is running the pick and roll instead of Shake Milton, Kanter isn't playing much against even a tree like Embiid. Like in Toronto, size-wise Kanter should've been able to play against Gasol/Ibaka, but he can't because Lowry and Van Vleet would've put him in the pick and roll every time up the floor.

Guys that might be available for the MLE (which the Celtics might have if Hayward walks) down to the BAE I'd be interested in Derrick Favors(could get above MLE), Serge Ibaka, Aron Baynes, Tristan Thompson, Willie Cauley Stein. I also wouldn't be opposed to just bringing in a minimum guy instead of Kanter at 5M and see if Robert Williams can earn the spot this year, and if he can't look for an upgrade at the trade deadline.
He wasn't playing against Gasol or Ibaka because those guys are perfectly happy to take and make 3s at a very high rate if you leave them wide open and you don't want him trying to guard anyone 25 feet from the hoop. Baiting Embiid into taking those same jump shots is a big win for the offense, especially once he gets tired legs.

If the guy they're replacing Kanter with can't defend most smaller centers then I'm not sure how he's an upgrade. Kanter isn't "unplayable" in most matchups.
 

JakeRae

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
6,609
New York, NY
I am confused by anyone advocating using the MLE on a center. The team needs a guard or wing much more than it needs another center, and can also far more likely get a playable center on the vet min.
 

Pollard's Spartan Beard

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2008
531
Siskiyou County, CA
The Kanter/glacier post got me.

The thing that's a bummer about this offseason is that the free agent I'm most interested for Boston seems eminently attainable, but I'm not sure the MLE gets it done.

Christian Wood is going to be a fantastic signing for whoever brings him in, and if the Celtics can pull it off, I'll be thrilled. He was phenomenal after Detroit dumped Drummond, and really shined anytime he got meaningful minutes last couple season. I'm just hoping other teams with cap space shoot their shot on other guys, and he chooses to go to a contender. He's 25, so his timeline fits with Smart, Brown and Tatum in a way that guys like Ibaka, Millsap or Gasol don't. And I think what he showed in his time sans-Drummond was more impressive than anything Myles Turner has ever done. He can block shots, shoot 3's, and switch on the perimeter.

The Athletic had Boston as being interested in dealing for him at the deadline last season, and I'm hoping the interest is till there.

FWIW, Bobby Marks seems to think he might not get much more than the MLE, which would be a steal, in my opinion.
 
Last edited:

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
34,754
The Kanter/glacier post got me.

The thing that's a bummer about this offseason is that the free agent I'm most interested for Boston seems eminently attainable, but I'm not sure the MLE gets it done.

Christian Wood is going to be a fantastic signing for whoever brings him in, and if the Celtics can pull it off, I'll be thrilled. He was phenomenal after Detroit dumped Drummond, and really shined anytime he got meaningful minutes the last couple seasons. I'm just hoping other teams with cap space shoot their shot on other guys, and he chooses to go to a contender. He's 25, so his timeline fits with Smart, Brown and Tatum in a way that guys like Ibaka, Millsap or Gasol don't. And I think what he showed in his time sans-Drummond was more impressive than anything Myles Turner has ever done. He can block shots, shoot 3's, and switch on the perimeter.

The Athletic had Boston as being interested in dealing for him at the deadline last season, and I'm hoping the interest is till there.

FWIW, Bobby Marks seems to think he might not get much more than the MLE, which would be a steal, in my opinion.
Wood is really good (read here) . Chatter is he will stay in Detroit but that's worth about as much as this post.
 

pjheff

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2003
581
Ojeleye isn’t going to be here. I’d disagree on the bench, but it is super high variance. Assuming the rookies and Langford don’t contribute much, we have a major need for guard/wing depth, but there’s a ton of big depth between Timelord, Grant, and Kanter, all of whom I see as average of above players next year. If any of Nesmith, Pritchard or Langford can contribute, they are one smaller wing away from a solid rotation, and they have the full MLE available to bring in that player.
The team picked up his option. It's possible that move was simply to facilitate a deal, perhaps with Hayward, but it's also conceivable that he'll be on the bench (and not the deep end of it).

Danny isn't done a month before the season starts. He's got 8 months to build a playoff roster

It's far from trash at present. Young players have a tendency to improve after a year in the league. Other teams may value some of the young guys and offer some veterans for them. We already have Houston and OKC selling, GSW may be right behind them. There will be players available.
I don't think Danny is done, but I also struggle to remember his last in-season acquisition who made a difference. Thomas?

Is it? It's young, but you're looking at Kanter (a bench big on playoff teams most years) an MLE, and then FIVE recent 1st rounders.

Go take a look at some other lineups, that bench is.... quite good. The best argument might be that there isn't a clear 6th man, but the 8-12 are going to be among the best in the East if not the whole league
I'm not talking about the deep end of the bench that belongs in Portland as developmental projects. I mean the guys who are ready to contribute to winning on a contending '20-'21 squad. I think that we would all agree that last year's team didn't have enough depth, and the listed (and unfinished) roster then subtracts two players that Stevens trusted with playoff minutes (Hayward and Wanamaker). I'm happy with Grant in a bench capacity, and with Kanter and TL, the depth of bigs is fine. But the lack of productive guards and wings in reserve is alarming, and this squad is one entirely predictable Marcus Smart hand injury or ankle sprain away from a real problem.
 

ramfan

lurker
Jul 19, 2005
39
i believe i read semi's contract doesn't become guaranteed until saturday. this gives boston the ability to attach him to a deal or let him go.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
10,958
Updating my earlier post with the latest status:

Guaranteed contracts (10):
Walker
Brown
Smart
Tatum
Theis
Langford
G. Williams
R. Williams
Edwards
Kanter (player option exercised)

First round picks (2):
Nesmith
Pritchard

Non-guaranteed contracts (1):
Green (guarantees 2/24)
Ojeleye (team option picked up; $1.8M salary guarantees 11/21)

2nd round pick (1):
Madar

Unsigned RFA [qualifying offer extended] (2):
Waters
Fall

Unsigned UFA (2):
Wanamaker
Hayward

Officially gone (1):
Poirier

Obviously, everything going forward is dependent with what happens with Hayward. The Ojeleye option exercise basically gives Danny 48 additional hours to figure it out, as he could still be effectively waived at zero cost right up until the salary guarantee deadline this Saturday.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
6,981
Kiev, Ukraine
The team picked up his option. It's possible that move was simply to facilitate a deal, perhaps with Hayward, but it's also conceivable that he'll be on the bench (and not the deep end of it).



I don't think Danny is done, but I also struggle to remember his last in-season acquisition who made a difference. Thomas?



I'm not talking about the deep end of the bench that belongs in Portland as developmental projects. I mean the guys who are ready to contribute to winning on a contending '20-'21 squad. I think that we would all agree that last year's team didn't have enough depth, and the listed (and unfinished) roster then subtracts two players that Stevens trusted with playoff minutes (Hayward and Wanamaker). I'm happy with Grant in a bench capacity, and with Kanter and TL, the depth of bigs is fine. But the lack of productive guards and wings in reserve is alarming, and this squad is one entirely predictable Marcus Smart hand injury or ankle sprain away from a real problem.
Play Romeo and Nesmith and Grant more and lose a few more regular-season games while developing guys.

If arenas aren’t going to be full due to covid, seeding just doesn’t matter as much.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
10,958
Play Romeo and Nesmith and Grant more and lose a few more regular-season games while developing guys.

If arenas aren’t going to be full due to covid, seeding just doesn’t matter as much.
In the absolute worst case scenario where Hayward walks for nothing, the Celtics would have the full MLE and the biannual available. Have to believe they can find bench scoring help with those.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,216
around the way
Play Romeo and Nesmith and Grant more and lose a few more regular-season games while developing guys.

If arenas aren’t going to be full due to covid, seeding just doesn’t matter as much.
A thousand times this.

Not to imply that nobody has ever said this before but 1. it bears repeating, and 2. it makes even more sense now than ever.

Whatever the result of the roster machinations, it is almost a certainty that we will have a roster with a lot of upside guys who need minutes. Give them the damn minutes.
 

bsan34

lurker
Jul 31, 2006
175
C'ville, VA / Hingham, MA
In the absolute worst case scenario where Hayward walks for nothing, the Celtics would have the full MLE and the biannual available. Have to believe they can find bench scoring help with those.
Sure. Losing 3 max FAs in 2 years is pretty horrendous asset management though in terms of their salary slots evaporating.

Simmons and KOC yesterday seemed to think that the long surmised S+T to Indiana is what's best for business for everyone involved.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
24,394
Sure. Losing 3 max FAs in 2 years is pretty horrendous asset management though in terms of their salary slots evaporating.

Simmons and KOC yesterday seemed to think that the long surmised S+T to Indiana is what's best for business for everyone involved.
It's always hard to figure out what is going on behind the curtain, and the fact is the Celtics still have an outstanding young roster. Those things very clearly said up front, I continue to worry that Ainge struggles to make a deal that is less than "full value" but practical---swapping picks to move up to get a targeted guy; making a move before Hayward opts out, etc. I know none of us can be sure if that or is not going on. It's also fair to say that we are still in the middle inniings of this offseason---but my comment is a multi-season one.

Fascinated what their plan is, as I am sure they've thought through this specific scenario
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,216
around the way
The max salary slots thing is kind of old news.

Even if Gordon leaves, the Celtics have a max in Kemba, a pending max in Tatum, and a high non-max in Jaylen, with Marcus coming due for a raise before we know it. Maintaining a way over the cap max slot isn't the only consideration anymore.

Danny has deftly built an over cap roster multiple times before. I don't believe that whatever happens this week with GH is going to put the Cs into any kind of cap hell. Avoiding tax hell is on the list though.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
24,394
I wonder if their assessment last offseason was that signing Kemba would cost them Hayward, if they could keep both (but covid intervened in the economics), if they knew Hayward would want a bigger role so there was no trade-off between them, or something else.

In retrospect, a discount PG and extending Hayward may well have been preferable, but that in large part is because of Kemba's health. So not a criticism, just interersting to reflect on
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,104
Sure. Losing 3 max FAs in 2 years is pretty horrendous asset management though in terms of their salary slots evaporating.
This seems like a bit of a stretch... unless you want to go back and say they should have traded these guys in their contract years despite the Cs having reasonable playoff expectations, what were they supposed to do differently?

Horford was coming off a max contract, but clearly was no longer a max player. They could have kept him, but I doubt anyone would be happy with that contract right now.

They replaced Kyrie with Kemba - lateral move at worst.

As for Hayward, I guess we still need to see how it plays out. But trading their best secondary creator last season when the East was pretty open seems silly, even in hindsight. And a sign and trade would probably be optimal assuming it’s a real asset and not a bad contract coming back. But adding a full MLE and bi-annual exception player in some ways gives Ainge flexibility they haven’t had because the only mid-level contract they have is Smart. If a max player they want becomes available, there’s actually more room to create a max slot.
 

Marbleheader

Dope
Dope
Sep 27, 2004
10,515
Just throwing crap against the wall, but if Indiana is where Hayward wants to go and Turner is part of the return would they have the assets to try and pry Gobert from Utah as part of a 3 team trade?
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,104
Just throwing crap against the wall, but if Indiana is where Hayward wants to go and Turner is part of the return would they have the assets to try and pry Gobert from Utah as part of a 3 team trade?
If Utah would take Turner + Langford + picks, it would be interesting to consider, but that's almost certainly not enough to get Utah to bite (they would probably want to start the conversation with Jaylen - no thanks). And, I'm not sure I want to see Ainge then hand Gobert the max contract that would be necessary to keep him.
 

tbrown_01923

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2006
548
Can the team lose Heyward and Langford from their rotation (to the extent they were in the rotation). If Heyward is not here I think they need to keep Langford around or pick up another wing or two through MLE...
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
2,617
Saint Paul, MN
If Utah would take Turner + Langford + picks, it would be interesting to consider, but that's almost certainly not enough to get Utah to bite (they would probably want to start the conversation with Jaylen - no thanks). And, I'm not sure I want to see Ainge then hand Gobert the max contract that would be necessary to keep him.
Utah is not getting anyone close to as good as Jaylen Brown for an only signed for one year Gobert. I think they would absolutely bite at something like Turner/Langford/picks
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
36,455
Utah is not getting anyone close to as good as Jaylen Brown for an only signed for one year Gobert. I think they would absolutely bite at something like Turner/Langford/picks
Yeah. If they don't think they can/want to sign him, that's not a terrible return for a rental. Turner is signed for 3 years, Langford should at least be a decent bench piece, and then you have future picks.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,932
I'd be happy if the Celtics took a run at Jamychal Green, who opted out of his Clippers deal on Thursday. He would be a perfect stretch 4/smallball 5 for this team.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,486
He wasn't playing against Gasol or Ibaka because those guys are perfectly happy to take and make 3s at a very high rate if you leave them wide open and you don't want him trying to guard anyone 25 feet from the hoop. Baiting Embiid into taking those same jump shots is a big win for the offense, especially once he gets tired legs.

If the guy they're replacing Kanter with can't defend most smaller centers then I'm not sure how he's an upgrade. Kanter isn't "unplayable" in most matchups.
Nah, this ain't it.

The Celtics were very happy to let Gasol take and brick threes all series long. Can certainly make the case they didn't want him on Ibaka on the perimeter, but Gasol? It's about the pick and roll.

Kanter is "unplayable" in pretty much every playoff matchup. If you don't think he's nimble enough to cover a 35 year old Marc Gasol, how many guys do you think he can cover if you think it's only about the center he's covering?
 

NomarsFool

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 21, 2001
4,384
Guaranteed contracts (9):
Walker
Brown
Smart
Tatum
Theis
Langford
G. Williams
R. Williams
Edwards
Kanter (player option exercised)

First round picks (2):
Nesmith
Pritchard

Non-guaranteed contracts (1):
Green (guarantees 2/24)
Ojeleye (team option picked up; $1.8M salary guarantees 11/21)

2nd round pick (1):
Madar

Unsigned RFA [qualifying offer extended] (2):
Waters
Fall

Unsigned UFA (2):
Wanamaker
Hayward

Officially gone (2):
Poirier
Kanter
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,254
Cultural hub of the universe
Guaranteed contracts (9):
Walker
Brown
Smart
Tatum
Theis
Langford
G. Williams
R. Williams
Edwards
Kanter (player option exercised)

First round picks (2):
Nesmith
Pritchard

Non-guaranteed contracts (1):
Green (guarantees 2/24)
Ojeleye (team option picked up; $1.8M salary guarantees 11/21)

2nd round pick (1):
Madar

Unsigned RFA [qualifying offer extended] (2):
Waters
Fall

Unsigned UFA (2):
Wanamaker
Hayward

Officially gone (2):
Poirier
Kanter
So the bench right now looks like Langford, GW, RW, Nesmith and Pritchard. I haven't been part of the "sign a vet" chorus, but damn that's young. What a ceiling though!
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,104
So now three of their top 9 rotation guys from last year are gone. Nesmith and Pritchard are in. That’s clearly a step back.

let’s see what Ainge can do with MLE and BAE.
Hayward is clearly a loss, the others pretty fungible, I think. The gap from Hayward to MLE player will be big. It’s not unreasonable to think some combo of TL, Langford, Pritchard, and Nesmith will be better than Kanter, Wanamaker, and Semi.