Celtics Plan, Summer 2021

JakeRae

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Sadly, “better” alone is not the only consideration when there are salary caps, luxury taxes, and other factors in place. Tatum and Brown on their second contracts at ~$30M per year are different than George on his third contract at ~$40M per year, and their combined expense would limit what Stevens could do and possibly what Wyc would spend elsewhere. I’m just asking whether the notion that the team would be “immediate co-favorites to make it to the eastern conference finals” would be enough to justify the move.
The NBA is about acquiring top flight talent, who are inherently paid less than they are worth because of the max contract structure. Paul George is such a player. Adding him doesn’t “limit” anything except the ability to add less talented players on less favorable contracts except that it means that if one of the handful of players that are clearly better than George decided they wanted to come play in Boston too it might be harder to make that work, but almost certainly wouldn’t stop it.

Also, immediate co-favorites means they’d be on par with the Nets. Currently, it’s hard to imagine any move that could get them past that point (not saying they cannot beat out the Nets but being clear favorites over them is pretty unimaginable). If that isn’t “enough” than what is?

Also, you framed this as a completely unrealistic Kemba + throw-ins for George deal, so whether it’s enough seems like the wrong question. Under that deal we’re getting a massive upgrade along with a long term commitment from that upgrade. Even in a world where the Clippers are being blown up, which isn’t happening, and George is interested in Boston, the price for George is going to involve a bevy of picks and swap rights. You could ask if that would be worth it and it might make more sense as a question. The answer would still be a resounding yes, but the question would make more sense than asking if we want a borderline top 10 player on a regular max contract for his early 30s in exchange for a chronically injured player that, even at his best, was never as good as George.
 

pjheff

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The NBA is about acquiring top flight talent, who are inherently paid less than they are worth because of the max contract structure. Paul George is such a player. Adding him doesn’t “limit” anything except the ability to add less talented players on less favorable contracts except that it means that if one of the handful of players that are clearly better than George decided they wanted to come play in Boston too it might be harder to make that work, but almost certainly wouldn’t stop it.
It might “limit” the team’s ability to add or retain middle class players. Financially, the Celtics would become the Bucks for all intents and purposes.

Also, immediate co-favorites means they’d be on par with the Nets. Currently, it’s hard to imagine any move that could get them past that point (not saying they cannot beat out the Nets but being clear favorites over them is pretty unimaginable). If that isn’t “enough” than what is?
Do you think that George would put the C’s “on par” with the Nets? Do you think they’d immediately surpass the Bucks and 76ers?

Also, you framed this as a completely unrealistic Kemba + throw-ins for George deal, so whether it’s enough seems like the wrong question. Under that deal we’re getting a massive upgrade along with a long term commitment from that upgrade. Even in a world where the Clippers are being blown up, which isn’t happening, and George is interested in Boston, the price for George is going to involve a bevy of picks and swap rights. You could ask if that would be worth it and it might make more sense as a question. The answer would still be a resounding yes, but the question would make more sense than asking if we want a borderline top 10 player on a regular max contract for his early 30s in exchange for a chronically injured player that, even at his best, was never as good as George.
If it wasn’t clear, I was framing this thought exercise as exactly the type of draft picks/swaps that you describe.
 

JakeRae

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It might “limit” the team’s ability to add or retain middle class players. Financially, the Celtics would become the Bucks for all intents and purposes.
The only limit on retaining middle-tier players rests with ownership. They would have Smart, Fournier (if they decide to keep him) and Thompson still under contract and young players who may later demand middle tier contracts. They would have plenty of financial flexibility from a cap logistics standpoint. And mid-tier players don’t win titles.

Do you think that George would put the C’s “on par” with the Nets? Do you think they’d immediately surpass the Bucks and 76ers?
No and yes. I think Tatum and George are a better top 2 than Embiid/Simmons or Giannis/(Jrue or Middleton). I also think a starting 5 of Smart/Brown/George/Tatum/Timelord is easily better, deeper, and more balanced on both sides of the ball than what either of those teams can field. In terms of the Nets, I think realistically you have to keep them as favorites. They have two MVP level players and we will/would have hopefully one (Tatum). There’s basically no way to match that talent at the top. But the Nets also have older players with persistent injury issues. We might not get them at full health and that Celtics team should match up well with the Nets on both sides. Tatum and George can both pick on whoever Durant isn’t guarding and Brown should be able to generate good looks against a not great defensive backcourt in Brooklyn. On the other end, the Nets would have trouble hunting matchups against that roster and there length would hopefully cover for some of the quickness edge Kyrie and Harden have.

Conventional wisdom is that the clearest path to a championship is having a top 5, a top 10, and a top 20-30 player. Tatum is an emerging MVP candidate level player, George is a borderline top 10 guy, and Brown isn’t there yet but has all the tools to be a top 20-30 player. That’s a championship caliber team. It might not win a championship because of health or other super teams, but it’s about as good as you could hope to do and realistically is better than we can hope for.
 
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pjheff

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The only limit on retaining middle-tier players rests with ownership.
But realistically, that is likely to be a limit. It is questionable whether the C’s would be able/willing to keep players like Fournier, Smart, and/or Thompson given the other financial commitments.

George is a borderline top 5 guy
Is he? I know that he was in the MVP discussion in OKC, but I’ve never thought of him as the potential best player on a championship-level team.
 

HomeRunBaker

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But realistically, that is likely to be a limit. It is questionable whether the C’s would be able/willing to keep players like Fournier, Smart, and/or Thompson given the other financial commitments.



Is he? I know that he was in the MVP discussion in OKC, but I’ve never thought of him as the potential best player on a championship-level team.
If the decision maker has to decide between Fournier, Smart and TT......or George, we really need a new decision maker. I say this as someone who isn’t even a George-guy. Filling out rotations behind The Jays and George shouldn’t require a $30m annual outlay. You only need to do a better job than Ainge has recently in identifying role players to fit our roster and they are everywhere on the cheap. This shouldn’t be hard considering how awful he’s been in this area lately.

It doesn’t matter if George is a Top-10 or Top-30 guy as his role here wouldn’t require as much individuality to need a classification such as this. It isn’t likely we’d ever be able to pair a better 3rd wheel to the Jays truck over the next couple years.
 

Cesar Crespo

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But realistically, that is likely to be a limit. It is questionable whether the C’s would be able/willing to keep players like Fournier, Smart, and/or Thompson given the other financial commitments.



Is he? I know that he was in the MVP discussion in OKC, but I’ve never thought of him as the potential best player on a championship-level team.

George has also never had a 3rd banana. It's always been him and another guy, never him and 2 other guys.
 

JakeRae

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But realistically, that is likely to be a limit. It is questionable whether the C’s would be able/willing to keep players like Fournier, Smart, and/or Thompson given the other financial commitments.



Is he? I know that he was in the MVP discussion in OKC, but I’ve never thought of him as the potential best player on a championship-level team.
Meant to write 10. I’ve edited my post to reflect that correction.
 

HomeRunBaker

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George has also never had a 3rd banana. It's always been him and another guy, never him and 2 other guys.
I’d argue that the Clippers crunch time lineup with Kawhi and Lou would qualify as Lou was sometimes their primary scorer.
George was a part of some well-balanced teams earlier in his career with the Pacers. His game should fit nicely into that role being such a well rounded player and defensive stopper.
 

benhogan

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But realistically, that is likely to be a limit. It is questionable whether the C’s would be able/willing to keep players like Fournier, Smart, and/or Thompson given the other financial commitments.



Is he? I know that he was in the MVP discussion in OKC, but I’ve never thought of him as the potential best player on a championship-level team.
Let me get this straight, you were against adding the Lonz or John Collins for Kemba + (2) Firsts? AND now you're against adding Paul George to the Jays, for Kemba + pick-a-palooza?

What are you expecting for late firsts and a crippled Kemba? Any of those deals would be HRs for Brad/Celtics.

They avoided the repeater this past season. Spending large going forward is mandatory if they expect the JAYS to stick around
 

Cesar Crespo

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Let me get this straight, you were against adding the Lonz or John Collins for Kemba + (2) Firsts? AND now you're against adding Paul George to the Jays, for Kemba + pick-a-palooza?

What are you expecting for late firsts and a crippled Kemba? Any of those deals would be HRs for Brad/Celtics.

They avoided the repeater this past season. Spending large going forward is mandatory if they expect the JAYS to stick around
He's too concerned about other people's money.

Middle tier players can also come cheap in the form of vets chasing rings, or in the form of picks/young players.

It wouldn't be hard to build around the Jays and George. Add a healthy TL and it's pretty ridiculous. With that lineup, PP would actually be a realistic starter.

Pretty much any player would fit.
 

pjheff

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Let me get this straight, you were against adding the Lonz or John Collins for Kemba + (2) Firsts? AND now you're against adding Paul George to the Jays, for Kemba + pick-a-palooza?
No, I’m against trading picks for Lonzo/Collins which would prevent us from acquiring a third star. I’m questioning whether the cost is prohibitive on George.

He's too concerned about other people's money.
No, he’s just acknowledging that money is a realistic concern in team building and planning.

Middle tier players can also come cheap in the form of vets chasing rings, or in the form of picks/young players.
Maybe on the vets, but not necessarily on the picks/young players if they would go in the deal.
 

benhogan

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No, I’m against trading picks for Lonzo/Collins which would prevent us from acquiring a third star. I’m questioning whether the cost is prohibitive on George.
There is a chance they develop into stars OR...
since Ball/Collins are pre-peak (23) and improving, they can be packaged for that 3rd elusive star.

I don't recall you being all that upset when Danny slapped a first-round pick on an efficient rotational/bench 5 that was only owed $5MM
 

benhogan

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No, he’s just acknowledging that money is a realistic concern in team building and planning.
If they are concerned about the tax, after avoiding the repeater, to not pay a "Paul George" level player, then the team is cheap. Having that reputation will end any chance of ever hoisting another banner in the modern NBA.
 

Jimbodandy

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It doesn’t matter if George is a Top-10 or Top-30 guy as his role here wouldn’t require as much individuality to need a classification such as this. It isn’t likely we’d ever be able to pair a better 3rd wheel to the Jays truck over the next couple years.
Yes. If it's there, you do this.

George has also never had a 3rd banana. It's always been him and another guy, never him and 2 other guys.
And oddly enough that hasn't worked. Maybe he and two other guys would work better.
 

pjheff

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There is a chance they develop into stars OR...
I don’t think either has a high enough ceiling. Stevens shouldn’t just be looking for someone better than Smart to be the team’s de facto third banana.

since Ball/Collins are pre-peak (23) and improving, they can be packaged for that 3rd elusive star.
Packaged with what? If you’ve traded two picks (say ‘22 and ‘24) and therefore can’t trade two picks (‘23 and ‘25) due to the Stepien rule, you have lost the ability to offer a competitive mix of draft assets.

I don't recall you being all that upset when Danny slapped a first-round pick on an efficient rotational/bench 5 that was only owed $5MM
I wasn‘t happy about it, as Bane was one of the prospects I liked, but I’d have much less of a problem with a draft night trade than I would a swap of multiple future draft assets. For instance, I would not oppose Stevens selecting #16 for someone else and packaging that player with the ‘22 pick if it brought an upgrade to the roster (and here I would include a Collins/Ball type).

If they are concerned about the tax, after avoiding the repeater, to not pay a "Paul George" level player, then the team is cheap. Having that reputation will end any chance of ever hoisting another banner in the modern NBA.
I don’t think they’d oppose paying for a “Paul George” level player. But making once choice often precludes another. As I once told a girlfriend, you can have anything you want. We just can’t afford everything you want.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don’t think either has a high enough ceiling. Stevens shouldn’t just be looking for someone better than Smart to be the team’s de facto third banana.



Packaged with what? If you’ve traded two picks (say ‘22 and ‘24) and therefore can’t trade two picks (‘23 and ‘25) due to the Stepien rule, you have lost the ability to offer a competitive mix of draft assets.



I wasn‘t happy about it, as Bane was one of the prospects I liked, but I’d have much less of a problem with a draft night trade than I would a swap of multiple future draft assets. For instance, I would not oppose Stevens selecting #16 for someone else and packaging that player with the ‘22 pick if it brought an upgrade to the roster (and here I would include a Collins/Ball type).



I don’t think they’d oppose paying for a “Paul George” level player. But making once choice often precludes another. As I once told a girlfriend, you can have anything you want. We just can’t afford everything you want.
You can trade the 23 pick the minute after the 22 draft.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Exactly my thought. Stevens could make that trade and not be limited by it next summer.
Huh? I meant if they traded away the 22, 24 and 26 picks, they could trade the 2023 pick after the 2022 draft. They could attach that pick to Ball or Collins.
 

pjheff

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Huh? I meant if they traded away the 22, 24 and 26 picks, they could trade the 2023 pick after the 2022 draft. They could attach that pick to Ball or Collins.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. You can’t trade consecutive picks, and in that scenario, ‘23 and ‘24 would break the Stepien rule.

I read your post as a response to my suggested draft night trade of the player selected #16 with the ‘22 pick which would improve the team next year and free Stevens to make unhampered trades as soon as next summer.
 

Devizier

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I mean, these scenarios are fun to wargame and all, but the Celtics didn’t have the juice for a Holiday trade and there are arguably even more teams in the hunt for veteran talent this off-season. I’m expecting a whole lot of nothing, but the massive contracts about to be signed will make Kemba much more tradable next offseason.
 

SteveF

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It's consecutive future draft years. Once 22 is up, 23 is the current draft year and 24 is the first future draft year. I think Cesar has it right.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. You can’t trade consecutive picks, and in that scenario, ‘23 and ‘24 would break the Stepien rule.

I read your post as a response to my suggested draft night trade of the player selected #16 with the ‘22 pick which would improve the team next year and free Stevens to make unhampered trades as soon as next summer.
You can't trade away consecutive future draft picks. At some point the other picks can be traded. Maybe I'm wrong about when but they can be.
 

pjheff

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You can't trade away consecutive future draft picks. At some point the other picks can be traded. Maybe I'm wrong about when but they can be.
I would assume that in the summer of ‘22 the picks in ‘23 and ‘24 would be considered future, but that is just an assumption and one on which I’d happily be mistaken.
 

TripleOT

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Three remaining teams are paying luxtax, the Nets, Clips, and Bucks, with two others, Utah and Philly, close to it.

If Boston plans on truly contending the next three years, they either have to pay the tax, or hit a grand slam at 16, develop TL and one of Romeo, Nesmith, PP as a top 6th man, or trade for an affordable one.

I don’t see how Boston isn’t a first time taxpayer next season, with Tatum’s extension (at $132 million for 11 signed players, plus one more year of The Dancing Bear’s money) Fournier re-upping or being used in a sign and trade, paying the 16th pick, using any of the small trade exceptions, etc.

Boston could punt away a couple of firsts to jettison Kemba’s salary to get under the tax line, but if they go that route, they better fill in their roster to make a very competitive team, or risk alienating their two young stars.

If Boston decides to become a tax team next season they’re probably looking at a tax bill of $60-90 million in three years when the Jays are starting their prime seasons, considering the repeater tax.

I think Investing in Tatum and Brown to get another championship is worth it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Packaged with what? If you’ve traded two picks (say ‘22 and ‘24) and therefore can’t trade two picks (‘23 and ‘25) due to the Stepien rule, you have lost the ability to offer a competitive mix of draft assets.
I wouldn’t look to acquire Ball or Collins with the intent on moving them, especially Ball would I feel would be a great fit, but for the sake of answering your question you can include guys like TL (if healthy), Romeo (if he makes another leap as I expect), or Nesmith (if he makes the leap others expect), as well as our unknown mid-1st round pick this year. There should be plenty of other assets a rebuilding team would like along with the high level of play out of Ball or Collins.
 

nighthob

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No, he was. The rule isn’t “You can’t trade consecutive future firsts in the same trade” it’s “You can’t trade consecutive future firsts”. If Boston makes a deal involving their ‘22, ‘24, and ‘26 picks then ‘23 and ‘25 are only available as swaps. Just to forestall any “Read my source” responses I copied part of it for you.

The Stepien rule, named after former Cavs owner Ted Stepien, was established so that franchises couldn’t trade away all their future first-round picks. Even teams like the Knicks, Nets, and Lakers, who are more willing than most clubs to part with draft picks, can only trade first-rounders for every other season. For instance, Brooklyn has traded away its 2014, 2016, and 2018 first-rounders — since the team isn’t allowed to give up back-to-back future first-round picks, that means the 2015 and 2017 picks can’t be offered up in deals, but the 2020 pick can.
 

Cesar Crespo

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No, he was. The rule isn’t “You can’t trade consecutive future firsts in the same trade” it’s “You can’t trade consecutive future firsts”. If Boston makes a deal involving their ‘22, ‘24, and ‘26 picks then ‘23 and ‘25 are only available as swaps. Just to forestall any “Read my source” responses I copied part of it for you.
Yeah I misread this part.
In other words, a team can give up back-to-back first-round picks if the first of those two drafts has already passed.
So they could trade their 23 after the 22 draft, but not if they traded their 24.

Either way, the C's could effectively trade the pick on draft night with Ball or Collins as a package. It might just be in the form of a player. That's how most traded picks work anyway, it's a team drafting a player for another team. The picks are still assets that can be used to acquire talent to be traded away.

If they wanted to trade for a star mid season, then it's an issue. Or if they wanted to combine picks. But that would have been an issue regardless.
 
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nighthob

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The way most teams get around it is draft night trades where they make the selection for other teams.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Beal takes one step closer to one-day being a 2nd/3rd wheel on a Championship team in Boston.......or Tatum being one in DC.
To me, this is a tail risk which should be paid more heed. There is nothing anyone can do about it but it seems like any Tatum/Beal pairing scenarios assume that the latter forces his way to Boston. Maybe it turns out the other way...
 

nighthob

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If Tatum returns to Boston in the fall and demands a trade, given that he's under contract for four more years, I'd expect you'll see the biggest draft haul of all time (because Presti would open the floodgates to add Tatum to SGA).
 

OurF'ingCity

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If Tatum returns to Boston in the fall and demands a trade, given that he's under contract for four more years, I'd expect you'll see the biggest draft haul of all time (because Presti would open the floodgates to add Tatum to SGA).
Yeah I think there is an approximately zero percent chance of Tatum demanding a trade this year - that would mean something had gone terribly, terribly wrong. If Tatum and Beal really want to play together at some point, a much more likely scenario is that Beal declines his option after next season and then signs a 3-year deal somewhere, which would make both Tatum and Beal free agents in the 2025 offseason if Tatum declines his option, which he presumably will.

If that is too far off for Beal given his age, then his only realistic chance is demanding a trade to the Cs this year, or figuring out a way to get there in free agency via sign-and-trade or other mechanics. (Or, I suppose, Beal could sign with some other team and then a few years down the road Tatum could demand a trade to that team, but there's a lot of variables there.)
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Again, its a tail risk so by definition, its highly unlikely to happen. The over arching point is that windows in the NBA should be defined as the next year or two just given the pace of roster churn. imo, Stevens et al should be planning for next year and the year after. Beyond that, its a set of options masquerading as obligations.

Ignoring the obvious problems with RPM (see Wanamaker or Hunter for example), this list from the 18-19 shows that half the players changed teams between the end of that season and the end of this one (I didn't count Barea since his presence here is silly and the change in his status isn't relevant).

Stars don't tend to stay put very long in the NBA, even if they are under contract.

41997
 

HomeRunBaker

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If Tatum returns to Boston in the fall and demands a trade, given that he's under contract for four more years, I'd expect you'll see the biggest draft haul of all time (because Presti would open the floodgates to add Tatum to SGA).
I wasn’t referring to this summer but as DeJesus states, it is a real possibility a couple summers down the road.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Random thought: would you do Kemba for Steven Adams and contract flotsam? You'd likely have to send TT elsehwere, but I think you can probably do that.

I am not sure Pelicans want three years of Kemba for one of Adams, but it would likely make them better next year. And that is a team which could use Kemba's attitude. Unfortunately, Kemba and Bledsoe pretty much can't play together so it is tough to execute, but thought I'd throw it out there....Adams is another of those bad contracts (though possible griffin is the one GM who doesn't think so, I realize)
 

Devizier

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Random thought: would you do Kemba for Steven Adams and contract flotsam?
The basic structure of the deal would have to be Kemba/Thompson for Adams/Bledsoe. Maybe? I guess the Celtics could renounce everyone and try and bag a FA from next year's class. I suppose the Celtics would do that deal, especially if they thought they had an inside line on Beal, but the Pelicans would need sweeteners to get it done.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Random thought: would you do Kemba for Steven Adams and contract flotsam? You'd likely have to send TT elsehwere, but I think you can probably do that.

I am not sure Pelicans want three years of Kemba for one of Adams, but it would likely make them better next year. And that is a team which could use Kemba's attitude. Unfortunately, Kemba and Bledsoe pretty much can't play together so it is tough to execute, but thought I'd throw it out there....Adams is another of those bad contracts (though possible griffin is the one GM who doesn't think so, I realize)

It's 2 years (1+1 player option) of Kemba and 2 years of Adams. Huh? If NO keeps Ball, they would have no desire for Kemba anyway.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Kemba for Bledsoe and Adams might make some sense for both teams. It would free the C's of at least half of Kemba's contract. Bledsoe's 22/23 season is only partially guaranteed (3.9 million). Adams at 1/17 would be very easy to move.

If they made that trade and bought out Bledsoe and attached a pick or w/e to move on from Adams, they'd have space to sign a max guy after the 21/22 season.

That assumes no Evan Fournier though.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Now that Kemba is out, who will run point? Smart or a player they have to get?
Probably some of both. The team has plenty of experience during Kemba's injuries of figuring out who plays point. They can always get a Jeff Teague/Wanamaker/vet min type guy if they really feel the need to have another "true" PG on the roster.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Probably some of both. The team has plenty of experience during Kemba's injuries of figuring out who plays point. They can always get a Jeff Teague/Wanamaker/vet min type guy if they really feel the need to have another "true" PG on the roster.
Pleeeeease no more Jeff Teague
 

OurF'ingCity

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Pleeeeease no more Jeff Teague
Yeah to be clear I didn't mean actually re-signing Teague (it's an open question whether any team signs him next year, IMO), just that there are always veteran PGs available for basically nothing that can handle ball-handling duties if that is something Stevens/the new coach feel is necessary.
 

DJnVa

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So, who are potential targets for a trade of something like Smart/TT or Smart/Horford if that's the route they're going?

I'm pretty happy that I think this means Fournier is back.
 

EL Jeffe

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I really hope they don't do something stupid with a lousy Fournier contract and make him a negative asset. He can space the floor, shoot, and create some, but I can also see him start declining in the next year or two. I also don't see him as a starter on a championship caliber team; just not a lot of starting wings he can passably defend. I see him as more of an MLE type of role player, but I'm sure someone will pay him more.

Speaking of negative trade assets, I wonder what will become of Tristan Thompson. I'd love to move him, but not if it takes attaching a real asset just to move him. Maybe a contending team will get suckered by what Ainge saw in him.
 

lovegtm

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Yeah to be clear I didn't mean actually re-signing Teague (it's an open question whether any team signs him next year, IMO), just that there are always veteran PGs available for basically nothing that can handle ball-handling duties if that is something Stevens/the new coach feel is necessary.
Yeah, "guy who can play guard and dribble and shoot but can't create offensive advantages" is the easiest position to fill in the NBA.

It's just a function of how many more available humans there are when you reduce your height requirement to the 6-1 to 6-5 range.
 

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around the way
Yeah, "guy who can play guard and dribble and shoot but can't create offensive advantages" is the easiest position to fill in the NBA.

It's just a function of how many more available humans there are when you reduce your height requirement to the 6-1 to 6-5 range.
I'd wager that a bunch of the guys in this thread uses to be that 6'1"-6'5" guy who can dribble and shoot and can't create offensive advantages.