Do the Celtics have any players who are very good?

Blacken

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In no particular order: 
 
Thomas is fine as a sixth man, but he got fucked up on defense and is way too easily bodied up. Do not want. Keep him for next year, but start thinking about trading that excellent contract if you can get somebody with stars in their eyes to pay for him.
 
Bradley is...okay. He's a good defender who gets the yips on offense. As defenders go he's notably good, but not good enough to be irreplaceable by any stretch.
 
Olynyk's future is "that backup big who draws stupid numbers of fouls on the other team's bigs". He drives so well for a goofy fucker, but he's just not defensively capable or, often, aware.
 
I think Crowder looked better than he actually is in that series. Maybe his ceiling is higher than I thought, but I don't expect him to be this player on the regular. I like him a lot, but I think there'll be some disappointment for fans in his future.
 
On the flip side, Jerebko looked worse than I think he actually is in that series. The dude is a pretty decent three-point shooter for a big and he's fairly mobile. Career bench dude, but I feel like he's going to grow into the kind of guy who can step in as an injury-replacement starter and not embarrass you.
 
Evan Turner...is junk. I'm done holding out hope. GTFO, dude. (And word is that he's kind of a shithead, so no big loss.)
 
Sullinger looked fantastic, especially given the injury. I know people think he's limited, and there's some merit to that, but I think he's starter-level on a contending team. Like - if you put him next to somebody like a Gobert and let him keep improving his stretch game, I feel good about that.
 
Smart showed that he's gonna be pretty good. That shot is still kind of fucked, but it's looked progressively cleaner over the year and he's plainly too intelligent to not fix it.
 
 
 
So, overall--they don't have The Guy, but we knew that. They have a couple guys who could be Almost The Guy, at least one really good trade chip in Thomas, and a bunch of seventh and eighth men. I'd hope that next year, whoever they re-sign or keep this off-season, gets dumped mid-season. Don't give Stevens the weapons to avoid the tank, because he will try.
 

nighthob

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Blacken said:
I think Crowder looked better than he actually is in that series. Maybe his ceiling is higher than I thought, but I don't expect him to be this player on the regular. I like him a lot, but I think there'll be some disappointment for fans in his future.
He's a three and D guy that can play three spots. He's exactly the sort of guy you need on a bench. He could also start in the right circumstances. Memphis, for example, could really use Crowder's toughness.
 
Blacken said:
On the flip side, Jerebko looked worse than I think he actually is in that series. The dude is a pretty decent three-point shooter for a big and he's fairly mobile. Career bench dude, but I feel like he's going to grow into the kind of guy who can step in as an injury-replacement starter and not embarrass you.
He's a 9th man at best. No need to waste a roster spot on him going forward. Hopefully an over the cap team can be persuaded to trade a draft pick for him.

Blacken said:
So, overall--they don't have The Guy, but we knew that. They have a couple guys who could be Almost The Guy, at least one really good trade chip in Thomas, and a bunch of seventh and eighth men. I'd hope that next year, whoever they re-sign or keep this off-season, gets dumped mid-season. Don't give Stevens the weapons to avoid the tank, because he will try.
They have four draft picks in the crap tier of this draft. So they're losing four roster spots to rookies, while adding James Young to the rotation. Just shortening Boston from a 12 man bench to a normal NBA rotation is going to cost them wins.
 

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Blacken said:
In no particular order: 
 
Thomas is fine as a sixth man, but he got fucked up on defense and is way too easily bodied up. Do not want. Keep him for next year, but start thinking about trading that excellent contract if you can get somebody with stars in their eyes to pay for him.
 
Bradley is...okay. He's a good defender who gets the yips on offense. As defenders go he's notably good, but not good enough to be irreplaceable by any stretch.
 
 
I think Crowder looked better than he actually is in that series. Maybe his ceiling is higher than I thought, but I don't expect him to be this player on the regular. I like him a lot, but I think there'll be some disappointment for fans in his future.
 
On the flip side, Jerebko looked worse than I think he actually is in that series. The dude is a pretty decent three-point shooter for a big and he's fairly mobile. Career bench dude, but I feel like he's going to grow into the kind of guy who can step in as an injury-replacement starter and not embarrass you.
 
Evan Turner...is junk. I'm done holding out hope. GTFO, dude. (And word is that he's kind of a shithead, so no big loss.)
 
Sullinger looked fantastic, especially given the injury. I know people think he's limited, and there's some merit to that, but I think he's starter-level on a contending team. Like - if you put him next to somebody like a Gobert and let him keep improving his stretch game, I feel good about that.
 
Smart showed that he's gonna be pretty good. That shot is still kind of fucked, but it's looked progressively cleaner over the year and he's plainly too intelligent to not fix it.
 
 
 
So, overall--they don't have The Guy, but we knew that. They have a couple guys who could be Almost The Guy, at least one really good trade chip in Thomas, and a bunch of seventh and eighth men. I'd hope that next year, whoever they re-sign or keep this off-season, gets dumped mid-season. Don't give Stevens the weapons to avoid the tank, because he will try.
Sure, but if you get a Gobert type why wouldn't you play Olynyk instead who is probably a slightly better defender, and a much better outside shooter?
 

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Eddie Jurak said:
We won a championship starting Kendrick Perkins and early career rondo.

I don't think you can say that no one on our team is at that level.
I'm pretty sure any two players actively in the NBA could start with three of the leagues Top-20 All-Time Leading scorers and HOFers still in their prime and be considered "at that level." Let's be honest here, Perk and Rondo pretty much stayed out of the way in 2008 while guys like PJ Brown and Sam Cassell had to save them from themselves at times in the playoffs.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
I'm pretty sure any two players actively in the NBA could start with three of the leagues Top-20 All-Time Leading scorers and HOFers still in their prime and be considered "at that level." Let's be honest here, Perk and Rondo pretty much stayed out of the way in 2008 while guys like PJ Brown and Sam Cassell had to save them from themselves at times in the playoffs.
Also Perk and Rondo at that point in their careers were excellent defenders. Perk was a top 5 or so rim protector that year. Smart or Bradley could fill the guard role (except they can't distribute like Rondo), but a top end rim protecting C can start for most teams in the league regardless of offense.
 

Blacken

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nighthob said:
They have four draft picks in the crap tier of this draft. So they're losing four roster spots to rookies, while adding James Young to the rotation. Just shortening Boston from a 12 man bench to a normal NBA rotation is going to cost them wins.
I think you're overplaying this. My understanding is that you can stash rookies in the NBDL and not count them against the roster count. The Celtics have never been too worried about money, I think this is a reasonable option for Wyc and company.
 
I doubt they'll make 4 picks, anyway. Trade up, or trade for assets, whatever. They've got pieces that are priced to move.
 
Cellar-Door said:
Sure, but if you get a Gobert type why wouldn't you play Olynyk instead who is probably a slightly better defender, and a much better outside shooter?
 
I'm hoping Olynyk has been exiled to Minnesota before then, but yeah, you could argue either way. I'm very down on Olynyk as a defender. I think Sullinger makes inside threats work a lot more and I think he's more positionally sound. I'm thinking/hoping he drops a bit of weight and can flash out better, which is the one spot where Olynyk has an edge IMO, but I think I'd rather have him regardless.
 

nighthob

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Blacken said:
I think you're overplaying this. My understanding is that you can stash rookies in the NBDL and not count them against the roster count. The Celtics have never been too worried about money, I think this is a reasonable option for Wyc and company.
The NBDL is not a full minor league yet, you get 15 roster spots and can have as many four of those guys in the NBDL. Boston could go the OKC route and ask whomever they pick at 27 to not sign a contract and go straight to the NBDL to save a roster spot.
 
Blacken said:
I doubt they'll make 4 picks, anyway. Trade up, or trade for assets, whatever. They've got pieces that are priced to move.
They're not trading into the top 10 without giving up a Brooklyn pick, and to be brutally frank there isn't anyone outside the top five I'd do that for. Let's hope that Zach Lowe was right about Utah being willing to trade their lottery pick for Bradley.
 

Blacken

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nighthob said:
The NBDL is not a full minor league yet, you get 15 roster spots and can have as many four of those guys in the NBDL. Boston could go the OKC route and ask whomever they pick at 27 to not sign a contract and go straight to the NBDL to save a roster spot.
Huh, I thought they didn't count. Must have misread, my bad. (I do some player stuff, but I'm not up on the CBA as well as I should be.) That does suck, but I think they should be able to keep--if things roll correctly with FAs, of course--the players who are worth a fart, and some may be movable. Smart, Bradley, Crowder, Sullinger, Olynyk, Zeller, Thomas, Young, Datome, Pressey (sigh), Wallace, spot minutes from the draftees--that's not a good team, but you can roll that out there with The Immortal Brad Stevens running the show and not hate yourself too much. Be in every game and lose most of them! What's not to love?

But, again, I'd be really surprised if they pick 4. I'd bet on 3, I wouldn't be surprised by 2.

They're not trading into the top 10 without giving up a Brooklyn pick, and to be brutally frank there isn't anyone outside the top five I'd do that for. Let's hope that Zach Lowe was right about Utah being willing to trade their lottery pick for Bradley.
If Utah does that they should have their heads examined. So, I mean, let's hope. But firsts can be useful lubricant for down-the-line trades. Like--swing a higher-potential 2017 first by facilitating a trade, as Ainge seems to be good at, and send out one of the 2016 picks to make it work. I'm optimistic about this front office's ability to make things happen, and I think they're smart enough to know that four rookies is probably too many.
 

nighthob

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Blacken said:
That does suck, but I think they should be able to keep--if things roll correctly with FAs, of course--the players who are worth a fart, and some may be movable. Smart, Bradley, Crowder, Sullinger, Olynyk, Zeller, Thomas, Young, Datome, Pressey (sigh), Wallace, spot minutes from the draftees--that's not a good team, but you can roll that out there with The Immortal Brad Stevens running the show and not hate yourself too much. Be in every game and lose most of them! What's not to love?
Oh, I agree, this is the most likely result. They hold on to the keepers and roll out a shorter rotation and probably finish tenth in the East.

Blacken said:
If Utah does that they should have their heads examined. So, I mean, let's hope. But firsts can be useful lubricant for down-the-line trades. Like--swing a higher-potential 2017 first by facilitating a trade, as Ainge seems to be good at, and send out one of the 2016 picks to make it work. I'm optimistic about this front office's ability to make things happen, and I think they're smart enough to know that four rookies is probably too many.
In fairness Utah's in the leftovers section of the lottery, and there's a pretty good chance that Bradley's better than anyone that gets picked there.
 

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Smart is the best of what they have and I would not rule out him being part of a future Big Three. As a rookie, he was, quite simply, not a good offensive player.  But for someone who wasn't a good offensive player, he seemed to have more than his share of big plays and big baskets.  He seems to be one of those players who has a knack for being in the right place and the right time.  I think the jury is still out on whether he's a PG or a wing, but I think he'll be successful wherever he ends up.  I expect a big step forward for him in year 2.
 
After Smart, Thomas is the best talent, though he is limited by his height, defense, etc.  He's a bargain at his current contract and can be part of a successful team here or dealt for value.  His bad showing in games 3&4 doesn't concern me because I think it says more about the rest of the roster than it does about him.  
 
Crowder is a good "supporting cast" type of player.  I think he could start on the right team or be a key guy off the bench.  I don't think he's a #6-#9 guy, he's more of a #4-#7 (although not a #6 if that role needs to be a scorer).  
 
The logjam of mediocre bigs is interesting. Sullinger, Olynyk, Jerebko, Zeller, Bass... all of them are, at worst, decent NBA role players.  Their biggest problem on this team is that all have various holes in their game that include not being able to protect the rim.  I like all of these guys but it is impossible to imagine all of them together on a contending team. (This makes the C's decision to draft Olynyk over Greek Freak look even worse, especially if Kelly just wrecked the C's changes of signing Kevin Love). I think Bass and probably Jerebko will leave, but the C's will also need to make a decision on Zeller, Sullinger, and Olynyk - at least one and probably two of them will eventually be gone, but which one(s) remains to be seen.
 

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I was stunned, frankly, by how useful Crowder was. People keep calling him a 3 and D guy, but he seems actually more of a drive and D kind of guy right now, because he's so bad at shooting threes. But his ability to get to the hole and finish is what encourages me most about him going forward as an offensive player. He's a bull, and he's learning to use his body well. If he can improve his jump shooting, he could be really useful moving forward.

I was really hopeful IT4 would be some sort of magic spell that would make us successful in the playoffs (because I'm stupid), but whoever said Danny should be trying to move that contract to a desperate team is right on. He had some bad shooting nights, but it's how visibly bad he was on defense that was troubling.

Our bigs are all terrible defensively; I'd like us to keep the ones with good perimeter shots. Olynyk and Jerebko make for great spacing, but we wont see them win many games unless someone plays Tim Duncan to their Matt Bonner.

Then again, just having Tim Duncan would solve a lot of our problems. I'd happily drown all our bigs if we just had Tim Duncan. Which brings us back to what some folks have been harping on all along: how brutal it was to make these playoffs in the first place. It'd be pretty fucking nice to be drafting WCS instead of another gigantic perimeter shooter.
 

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Fishy1 said:
I was stunned, frankly, by how useful Crowder was. People keep calling him a 3 and D guy, but he seems actually more of a drive and D kind of guy right now, because he's so bad at shooting threes. But his ability to get to the hole and finish is what encourages me most about him going forward as an offensive player. He's a bull, and he's learning to use his body well. If he can improve his jump shooting, he could be really useful moving forward.
Only two problems with Crowder.......

1. He's a RFA meaning if another team wants him they will offer him a bloated contract that the Celtics would have to overpay to match.

2. Unless our eyes are lying he torn several ligaments in his knee yesterday knocking him out for at least the first half of next season or possibly all of it.


Either way (or both), the days of Jae Crowder being an overachieving cheap option are long gone.
 

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HomeRunBaker said:
Only two problems with Crowder.......

1. He's a RFA meaning if another team wants him they will offer him a bloated contract that the Celtics would have to overpay to match.

2. Unless our eyes are lying he torn several ligaments in his knee yesterday knocking him out for at least the first half of next season or possibly all of it.


Either way (or both), the days of Jae Crowder being an overachieving cheap option are long gone.
#1 and #2 are likely mutually exclusive.

I would expect many teams, including the C's, to be a little freer with their cash this year than normal given the upcoming cap increase. So you could be right that he will walk into a big offer. But I doubt anyone will put together a big offer for him to spend a half year or more rehabbing.
 

Eddie Jurak

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All of our bigs are legit NBA players with some above average skills. They just don't complement each other very well and the whole adds up to less than the sum of its parts.
 

nighthob

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HomeRunBaker said:
Only two problems with Crowder.......

1. He's a RFA meaning if another team wants him they will offer him a bloated contract that the Celtics would have to overpay to match.

2. Unless our eyes are lying he torn several ligaments in his knee yesterday knocking him out for at least the first half of next season or possibly all of it.


Either way (or both), the days of Jae Crowder being an overachieving cheap option are long gone.
If he really did tear ligaments he isn't getting a bloated deal. Period.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm in no hurry to trade IT but I think he is a much more valuable regular season guy than playoff. In the regular season, the defensive intensity is non-existent so he can really thrive, as he did in the 2nd half of the season. In the playoffs, your warts are more visible but he still has a great deal of value for this team over the course of an 82 game season. I would trade him for the right deal but I really doubt we'd receive anything that would make it worth it. It's kind of the same problem we have with the Olynyk, Sully, Zeller group.
One thing to keep in mind - Isaiah was basically the Celtics' plan A, plan B, and Plan C on offense; and there was no plan D. In other words, some of his problems are nothing some help (in another reliable scorer) wouldn't cure. He'll still be 5'9" or whatever, but I wouldn't be so quick to write him off in the playoffs. What the C's could have used is a couple of players who could have burned the Cavs if they focused too much on stopping IT4.

I'd trade him (or anyone) in the right deal but I think his struggles in the playoffs say more about the team as a whole than about him personally.
 

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I, for one, think everyone who wants to trade IT2 is nuts.  The little dude is on one of the best contracts in the NBA, is a proven scorer off the bench, and can be counted on down the stretch.  The only thing he will fetch in trade is another mid round draft pick that we can only hope turns into him, and by the time this new deal comes around rookie contracts will probably start to look like his current deal.  Sure he's a flawed player, but want NBA players aren't?  I'd say outside of maybe 7-12 guys, even some of the biggest stars in the league are flawed.  Even on the best teams, the 2nd and 3rd best players have flaws, and bench guys are bench guys because they have major flaws(usually).  Just because he is not great on D or a little short doesn't mean he shouldn't be on the team in the 6th man role.  The guy can flat out score in a variety of ways, and he was getting his shot in game 4(despite his height), it was just one of those games it was not falling.
 
Also, who cares if they made the playoffs?  Chances are we were going to end up with a pick in the 12-14 range anyways, now we are at 16.  I for one don't worry about our picks for making picks, but Brooklyn's.  I'd rather have guys like Smart, IT2 and whomever anyone thinks belongs out of the rest of them to get better, get the experience and let Brooklyn sink.  I know many are against betting on Brooklyn being bad, but Danny is in a unique position to slowly add talent and improve the team while still having a shot at high lottery picks.  Its all variable and could easily blow up in his face, but it is one of the best spots to be in to improve the team
 

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I agree. IT4 wasn't exposed in the playoffs because he's a bad player - he was exposed because the Celtics didn't have anyone who could take the heat off of him.

Short of an offer of a high lottery pick (which seems unlikely), I don't really see the point of dealing him.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I think the problem is we need to get lucky in one way or another. But the fear is that if what ends up happening is what is realistically expected to happen in each scenario, then we re going to be stuck in mediocrity for a long time.
 
In other words, we either need for once to get lucky in the lottery and pick in the top 3 or to find a top 10 player in the mid draft, or for Brooklyn to suck so bad that they give us a top 5 pick even though they have no incentive to do so, or be able to sign a top 10 talent in free agency, or last but not least find a star player who wants out of his team and be able to trade some of our assets to that team.

Each event on its own is unlikely, out all of them, something may happen, but the chance I would say is hovering bellow 50%.
 

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I'm hoping James Young uses the off season and summer league to improve enough to become part of the rotation. It was OK to basically redshirt him this year but he needs to start getting more minutes. He has a Bradley Beal ceiling. 
 

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Eddie Jurak said:
All of our bigs are legit NBA players with some above average skills. They just don't complement each other very well and the whole adds up to less than the sum of its parts.
 
I agree.  In an ideal world, Zeller, KO, and Sully all come off the bench because we have much better players than them, but they're definitely useful NBA players.  
 
I like Thomas.  I wish he was a little bigger, but he's a tough and talented player.  He's a guy you keep.  Smart obviously is going nowhere.  I'd be fine with trading Bradley in the right deal.  Bass is a legit NBA player but I'd be more than happy dealing him away as well.  
 

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I agree.  In an ideal world, Zeller, KO, and Sully all come off the bench because we have much better players than them, but they're definitely useful NBA players.  
 
I like Thomas.  I wish he was a little bigger, but he's a tough and talented player.  He's a guy you keep.  Smart obviously is going nowhere.  I'd be fine with trading Bradley in the right deal.  Bass is a legit NBA player but I'd be more than happy dealing him away as well.  
Bass is an unrestricted free agent.  Hard to see them bringing him back at 6 or 7 M per when they have a glut of other bigs that can't protect the rim and need to add true shot blocking presence to the front court rotation.  I have always liked Bass, and I hope he ends up in a good situation on a contender next year.
 

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Bass is an unrestricted free agent.  Hard to see them bringing him back at 6 or 7 M per when they have a glut of other bigs that can't protect the rim and need to add true shot blocking presence to the front court rotation.  I have always liked Bass, and I hope he ends up in a good situation on a contender next year.
I hope Bass ends up on a team the Celtics play in the playoffs next year.

At minimum, I hope he ends up on another team. His weaknesses far outweigh his strengths.

When he not hitting those 16-18 foot jumpers, it's glaring how little he brings to the table.
 

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I have zero issues w Brandon Bass, and i have never understood the hate. Good rotational big who plays physical, can actually defend bigger wings to a degree for stretches (seen it on LeBron and Carmelo in past playoff series) and is a competant floor spacer.
 

nighthob

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Nick Kaufman said:
I think the problem is we need to get lucky in one way or another. But the fear is that if what ends up happening is what is realistically expected to happen in each scenario, then we re going to be stuck in mediocrity for a long time.
 
In other words, we either need for once to get lucky in the lottery and pick in the top 3 or to find a top 10 player in the mid draft, or for Brooklyn to suck so bad that they give us a top 5 pick even though they have no incentive to do so, or be able to sign a top 10 talent in free agency, or last but not least find a star player who wants out of his team and be able to trade some of our assets to that team.
Each event on its own is unlikely, out all of them, something may happen, but the chance I would say is hovering bellow 50%.
This is it in a nutshell, they need a huge dose of luck to escape the .500 club. And there are no guarantees. Milwaukee's been in this rut for 15 years and their chances of finally escaping are tied up in Jabari Parker's knees. Thankfully next year's draft is going to be stocked and Boston will likely have three top ten picks to find their Kyrie Irving.
 

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Celts best bet is dallas ending up at 8 in the lotto and brooklyn losing Lopez and not being able to swing a trade for anyone relevant.

Honestly tho the 17 and 18 Brooklyn picks have more sizzle IMO
 

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I have zero issues w Brandon Bass, and i have never understood the hate. Good rotational big who plays physical, can actually defend bigger wings to a degree for stretches (seen it on LeBron and Carmelo in past playoff series) and is a competant floor spacer.
 
The list of things Brandon Bass does not do could fill a book, but to lump them together, his basketball IQ is nonexistent.  
 
To name a few, he can't take charges, play help defense, dribble, anticipate (or even react to) where a ball is bouncing.  He moves a second slower than everyone else on the court when there is a loose ball. It's actually fascinating to watch. 
 
There is a reason his +/- is consistently awful. And there is also a reason Danny has been trying to dump him for years, but no teams will give up anything decent for him. 
 

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BigSoxFan said:
Dallas has some cap space to play with and Cuban is usually pretty active. I'd be pretty surprised if their pick turned out to be top 10 next year but quite happy if it did.
There's talk that Dallas is interested is signing Mr. Crowder.
 
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I feel like Jerebko is getting a bit undersold here.
 
We've seen he can stay in front of smaller and faster players in iso. He closes out shots well on the perimeter. And it might just be the contrast with our other bigs, but he's good at defending the post relative to his mobility and size. He can space the floor. He seems like a net positive on team defense and team offense who hadn't been appreciated to this point in his career. If he still isn't bring him back.
 

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I feel like Jerebko is getting a bit undersold here.
 
We've seen he can stay in front of smaller and faster players in iso. He closes out shots well on the perimeter. And it might just be the contrast with our other bigs, but he's good at defending the post relative to his mobility and size. He can space the floor. He seems like a net positive on team defense and team offense who hadn't been appreciated to this point in his career. If he still isn't bring him back.
 
 
He has some capabilities, but he is prone to out of control play.  Painfully out of control.  Since he is not some kid, I wonder if he will ever master that.
 

nighthob

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I mean the league is littered with bench depth players. No need to go out of your way to overpay one.
 

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So what do you guys feel Crowder will fetch as a restricted FA? This is a sweet spot for him as an interested team knows they have to overpay so Ainge doesn't match.

4/$25m?
4/$30m?
4//$35m?

With the salary cap skyrocketing in two years he will be overpaid early in this deal but could be a bargain in the latter two seasons. I'd guess $30m but wouldn't be surprised if it went higher.
 

nighthob

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Any team willing to pay a roleplayer $12 million per year would clearly give up a #1 to pay a little less. And that #1 will almost surely be a pretty good one if their management is that bad.
 

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Don't know if this is the right place to put this, but I was thinking today about the competency of the four local front offices.
 
After the Patriots, of course, I would have to put the Celtic's brain trust in second place as far as decision-makers I trust in this town. The Sox and Bruins don't seem to have a clear-cut plan. I couldn't necessarily explain the Celtics plan to you either, but I have more faith in Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens at this point than I do in Cherington, Farrell, JWH, Don Sweeney, or Claude Julien. Brad and Danny just seem like forward thing dudes. They have the calm eyes <ducks>
 
Was not expecting to feel like that, given where the four teams were 1-2 years ago.
 
Apologies to the mods if this is misplaced. Thought it interesting, though, how much confidence I've gained in the C's front office.
 
How would y'all rank the four front offices?
 

radsoxfan

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Erik Hanson's Hook said:
 
How would y'all rank the four front offices?
 
Probably similar to you, though I admittedly don't follow hockey well enough to have a very useful opinion. I could actually be convinced to put Ainge and co along with Stevens number 1 to be honest, though I guess I'll keep them at 2.  I think they know what they're doing, looking forward to the next 5 years with them.
 
1. Pats
2. Celtics
3. Red Sox
 
Bruins N/A
 

Eddie Jurak

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If the focus is on the front office...
 
1. Pats
2. Celtics
3. Red Sox
4. Bruins
 
Pats #1 for obvious reasons.
 
Celtics #2 because the only strikes against them in this regard are a few isolated bad draft picks (eg Giddens).  Ainge blew up a team that wasn't going anywhere, stockpiled assets, assembled a championship-caliber Big Three, won a title (and could have won up to 3 with better luck), kept the core togehter for as long as he could justify it, and then started over by blowing up a team that wasn't going anywhere, hiring a potentially great young coach, and beginning to stockpile assets.  
 
The Red Sox get #3 on the basis of the past decade.  If the focus is narrowed to the past 5 years they look quite a bit worse.  It's hard to know where exactly they are failing but outside of the great 2013 recent returns have been awful. Of course, a similar thing could be said about team #4.
 
The Bruins are #4 because they are the team that most compromised its future by commiting resources to aging or secondary players, they have had some trouble with drafting and/or player development in recent years, and because they traded their only elite offensive talent without getting enough of a return.
 
If the focus is on coaching:
 
1. Pats, self-explanatory
 
2. Celtics.  This is agrressive for a guy with only 2 years of pro experience, but I think deserved.  But Stevens has some Belichick in him - he knows what the players he has are capable of, and he puts them in positions where they can succeed.  For example, I don't think it is an accident that Tayshaun Price was fantastic in Boston but mediocre in his other stops.
 
3. Bruins. Julien is really good, but I don't see the Belichick/Stevens ability to identify and play to his team's strengths.  He's one of the many coaches who has a preferred strategy and can win if he is given a roster that can win with that strategy, but will struggle if the talent on the roster is best suited to do things a different way.       
 
4. Red Sox.  Outside of 2013, which was admittedly great, there isn't much to recommend Farrell.  
 

lexrageorge

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I don't disagree with any of the rankings above, but I also don't believe the gap between the team's is as big as some are implying.  
 
I put the Red Sox into the same situation that the Celtics were in after losing the 2010 Finals to the Lakers.  In 2013, the Sox had retooled their roster, using their financial resources to add inexpensive (for them) veterans around a solid, veteran core.  And they enjoyed a year that was remarkably free of any crippling injuries.  That retooled core has since aged, much like Pierce, Garnett, and Allen aged after 2010.  The Sox are now trying to retool the team, trying to find the right mix of younger players and new veterans.  The fact that the transition has been bumpy, to say the least, is disappointing but should not be all that surprising.  
 
The Celtics fans seem to have realistic expectations regarding the team's chances, and you find few such fans arguing that Ainge should blow up the existing roster because they got swept in the opening round of last season's playoffs.  Unfortunately, few Red Sox fans seem to have similar patience, and so the team gets ripped in the media when a 19 year old Cuban player struggles in his first 75 at bats in single A.  What Cherington and Co. need to do is to ignore the noise for a bit and follow a plan that allows them to be competitive again in 2017 and beyond.  The ownership group should by all means get credit for those 3 titles, as much as CHB and Mazz want everyone to believe they simply got lucky every time. 
 
As for the Bruins, they did seem to lose their way last season, but a lot of that was due to an aging core, related injuries, and a serious cap crunch caused by single GFIN-style contract the prior season.  And all these problems were exacerbated by some years of weak drafting not completely unlike some weak Pats drafting in the latter part of the 2000's.  But there's a new sheriff in town, and the draft scouting had already been revamped, so let's see what happens going forward.  Again, their best strategy is likely to retool around their existing core group, draft well, and avoid sacrificing the future.  
 

Eddie Jurak

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On the Sox, I think there are still some questions about the decisions they did make, though. Did it make sense to hire Bobby V? count on Grady Sizemore as key outfield depth? Pass on Lester, sign Hanley AND Panda, extend Porcello before he even threw a pitch for the team? Was this really the best the team could hope to do in free agency? Right now it is starting to look like the home grown guys are pulling their weight while the additions have flailed.

On the Bruins, it is wrong to write off their cap issues as a one year thing. After all, that particular issue is past them and they are still in a bad place with regard to the cap - one that has already forced them to let key players go and is now making it difficult for them to sign their potential franchise defenseman. Don Sweeney inherits a huge mess to clean up.
 

lexrageorge

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Eddie Jurak said:
On the Sox, I think there are still some questions about the decisions they did make, though. Did it make sense to hire Bobby V? count on Grady Sizemore as key outfield depth? Pass on Lester, sign Hanley AND Panda, extend Porcello before he even threw a pitch for the team? Was this really the best the team could hope to do in free agency? Right now it is starting to look like the home grown guys are pulling their weight while the additions have flailed.

On the Bruins, it is wrong to write off their cap issues as a one year thing. After all, that particular issue is past them and they are still in a bad place with regard to the cap - one that has already forced them to let key players go and is now making it difficult for them to sign their potential franchise defenseman. Don Sweeney inherits a huge mess to clean up.
Sox:  don't disagree with you that the team made some questionable moves.  But not all moves work out, either.  And replacing Sizemore with someone else doesn't make last year's team a playoff contender.  And if the home grown guys are indeed pulling their weight, that's a credit to the team.  Again, they may have an emerging new core group of players that are worth building around.  They also have the resources to weather some mistakes.  
 
As for the Bruins:  Sweeney does have some options with regards to the cap that Chiarelli didn't have last year.  Lucic, Erickkson, Kelly can all be traded (not sure if they can trade Seidenberg, but if they can, there's another option).   Savard's contract may get traded.  The Bruins can match most feasible offers made to Hamilton, mediot bleatings to the contrary aside.  It appears the first draft from the revamped scouting department may yield some fruit.  Granted, it may not be a one year fix for either team (e.g., trading Lucic probably doesn't make the team 2015-16 Bruins better), but that's true for the Celtics as well.  
 

Koufax

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OK, I'm ready to give up being despondent. I've come to believe, only recently mind you, that IT is Very Good. Not a superstar who can carry a team on his back, but he's Very Good. And Avery Bradley, whom I hated when I started this thread, is now at the upper end of the Good and trending upwards. Crowder, Sullinger and even Olynyk, for all his faults, are also Good. This team is vastly improved over the last 13 months.
 

dhellers

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OK, I'm ready to give up being despondent. I've come to believe, only recently mind you, that IT is Very Good. Not a superstar who can carry a team on his back, but he's Very Good. And Avery Bradley, whom I hated when I started this thread, is now at the upper end of the Good and trending upwards. Crowder, Sullinger and even Olynyk, for all his faults, are also Good. This team is vastly improved over the last 13 months.
And shocking as it is to say, ET is actually a positive influence. Whoever Danny hired to kick him in the nuts everytime he attempted a 3 is doing a great job!

And don't forget Smart. When he came back to full strength is when this team started to become tough.
 

southshoresoxfan

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ET is becoming a huge contributor. Esp in the 4th Q. I love the pick and roll sets w Tyler Zeller.

I cant believe I just typed that sentence.
 

Koufax

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ET has indeed been a pleasure to watch lately. He's super athletic and when he put that to good use (instead of chucking up long jumpers) he's very effective. Dare we call him Good? Brad Stevens seems to be having a Good effect on him, that's for sure.
 

bowiac

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This is like the twilight zone for me. What are people seeing in Turner? Super athletic? Love him in the pick and roll? Positive influence? We're watching very different games. I've long been one of the biggest optimists about the Celtics, but I had two concerns coming into the year: David Lee, and Evan Turner. Turner's been a bit more plausible defensively, but much as with Lee, I think there's a good chance the team would benefit from Evan Turner being benched. I appreciate the value of versatility, but you need to be good at something for that.
 

smastroyin

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Brad Stevens canker sores are smarter than I am about basketball but I can't be the only one feeling that Smart is better on the ball than off....yet when they are on the floor together ET is always primary ball handler. Yesterday that nearly killed them as he was spastic and the offense did zero.