Wyc Grousbeck isn't the only guy with a financial stake in this team, but he is THE owner. And while Wyc did a great job of making sure the rest of the ownership team tagged along when the cameras were on… It's Wyc that we look to when we think about ownership.
And its Wyc that we think about when it comes to cutting checks… and Wyc will be cutting a few this offseason.
A year ago today, we were debating whether the Celtics should extend Doc Rivers by a year as a show of good faith. The added year (2008-09) would be the insurance Doc needed to go into this season without fear of the Sword of Damocles.
Now Doc's a champ going into the final year of his contract… and I'm sure he's looking for a raise. He'll make $5 mil. next year… but what will he make beyond that? Will he be looking for a 2 or 3 year extension? Will he be looking for 6 or 7 mil? At some point this summer… we'll hear something about extending Doc.
The Celtics have a decision to make about Tony Allen. He is a restricted free agent, and the C's have to make him a qualifying offer of $2.7 million by June 30 or he'll become an unrestricted free agent. I've believed from early in the season that the Celtics would, and should, part ways with Tony… but I'm starting to wonder. Tony can be a lock-down defender and a pretty good scorer when his head is on straight…. and it was NOT on straight this year. But with a healthy year under his belt… and maybe a stronger bond with his championship teammates… it might be worth a good, long talk with TA to see where his head is at. And with James Posey potentially in limbo, it might make sense to take a $2.7 million gamble on Tony. If they both go, then we're left without a go-to defender off the bench. Of course, another team can still come in and make a higher offer for Tony and force the C's to make another decision… but for now… I'm open to the idea of making that qualifying offer… especially if the C's don't think they can retain Posey.
Leon Poweand Big Baby are both entering the final years of their initial contracts. Leon will make just under $800k this year… and Baby will make $711k. Will either of them get extended THIS offseason? Will both? I think it depends on the draft. The Celtics will still have needs at the back-up point guard and center positions. Gabe Pruitt will get his shot to back up Rajon… so I'm guessing the C's go big in this draft. At least one mock draft (HoopsWorld) has Roy Hibbert falling to the C's at 30. If the C's DO get Hibbert… Powe or Davis will become expendable… and in my view right now… its Davis. Powe is just a better rebounder and scorer.
Of course, none of this takes into account what might be spent on James Posey. With Poseyand Tony Allen, we've got an 11 man roster under contract. If they both go, we're at 9 and the payroll is still $68 mil. We'll have at least one draft pick to bring it to 10 (the mandatory guaranteed salary for the 30th pick: $797,600 in '08-09, $857,400 in '09-10)… but there are still a couple of slots to fill. The Celtics will have to probably split up their mid-level exception (in the mid $5 mil. range) to lure some lower-level free agents to town. Could someone like Chris Duhon get a chance in Boston? And what about Eddie House? I'm thinking he's earned himself more than the Celtics are willing to pay.
Danny Ainge built this championship team by not only trading for Ray and KG… but through key signings like House, Posey and PJ Brown (… and I guess Sam Cassell). The core is coming back. The Celtics will have their same starting 5… but their role players could be much different. No matter what the final team looks like at training camp in a few months… Wyc will be writing some big-time checks to make it come together.
Hey… check out ABC News correspondent (and friend of Red's Army) TJ Winick's piece on the journey of a life-long C's fan. Captures what a lot of us were feeling over the past year.
Herald: Postseason report card | Booster Shot | What a trip | Globe: Commemorative Championship Section | Fellowship of the ring | Draft: 2 for the show | Kidd will lead team USA | RIP Former Celtic Bennie Swain | Souza: Repeating no easy task | Megliiola: Emotions ran high with Garnett | Patriot Ledger: Owners were committed to a championship | EnterpriseNews.com: Ainge makes up for one of Celtics biggest blunders | Burlington Free Press: C's fan gets revenge on Pistons fan….. Vermont Style | NewsHerald.com: Bill Russell had a good week too | SacBee: Big mid-season trades had little playoff punch | LA Times: LA doesn't have to worry about expensive victory parades | ESPN: Questions and Answers after the series | Hollinger: Rating the draft's big men