The key is to get Garnett and Allen to return on shorter contracts and reduced money. It’s difficult to believe Garnett would eagerly pursue playing for another club if the Celtics wanted him to return. He has become an icon here. The public deeply respects his privacy and has embraced his style.
For Allen, it’s been an admittedly difficult season and he has prepared for offseason ankle surgery to improve his free agent marketability. But perhaps one more run, a chance to play completely healthy and with the same core, would encourage him to come back.
Also, the Celtics have the money to entice Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus to return on longer-term deals and match offers for Greg Stiemsma. Bass has a player option next season at $4 million, but has outplayed that contract. Pietrus said last Friday he wants to return. What the post-All-Star break and playoffs has proven is the current Celtics have something left.
All this talk was triggered by a couple of lines in Woj's glowing piece about Rajon Rondo yesterday:
These Celtics understand they won’t be back together next season. Perhaps Garnett could return on a one-year contract, but Allen is almost assured to leave as a free agent.
I talked about the reasons why it's too soon to so plainly say Ray's gone on Facebook yesterday. But the short version is that even if Ray is pissed at Doc and Danny for nearly being dealt, July is still a couple of months away, which is plenty of time to cool off. Add to it that there aren't many teams that will give Ray what he wants and his family is in a good place here in Boston (and they just added another baby), and it's going to be harder for Ray to leave than people think. He's on a year-to-year basis in the NBA, now. Everyone's watching to see how much longer he can defy age and be a productive, and key player on a contending team.
I think KG has shown enough to warrant another one-year deal. Maybe two if you want to throw the guy a little "thank you" money that won't necessarily kill the team. He has basically said he only wants to play for Doc Rivers at this point. The only question is, if the Celtics somehow manage to win a title this season, will that be enough for him to say "that's it, I'm done."
It's entirely possible this i the last go-'round for this C's team. But with two first round picks, E'Twaun Moore possibly developing into the team's "shooter" and JaJuan Johnson showing signs of possibly filling a role of "mid-range shooting big"… along with Greg Stiemsma, Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus playing well during the regular season… it would be nice to have the vets around to help make sure the foundation is solid moving forward.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Thomsen: Celtics run is remarkable considering injuries (Felger idiot warning) | Fishing for Bass | ESPN Boston: Celtics take it easy on off day | Herald: True grit vs. true grit | Ray Allen impresses after time off | No surprise, Pierce wants to play | Bradley shoulders postseason pain | WEEI: Ray's return another step forward for Celtics | Globe: With Rondo hot, Celtics in control | Joe Johnson says he wants the ball | MWDN: Bradley grows into key player