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Your Morning Dump… Where Ainge addresses the offseason

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) May 10, 2013 Celtics News, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, The Morning Dump 32 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

On Doc Rivers:

“Doc is always unsure [about his future],” said Ainge. “Coaching is very, very draining. Every year with Doc, he’s had to go home and sort of recharge and ask himself that question, ‘Is this something that I’m passionate about and want to continue doing?’ I understand that. And we sorta give him time to unwind and relax, and after a couple of 92s on the golf course, he usually comes back.”

On Kevin Garnett:

“I do the same thing as I do with Doc: I give him some time away and I’ll touch base with KG probably sometime next week,” said Ainge. “He’s put so much into the game, he invests as much as any player I’ve ever seen. And he just needs time to chill and contemplate his life and then we’ll talk at some future time. But I do anticipate that KG will play. Just like I did last year, I feel the same this year. I don’t know for sure, but we’ll know more in the next couple weeks.”

On Paul Pierce:

“Conversation with my coach, conversation with Paul and his representatives,” said Ainge. “Opportunities that may present themselves. There’s a lot that will go into it, but it hasn’t even started yet, we have until June 30 to make any decision. Listen, Paul’s been one of the greatest Celtics of all time and that will play a part in it. We love what he’s done for us, but ultimately we have to do what we think is the best for us from this point forward. And I think that Paul still has a lot of basketball left in him.”

Full audio of Danny Ainge’s interview on WEEI

Transcription via ESPN Boston

If you haven’t listened to the full audio of that interview, I’d recommend it highly.  In fact, I’d say do it now and then come back so we can all be on the same page with what Ainge might mean… because there’s a lot there.

The Pierce question is the ultimate one here.  As I explained on Monday, there are a lot of options regarding Pierce, but the ultimate decision has to be made by June 30.  It seems like a long time, but that’s just 51 days.  And when you consider Ainge has a draft to get ready for, that’s not long at all.

It’s hard to interpret his stance on Pierce.  You can easily take ” We love what he’s done for us, but ultimately we have to do what we think is the best for us from this point forward” and say he’s clearly going to cut Pierce, save the $10 million, and move forward.  Especially when later in the interview Ainge acknowledges that the Celtics aren’t simply one player away from being a title contender.

BUT…

Put ” Paul’s been one of the greatest Celtics of all time and that will play a part in it” and ” I think that Paul still has a lot of basketball left in him” together and it seems like Danny might be willing to deal with the money this year if Pierce signs a very team-friendly “end your career here’ type of extension.

Trying to figure out what Danny is going to do is more dizzying than Vizzini trying to choose a glass of wine.  And like that classic Princess Bride scene, both cups in front of Danny are poisoned.  He’s either going to cut Pierce and be the villain with no loyalty, or he’s going to keep Pierce and be the sentimental fool with too much loyalty.

I know on Monday I said I was leaning towards the Celtics bringing Pierce back.  And there are certainly merits for doing so.  But I’m also slowly figuring out that if the Celtics are going to make any moves with any other guys, they might have little choice but to cut Pierce.  Ainge has put the Celtics into a position where they’re over the tax line AND over the apron.

If he brings everybody back, the Celtics will only have the taxpayer mid-level exception to use, which is $3.183 million instead of $5.150 million.  Plus, he’ll have to pay a draft pick, which will be somewhere north of a million dollars.  With the C’s already at $76 million, just the pick and a mid-level guy would put their payroll up over $80 million.  If they get $10 million over the tax line, they’d then get taxed at a rate of $2.50 for every dollar they are over…. which means a $25 million dollar tax bill.

I don’t know about you, but I think there’s zero chance in hell the Celtics will pay $105 million in total for a roster next year that features mostly the same crew from this past season, plus a mediocre player and a rookie.

It’s hard to know what Danny is going to do.  He says he expects Garnett back.  Garnett has said his future will be heavily influenced by Pierce.  I can try as best I can to piece evidence together that shows the Celtics moving in a certain direction, but only Ainge has the full picture in his head.  Only Ainge knows ALL of the possibilities, including what his coach and ownership group are willing to stomach.

There’s no doubt about what KG brings to the table.  We spent all season talking about how much worse the Celtics were with him off the floor.  And Paul Pierce showed flashes of brilliance as well.  Unfortunately, we’re left with the taste of that Knicks series in our mouths.

51 days until a decision has to be made.

I’m glad I’m not Danny Ainge.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Ainge unsure whether Pierce will return  |  WEEI:  Ainge sees Celtics stars returning this season  |  ESPN Boston: Ainge: C’s not close to championship level

The rest of the links

Herald:  Terrence Williams makes point with Celtics  |  CSNNE:  Celtics review:  A look into the players’ personal lives  | Big summer ahead for Celtics’ young core

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  • eddysamson

    To me this-

    “We love what he’s done for us, but ultimately we have to do what we
    think is the best for us from this point forward. And I think that Paul
    still has a lot of basketball left in him.”

    Sounds exactly like Ainge wants to trade him. How did you not mention that option in this article? Its like…the exact wordage that rebuffs Pierce’s value, but says we need to do something for the team. Totally implies a trade…and now I see on the Twitter feed you guys are discussing a Smith Pierce trade…honestly that seems like the most likely scenario to me here. If the cap space doesn’t work quite right Ainge will do what he can to put Smith and Rondo together.

    • eddysamson

      then again I could see if Pierce wouldnt play anywhere but Boston or LA.

      • pierce Hart

        Seeing pierce in a lakers top would upset me greatly.

        • eddysamson

          Same here.. Clips, though? I wouldn’t mind. He could even win another ring there quite possibly.

          • pierce Hart

            I wouldn’t mind that, I doubt yer clippers will go far for as long as Blake Griffin gets all the ESPN hype, he starts in all star games yet Alridge and all the others are much smarter and have a better long game than him!

    • goople

      rebuff means the opposite of what you think it means FYI

      • eddysamson

        whats the word I’m looking for?

        • frickenWaaaltah

          acknowledges or reiterates maybe.

          But yeah I get what you’re saying. It’s like he’s saying ‘yeah, that’s all true, but I’m doing it anyway.’

    • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

      I didn’t mention a trade because the first decision that has to be made is whether to keep him or waive him. If they keep him, then we talk about a trade. But before any of that is the question of waive or not waive.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying there’s a step to take before that

      The twitter talk was in reference to a CelticsBlog article.

      • eddysamson

        ahh I see. I still think it should have been mentioned as it weighs heavily on the decision to keep him. I think a trade for Smith is likely if not this year then within the next 2. It just seems like something Ainge would do if we keep Rondo. I dont know if it will work for us, probably not. I’d rather have a center.

        • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

          I’m not sold on that, really. Smith is going to want too much money for what he brings. I don’t think Danny is going to get into the business of signing a player’s buddies to keep him.

          • eddysamson

            Why did we get KG then?

          • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

            Because he’s one of the greatest players of all time?

          • eddysamson

            Well yes, but to say that had nothing to do with Pierce and KG being buddies is ignorant. There LITERALLY is a track record of the C’s trading to put buddies together.

          • Bledgreen

            But those 2 are HOF plauers. And ray was friends with no one. Rondo and smith are not HOF (Yet)

          • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

            I don’t think it’s the same thing. I think they got KG because he is awesome and everyone wanted KG… and he happens to be Pierce’s friend. It’s not like Orlando trading for Glen Davis because they know he’s buddies with Dwight and they wanted to surround him with people he’s cool with.

      • http://twitter.com/BostonsportZ Scott S

        but draft is before he has to decide, so can he trade then and let new team decide?

  • http://twitter.com/djKahnNYC Kahnstantine

    The only way Danny survives the “two cups” dilemma is the same way Wesley did: build up an immunity. In this case however, that immunity must be built after the fact by building a championship-calibur team. Parting with Pierce for anything less than a title or at least what fans perceive as a realistic shot at the title (in the LBJ/Heat era) will be seen as unnecessary disrespect of a Celtics legend.

  • forever_green

    That’s DA always telling us something, without telling us something.
    In my opinion it seems KG & Paul will finish their careers as Celtics…I hope.

  • pierce Hart

    I think keeping Pierce is thx best option this season. We won’t win the championship for sure and the year will be pretty dull but 2014 is the best year to rebuild for us plus I reckon he’d sign on the cheap and be a great sixth man off the bench for whatever you pay him. I’d be more worried about the guys on three year deals, if we want to rebuild in 2014 you need to look at KG and see if he’ll retire and JET is just horrible id do the 5 year thing where we pay him 1 mil a year for the next five years and waive him. Courtney lee should be shifted for a pick teams will be interested in him then you will have guys like Sullinger Green and Bradley who will be good strong players if your looking to be like to bulls or Very good trade Pieces if you want to get a couple of superstars. I like the thought of rondo green Bradley and Sullinger with a Strong centre another scorer a few young players through the draft and we’d look like the Bulls with a healthy Drose. Superstars are hard to attract and watching Miami I just don’t like how unfair it is that 3 guys in their prime are on 18 mil a year and there’s other teams without any franchise players, hope they restructure the Cap to prevent this, would make the play offs more interesting. That’s my take.

    • Bledgreen

      Just sign and trade for tyreke Evans abd trade peirce for Danny granger. The pacers will prob do it cause he has barley played this year. Maybe throw in a pick. They’re not superstars but they wil be complementary stars to rondo and jeff

      • pierce Hart

        I like Tyreke and Granger but I think a centre is in order before going after one of they guys if you trade for one of them there’ll be less cash to spend in FA for a strong centre unless you draft one

        • Bledgreen

          Granger is making less than peirce and if kg retires. Which he most likely will if we trade Paul. Than we will have the cap space to do a sign and trade for gortot with maybe bass or lee. Abd we can draft gougi dieng

  • http://twitter.com/REDSLOVECHILD RED`S LOVE CHILD

    Feb., 2012 : The thought of PP wearing a different uniform made me nauseous.
    Today : The thought of PP playing again in a Celtic unform makes me nauseous.

    Ainge sees it the same way.

  • Geoffrey86

    My feeling, though I admit it could be wishful (but maybe not), is that Danny wants to bring Paul Pierce back, but he does want to exercise the buyout clause and try to sign “the Truth” to an amount that will allow him to still be able to do a sign and trade with Utah for Al Jefferson. Perhaps Pierce would be willing to do that for the good of the team, in the present, and its future, and also with the emergence of Jeff Green, Pierce could accept a different role coming off the bench. That’s why Danny Ainge said he needs to talk to Paul and his agent and Doc, to see if they can come to an agreement. If Paul Pierce still wants to start and is not willing to take less money, then there could be a problem and in that case Ainge will have to explore trades or see what free agents are available and maybe let #34 become a free agent and let him walk away. It’s hard to see that happening because of Pierce’s significance to the Celtics, so I think Ainge is hoping that “The Truth” will be flexible and willing to take less money and a lesser role, and then it could be the best of both worlds, because he might be able then to trade Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass to the Jazz for Big Al.

    • frickenWaaaltah

      The C’s can’t buy out or amnesty Paul and then re-sign him for like a year.
      Also there’s no way packages like that convince Utah to sign and trade Al Jefferson. They have enough cap space to sign roughly two 15 mil guys and a 6 mill guy, or however else they want to make use of ~36 million of cap space.

      The basic Al to Boston scenario I can think of is giving Utah Rondo for Al in a sign and trade, then they deal with the Clippers who sign and trade Bledsoe for Pierce. Meh.

    • ShawnCVD

      FYI You don’t need quotation marks around “the Truth.” We all know who your talking about. And that’s the Tru…. er…the truth.

  • MrCuret

    I think Ainge is the one who needs to go (unlikely he does), he’s the GM & the one who has failed time & time again to put together a championship caliber team (except in 2008). For him to say the Celtics aren’t a player away from being championship material unless they get a great player, that’s kinda disrespectful to the guys in the team. It’s all Danny’s fault, he’s the one responsible for bringing in & trading away players. The irony is that some of those players are doing good with other teams (i.e. Robinson & Allen). Now he’s looking for ways to “improve the team” which will be difficult since he’s the one who signed Pierce to the $15 mil extension, & Terry & KG to 3 yrs each at 35 & 36 respectively. The Celtics need a new GM ASAP. It’s obvious Danny has no clue of what he’s doing.

    • ShawnCVD

      When PP reupped Boston had just made the Finals. He opted outta $21.5 Million for his last year then resigned 4 years at $15 per. He doesn’t doesn’t opt out for less IMHO. So say he didn’t renegotiate. That’s $21.5 M for 2010-2011 season. Then Boston would give him what? It would have to be 3 years $32.5 million just to be 10% LESS than the contract in question (32.5 plus the 21.5 of the final year of the contract he opted out of). That still would put Boston with no financial flexibility. Once you go south of $10 million a year another team could have swooped in to offer more. How embarrassing would that’ve been?

      And that doesn’t even include luxury taxes and/or less $ for other players that year. PP is a phenomenal if not old talent in this league. In 2010 he was still a top 3 Small Forward. Guys like him and Ticket come at a premium.

      • MrCuret

        I understand that, but I’m not saying it’s Pierce’s fault, I’m saying Danny could’ve given him a yr less, even if he had to pay him a bit more, after all he’s the one who said it was going to be a 3 yr thing with the big 3. I’m blaming Ainge bc he’s the one making all the dumb moves like for example signing KG & Terry for 3 last summer when they’re are declining. What I mean is he should’ve gave them 2 yrs instead, that way if they it’d be easier to trade them since they would’ve had expiring contracts. Same with Bass & Lee. He knows the 2014 FA features a lot of

        • ShawnCVD

          2 years for Terry makes sense , KG will leave when PP is out. As a formality his should have been 2 years. Locking Green down at 8 million per could prove to be a windfall.  

  • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

    Man… everybody’s buddies nowadays.

    You’re saying it like Ainge will find friends and put them together just because they’re friends.

    He would have gone after KG if he had never met any of the guys on the team.