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.
I’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. I honestly don’t know what that experience is going to be like. Obviously I know different teams can be involved and the Celtics can match whatever happens. I’ve decided not to worry about it until the time comes. Of course I’d like to remain a Celtic. I love the culture here and the people here. I love the whole front office as far as Danny Ainge and everybody. They’re just great people.
[...] I want to spend a minute to thank the fans. I appreciate you so much. We have the best fans in the world. From my heart, I just want you to know I do appreciate you. You came out and supported us in a down year. I’ve never seen anything like that. Take a game like Philadelphia, where we were down by double-digits and you were still cheering for us. Most fans would be either booing or leaving, but you were here. I thought that was pretty cool. I just hope you know it means a lot to us.
Bradley’s last diary of the season was a bit of a somber one. He seemed to really like this group of guys and he does express some sadness that he won’t get to see all of them next season. But he is definitely talking like he’s coming back next season.
And, of course, he should be. I don’t know that anyone in the league is going to overpay for Bradley and make him fall out of reach of what the Celtics are willing to pay him. I feel like Bradley’s value to the Celtics outweighs his value to other teams. He works well here. He plays off Rondo very well (which he does mention in the diary). I think he and the Celtics can find a decent number that works for him.
In fact, Bradley might… MIGHT… be the rare case where accepting the qualifying offer might be to his benefit. The $3.5 million represents a million dollar raise and it allows him his first chance at a fully healthy season with Rondo in the backcourt. How much better will he look if both he and Rondo can stay healthy enough to play 70+ games together next season?
It’s hard for a guy to give up long-term security, especially when you keep getting hit with these various injuries. But I’m starting to wonder how much more than $3.5 million Bradley will make this summer. Accepting the qualifying offer also means he’s a full free-agent next summer, which ups his value a bit because other teams know the Celtics aren’t lurking waiting to match. It’s something for him to consider, and something I might bring up to him if I was his agent.
And the fan thing matters. It might be low on the overall list, but it’s on there. If a guy just likes playing in a city, then he’s going to want to stay there. If he’s got offers similar to what the Celtics are offering, then liking where you are makes you want to stay where you are. I’m not saying Bradley will take $3.5 million instead of $5 million because a bunch of people yelled “Let’s Go Celtics” during a shitty game, but making someone feel welcome and part of the city might make $3.5 million vs. $4 million a tougher decision.
I like Avery, and I think he should stay. I hope he does, because he can be an important player on a good team.
Page 2: The Celtics have everything but the players
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens ranked 11th in an ESPN Forecast ranking of the top coaches in the NBA.
Stevens is the first coach on the list of a non-playoff team and you won’t find the next until Minnesota’s Rick Adelman at No. 17. Stevens scored higher than some playoff-bound coaches
So the Celtics have the 11th-ranked coach, 6th-ranked front office, and 4th-ranked ownership. All of this comes during one of the worst seasons in team history… which should make you feel pretty good about what’s happening.
A rookie coach got enough respect around the league to rank higher than playoff coaches, and the top-tier of the organization is ranked in the low-single digits. All they need now are players who can, y’know, win the games.
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m pretty confident in this team becoming a contender again in the next couple of years. I think a best-case scenario has them back at the top of the standings in 2015-16, which would mean success in the third year of a rebuild. That’s on the quick end of what should be “congratulations, you did it right” rebuilding time frame, but it’s certainly possible if this year’s draft and 2015’s free agency work out.
If they don’t, then Danny Ainge will have to figure out a plan B. But all those picks really put me at ease because I know they have added value in today’s CBA.
So kudos to the Celtics ownership group for putting this whole thing together. As ready as I am for this season to end, it hasn’t been utter torture until April, which is more than a lot of teams can say. And they let Danny Ainge do his thing, which has put the Celtics in a pretty good spot.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Learning experience: C’s + NCAA tourney | CSNNE: For first time as coach, no postseason for Stevens | Herald: Stevens no one and done | Butler giving honorary degree to Stevens | Globe: Bayless, Pressey, developing for Celtics