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Your Morning Dump…Where the C’s may not regret missing out on Love

Chris Jones July 30, 2014 The Morning Dump, Uncategorized 27 Comments

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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. 

The well of Celtics news has been dry lately, so bear with me:

1) The Celtics would have had to overpay to acquire Love

Trades in the NBA are largely predicated on distinct circumstances. Back in May, the Celtics loomed as one of the more likely destinations for Love, while holding an “intriguing” collection of future first round draft picks and young talent to offer Minnesota in a potential swap. Unfortunately, Minnesota president of basketball operations Flip Saunders had his heart set on building a competitive team for next year rather than rebuilding. Thanks to this, a collection of draft picks and inexperienced players with limited upside in Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk didn’t appeal to Saunders.

Probably wouldn’t have considered a few first-rounders and either Olynyk or Sullinger as overpaying, but I can see where it starts to approach that line. The biggest risk in overpaying would have been mortgaging so many future assets for a player who could still opt out of his contract next year (and even possibly bolt for the Lakers). Sure, he’s never played a playoff game, and that makes him riskier, but his talents are good enough and he’s been consistent enough, that I don’t think offering so much future talent would have been overpaying. But the thought of him leaving after a single season, on the other hand…

2) A core of Love and Rondo wouldn’t have necessarily made the Celtics long-term contenders

It’s not a direct knock on either player, but a Rondo/Love led team not being a contender is a possibility. The fact that the Celtics would have had to sacrifice several young players and picks for Love would complicate things from a team-building standpoint for Ainge.

Look at it this way: In order to satisfy Love’s demands of being on a competitive team, both he and Rondo would likely need to be re-signed to long term deals when their contracts run out together next summer. The Celtics couldn’t afford to let Rondo walk and expect Love to still sign an extension. Max deals for both players would be worth five years and somewhere close to the $110 million mark, according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ, when you factor in estimates for the salary cap next season.

Don’t fully agree with this reasoning. Superstars are required to win in the NBA, and adding one is a necessary step in helping turn us into a contender again. Again, we all know Love isn’t experienced in the playoffs, but he’s only 25. If a Rondo-Love core isn’t at least capable of growing and competing in the East over the next few years, then we’d be better off trading Rondo and waiting until the storm passes — something I don’t think any Celtics fan wants to do. Yes, long-term contention is also contigent on Love staying in Boston on a new contract, but that isn’t really the point here. We’d still have had some form of young talent to surround him and Rondo with, and enough tools (more picks, mid-level exceptions, vet minimums etc.) to build a deep team. In a conference no longer dominated by Miami, this would have been a good start.

3) Why can’t the Celtics retain their assets and just make some noise in free agency next summer?

Boston’s history in free agency speaks for itself. They haven’t landed a big-name player for a long, long time. With that said, it’s important to think about this: Can you even name the last time current Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had the salary cap space to sign a big-name free agent?

The answer? It hasn’t happened in the Danny Ainge era. In more than 11 years at the helm in Boston, Ainge has never had significant salary cap room. So yes, the Celtics haven’t signed anyone with star power in recent memory, but they also haven’t had a realistic chance to do so.

This is probably what we’re headed towards. Wyc’s mentioned being an impatient owner when it comes tor returning to Big Three Era-style competitive basketball. His intention was to shoot for that to happen this summer, hence ‘fireworks’, but with that option far less likely, he and Danny may have no choice but to sweat it out — which really isn’t such a bad thing considering the talent pool that’ll be available in ’15. Though apart from all the centers available next summer, next year’s draft is also expected to be booming with big men, and as things stand now, we’re headed right back to a top lottery pick. If we’re really waiting ’til next summer to make a push, we won’t need to part with assets to sign a marquee guy and add another young top prospect. Though Ainge will be pretty busy doing all this while simultaneously trying to keep Rondo.

To sum up, I don’t think there are too many fans out there who are thrilled we’re missing out on Kevin Love (good thing 2015 is just a year’s worth of below-average basketball away).

Boston.com – Three reasons the Celtics may not regret missing out on Kevin Love

Page 2: Marcus Smart is turning heads on the USA Select team

Not a bad list of players to ‘open eyes’ playing against. I know we’re just talkin’ about practice, but it’s definitely assuring to read a such a tweet. I forgot who wrote it exactly, but another tweet from USA Men’s practice mentioned he had also rediscovered his shooting stroke (something missing in Summer League); at one point yesterday, he pulled up and drilled three consecutive three-pointers. Not too bad when considering the competition.

The rest of the links:

Grantland - Kyle Korver, an Offense unto Himself | Jalen and Jacoby: Derrick Rose, Zach LaVine, and Hip-Hop Bracket Matchups

Fox Sports – Team USA Report: Durant opens up on LeBron move

CelticsBlog – Eric Bledsoe an option for the Boston Celtics

Like this Article? Share it!

  • adam

    I’m glad we didn’t sacrifice our future and overpay for Love.

  • Fitzy

    I can’t overstate how happy I am to hear that Marcus Smart news.

  • BillRussell

    Hey- people keep talking about next year in free agency- who will be available then??

    • KWAPT
      • Fitzy

        I like it. If we have a poor year next year and draft a nice big man. We’ll be a very attractive team for free agents if we’re able to retain Rondo.

        • Finks

          Perk, KG and Pierce are available… I’m just saying, nab them and then send them down to the Redclaws for a farewell tour of domination!

          • adam

            i don’t know why I liked this, but I did. the could 9 peat in the d-leqague probably. make the red claws the most winning franchise ever.

  • NE_Celt

    Good to hear Smart is getting more and more comfortable with his transition to NBA play. Even though its a practice, he is up against NBA talent…which is awesome.

    • LA Flake

      I am so ready for the Marcus Smart era.

  • bill_nair

    Im glad Smart is part of the USA select team. Its good experience and probably a higher level of play/competition than he will see at most Celtics practices this year. KO has been doing good things for Canada too. Really hope they can build off these experiences.

    • adam

      I am excited him, sully, and vitors progress.

  • CallingBatman

    While not a huge fan of the potential Love acquisition, I think his second assumption might be a tad flawed given the wealth of picks Ainge would presumably have retained even after the trade. It’s a crapshoot, but assuming he’d get a few gems out of lost of draft picks, there’s no reason a Rondo/Love Celts team couldn’t have had a decent young supporting cast the following year. Yeah, and I should also have invested in Twitter and Facebook. None of it matters now.

  • Dirk Diggler

    The fact of the matter is that even WITH Kevin Love, who *I* consider probably to be the fourth or fifth best basketball player on the planet right now, this team STILL has the worst interior defense in the league and would get murdered against teams with skilled bigs. Simply put: we’re likely not beating Pau and Noah over there in Chicago even with Love on the roster.

    This team should keep doing what it’s been doing — which is buying low and trying to flip the players for surplus value at the appropriate time. We have plenty of time, and plenty of picks to build a contender from the bottom up. This team is probably incapable of acquiring big pieces until Green and Wallace are jettisoned anyhow. 19 million between them is pretty horrendous. Even with that 19 million in mind though, the C’s only have 24 million on the books for next season — so cap space — and opportunities are opening up.

    MY problem with this offseason is that I wanted a resolution with Rondo. I want to see him dealt promptly or see him sign an extension to stay in Boston.

    • LA Flake

      4th or 5th best basketball player on the planet right now? Wow…Sorry to bust your balls because I agree with a lot of what you said, but will he then become one of the greatest ever if he ever leads his team to, you know, the playoffs?

      • adam

        it’s hard to find those guys like duncan, durant, and james who change the way teams play.

  • art

    Rondo and Love do not make a championship team. It has to be a series of moves made together. I like where the C’s are right now. Young talent that could blossum at any time, lots of draft picks, overpaid players that will be coming off the books after two seasons at most, and lots of wiggle room and free agents next year. I don’t like all the talk about Olynyk and Sullinger being traded to Minnesota, They are two that could blossum. Likewise Smart, Young, and Zeller. Stick with it Danny!!

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  • RedHead617

    “If a Rondo-Love core isn’t at least capable of growing and competing in the East over the next few years, then we’d be better off trading Rondo and waiting until the storm passes — something I don’t think any Celtics fan wants to do.”

    I had really high hopes for this article given the title is exactly what I’ve been saying these last few months. I’d rather have the Nets picks and our young core through 2018 than sacrifice immediately to have second round potential.
    The critical misstep here is the continued denial of Rondo’s true value to a team that is poised for high lottery in the coming year, and possibly longer than that. First of all, his contract is a steal for only one more year and that’s a lost year anyway as we’re slated for 25-30 wins. Second, he is no lock to re-sign in Boston for a losing squad that is almost entirely 25 and under. There have been better sources than I on this particular speculation. Third, we aren’t even sure he’s worth the huge next contract he’ll receive as he had ZERO impact on winning last year and was clearly not the same player he was before the injury. Maybe he’ll get it back and leave for top dollar or maybe Rondo’s critical athleticism is diminishing and we’re better off without him.
    Either way, we don’t need Rondo to help us lose 50 games in 2014-15 and he’s better off being underpaid for a contender while we stock future assets like the rest of our team. There are many smart and articulate guys on these boards but it’s time to stop hoping for quick fixes and start embracing the bleak future immediately ahead. Deal Rondo for the best offer you can get, give Smart/Bradley/Young/Sullinger/Olynyk 34 minutes a game and keep those Nets picks until Wallace is bought off and we’re ready to jump into the elite.

    • tvor03

      Saying Rondo had zero impact on winning last year is BS. He was coming off a major injury, an injury everyone agrees takes at least a year to get back from. His minutes were limited and didn’t play on back-to-backs. And he came into a season that was already in the gutter before he even laced up his sneakers. He had no reason to try and push the team to win, especially when the entire organization was obviously trying to lose. You talk as if we were expecting to make the playoffs last year and failed because Rondo didn’t lead us there.

      • RedHead617

        The playoffs were a lost cause before Rondo returned but in spite of many of your excuses (back from injury, no reason to try, etc.) he statistically had no impact on winning basketball games. This is a pretty dubious distinction for someone we’re considering as a 29-year-old cornerstone on a very young team. You seem to agree that Rondo had zero impact on winning – given many excuses – but feel it’s unfair to blame him given the circumstances. This like exactly the kind of emotional, flawed logic we need to discard in order to embrace our future of a multi-year rebuild.

        • tvor03

          Once again, this entire season was built on losing. It was designed that way. You seem to forget that. The team was meant to lose as many games as possible to increase our odds in the lottery. Rondo didn’t have any impact on winning because we were never meant to win. You don’t think Rondo knew this? Everybody knew it. It’s like building the atomic bomb then getting pissed at the crew of the Enola Gay when it blows up Nagasaki.

          • RedHead617

            Rondo, his agent, his family and his sponsors would never intentionally play badly for the sake of the Celtics draft pick. While the team may tank, the players and coaches will not, ever, as economic incentives dictate that they play hard no matter what the circumstances may be. This is true even in Philly, where they began the season with three straight wins and dealt Turner/Hawes for nothing at the deadline in order to tank more effectively. That was a management decision and it required a turnover of personnel as players and coaches will never throw games for the sake of the team’s long term future. If bookies paid them huge money, then well…perhaps.
            You have a point that Rondo was coming back from an injury and if Ainge’s plan is to bring him back healthy, restore value and then trade him, I will be wrong to advocate dealing him for whatever we can get now. However, the risk is that he looks like the same player, one who had little impact on the court last year and no impact on team record in the games he played, and we have fewer trade partners as the year progresses.

  • zippittyay

    Good to know Marcus’ shot selection hasn’t changed much.

  • http://rhymejunkie.com/ Dustin Chapman

    PRACTICE?

  • Danny Adkins

    Boston should keep the people that they have with the exception of Jeff Green! He seems to have another kind of heart problem and that is no heart to play every day. So he may not be happy in Boston ?? if so then let him play on another NBA team, play people who will bring heart every game! With so many draft picks they wont all be bad and they will have the money to pay them in two years! Opinion are like ass holes everyone has one that s mine.