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Boston Celtics (Last Year: 25-57)
2013-14 Season Summary:
When the Boston Celtics traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce last year on draft night, it was a sign that the team was moving in a new direction. Struggles were expected especially since Rajon Rondo's return was uncertain. First-year head coach Brad Stevens had his hands full and lacked the talent to make Boston any sort of threat in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics now enter the offseason faced with a bit of dilemma; finish blowing up the roster and truly start from scratch, or try and use their assets to acquire a big man to help Rondo out.
2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Jared Sullinger/Kelly Olynyk/Vitor Faverani/^Joel Anthony
PF: Brandon Bass
SF: Jeff Green/Gerald Wallace/#Chris Johnson
SG: *Avery Bradley/Keith Bogans/#Chris Babb
PG: Rajon Rondo/Phil Pressey
NBA Free Agents:
PF-Kris Humphries (UFA)
PG-Jerryd Bayless (UFA)
*SG-Avery Bradley (RFA)
^C-Joel Anthony (PO)
#SG-Chris Babb (TO)
#SF-Chris Johnson (TO)
2014-15 Team Salary: Approximately $52.6 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
1. What to do with Rondo?:
Rondo is entering the final year of his contract, and unless Boston somehow makes significant strides this season, he likely walks next summer. The smart thing to do would be to trade Rondo to acquire as many assets and future cap space as possible. If I were general manager Danny Ainge, I would insist any deal with Rondo include Gerald Wallace and the remaining two years, $20-plus million left on his contract. That won't be an easy deal to swing, but it would certainly help the franchise if it ends up in a full-fledged rebuilding effort.
2. Be aggressive on draft night:
Dating back to the Ray Allen trade and last year's dealing of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics aren't afraid to make a major move on draft night. With the 6th and 17th overall picks and multiple future first-rounders, Boston has enough ammunition to make a move for a veteran to help get the team back into the playoff picture. (Kevin Love, anyone?) I am not expecting Ainge to be quiet leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft, so it will be interesting to see which direction he ends up taking the club.
3. Shooting Guard:
Avery Bradley is a restricted free agent, so Boston has to make a decision regarding his future. The team does have the right to match any deal Bradley signs but will the Celtrics want to pony up the seven to nine million dollars per year Bradley might get on the open market? I doubt it.
If Bradley ends up leaving, Boston must find a shooter who can spread the floor and allow Rondo to do what he does best - drive and create. Even if Bradley stays, adding another outside threat in the backcourt should be a priority.
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