So, now -- with both training camps and free agency expected to start on Dec. 9 -- Danny and the Cs have their work cut out for them, if they are going to take one more legit run at a ring before the window is closed, locked, and sealed shut.
The Celtics have only seven players under contract, and with a starting five of RA, KG, PP, Jermaine and Rondo (unless you are sold on today's trade rumors), what the front office ends up doing with the bench will probably be the biggest factor in determining if this team will have a shot in this shortened season.
Take Rondo's age out of that question and the rest of them are 36, 35, 34 and 33 respectively. So even with a shortened season, the starting five is going to need a good bench so their legs will be fresh come the playoffs -- and right now their bench is non-existent.
Will Delonte and Big Baby be re-signed? Well apparently there is a lot of frustration with Baby from last year. Jackie MacMullen had this to say about the Cs and Baby:
On Glen Davis’s struggles last season and if the Celtics will re-sign him: “You have wonder what was going on inside his head. He had a weight clause in his contract and he had to keep a certain weight. You take a picture of Big Baby from November to April and it’s pretty startling. … So what that tells me is, he had this weight clause and he kept missing it and he kept paying them out, fine after fine after fine. He drove them crazy over there, there’s no question about it.
“Shaq had some insight to that, they considered him somewhat of a selfish player trying to get his numbers in his free agent year. Clearly he did not live up the conditioning rules and regulations that they set for him. I think there’s a high level of frustration over there about Big Baby about what he did, or more appropriately, what he didn’t do for them, especially in the postseason. Now having said all of that, if you get him for dirt cheap, do you take him back? I don’t know how perturbed Doc Rivers is about him because I haven’t really asked him about Big Baby for a while. My gut is that he won’t be back.”That doesn't sound too promising. As for Delonte -- I expect Danny to sign him. Ainge has always been a Delonte fan, so I think he will ink him to a short-term deal.
Jeff Green will likely be back. His legs and athleticism should play a huge role in helping the starters as long as he can put it together. As a restricted free agent, there is the possibility that a team could come in and overpay him and compensate the Celtics, but I don't see it after his spotty play last season.
Add the two rookies as other possibilities, though definitely not a given, I think it is going to be an extremely entertaining two weeks of front office moves. I'm looking forward to it.
While we wait for the agreement to be finalized -- here are some of the more interesting post-lockout links I've come across.
-- Peter May takes a look at the Cs next moves
-- Here's another Rondo for CP rumor
-- Celticsblog.com takes an extremely entertaining look at how Delonte spent the lockout...including seeking employment at Home Depot and BJs before getting a job at Regency Furniture Showrooms
-- Red's Army says the Celtics are taking a hard look at Tyson Chandler
-- Ray Allen has faith in the front office
-- The Herald is reporting that Leo Papile is no longer with the team
-- Put Steve Bulpett in the "Shortened Season Helps the Cs" camp
-- Gary Washburn looks at where the Cs bench stands right now
-- And finally, here is the annual washed-up veteran wants to play for the Cs story
I'll check in again soon as the picture for 2011-2012 gets a little less fuzzy.
On a final note -- it looks like the Red Sox have finally settled on a manager. He looks happy...