Welcome to Offseason. The longest season ever cut short is finally over. The bad news is that we don’t have Celtics Basketball to watch for several months. The good news is that we will be starting over next season with a much more regular season. But before we get there, there is a lot of informal work to be done. Here are five pressing questions the Celtics will have to answer this summer.
Does the front office need some new voice?
This has been suggested by Gary Washburn and others and is worth considering. I don’t think Danny Ainge is going anywhere anytime soon (although I wouldn’t be surprised if he does eventually hand the vows over to assistant GM Mike Zarin) but it might be a good idea to add more staff votes or expand some scouts.
Update: bomb wog
Sources told ESPN that Danny Aing, president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, is seriously considering his future with the franchise and could make a decision to step down.
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 2, 2021
How committed is the team to Brad Stevens?
Again, I’m inclined to think that Brad’s general resume outweighs the difficulties the team has been in recently. Then again, two bad seasons in the last three years are worrying and it will be interesting to see how committed this team is to Stevens. His contract was recently extended, but this does not always guarantee anything. I just wonder how far the team’s stars could defend him if ownership had brought up the topic in exit interviews.
How much is the property willing to spend on luxury tax?
I won’t go into the details of the spreadsheet (I’ll leave that to Keith and other people smarter than me), but the Celtics have a payroll that is rapidly increasing as Jason Tatum’s extension begins. If the team were to sign Yvan Fournier (No A), they would have a huge tax bill on luxuries. Will the team turn around and start dumping salaries elsewhere? Are Kimba Walker’s days in Boston numbered? What about Marcus Smart or Tristan Thompson? Will the team need to give up assets in order to balance the books?
The owners were willing to pay the tax before for the contenders, but can they convince themselves that this team is just a few steps away from preparing to contend for the title? If not, how serious are the changes?
Will the team use the rest of the Gordon Hayward trading player exception?
This question is closely related to the previous one because the answer might be “it depends on what the revenue is and how much the owners are willing to spend”. Or maybe it is used to add money only if another transaction is getting rid of the money.
Regardless, it’s a tool the team can use to make changes to the menu and you have to imagine that they’re going to explore a lot of different options for how to use at least part of it.
Otherwise how can this team add depth?
Staying healthy has been a huge challenge this year, which has exacerbated the problem of the skinny seat. Next year, Jaylen Brown will be out of surgery at the end of the season. Robert Williams could take a long vacation. Kemba’s load management has worked somewhat this season but it hasn’t stopped him from missing a major playoff. The bottom line is that “Perfect Health” is a myth and absolutely unreliable.
Which brings us back to the bench. Will Evan Fournier return? How much will young players grow and how much can you count on them to fill these roles? Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith and Grant Williams all had their moments but they weren’t fixed yet.
The draft could result in another young player. Or the team could look into adding veterans through trade or free agency (within the cap restrictions). Almost every position needs more depth.
It should be a fun season as usual, so bookmark this site and share your thoughts and opinions with us.