To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

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To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

Post by Matty on Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:40 pm

So with a day and change left before the trade deadline the Boston Celtics find themselves on top of the east, with a rearend load of future draft picks, a ton of rookies many of whom are showing nice promise and a guy known as Trader Danny running the show.

The Celtics have as good as any team of a chance to going to the finals from the East, whether they are capable of beating the Warriors once there is anyone' guess Apparently its been preordained that the Warriors will not only beat the beejezzues out of the West but that its also more likely that Andy Kaufman will show up this summer announcing that this whole death thing was just big act, and he's been busy improving his Elvis routine all these years for his big comeback than anyone actually beating the already crowned 2018 NBA champion Golden State Champions of the Universe, all parallel universes and all other dimensions.

That though is irrelevant because (A) Andy Kuaffman is just the sort of guy who would pull something like that off and (B) the Celtics as mentioned have Danny Ainge who is, as we all know a Mormon. And Mormons do not believe in predestination. So The Celtics have a guy in charge, with a pretty "gosh darn" good team assembled for this season and if anyone is guessing that his team might be the one that could actually defeat the Warriors that's guys name is Danny Ainge.  Is Danny guessing something along those lines? Apparently he is, the team didn't just drop an additional 5 million dollars on Greg Monroe because they didn't want to see another NBA player without a job.  Nope, Danny is scheming and trying to be THAT team.. the one that dethrones the Warriors.

Greg however isn't/wasn't/aint the only guy on the Celtics radar, both Lou Williams and Tyreke Evans and the only thing it seems at this point to be holding up a trade is the unwillingness of Trader Danny to give up a future first round draft pick.

For the purpose of writing this, I'm going to use Evans as the primary attraction here and focus on how acquiring him could help the team- and the impact a hypothetical deal could have on the team.  First though lets look at all the pieces the Celtics currently control.

We currently have 14 players on the regular roster, with one (Hayward) very likely out for the season: So here is the current crew with a few interesting points to boot
Player        years left on contract after this season
Irving          2
morris         1
smart          0
rozier          2 plus QO
horford        2
brown          3
tatum          4
Hayward      3
nader          3
ojeleye        3
baynes        0
yabusele      3
theis            1
larkin          0

 We also have two 2way deals for Bird and Allen neither of which are on the books after this season.

 Then we have Greg Monroe waiting to Walk Through That Door with a $5 million deal for a year.

The cost of those contracts moving forward over the next few seasons
17/18- $115,131,960  (17 players)
18/19-  $107,433,526  (12 players)
19/20- $85,864,834     (6 players)
20/21 - $34,279,942    (1 player)

And now, all the draft picks they hold through the same time period.
18- Own first, own second top 55 protected (count it as good as gone), Possibly the Lakers first (see likelihood of Andy Kauffman showing up)
19- own first, own second top 55 protected (see above   ^     ), Clippers first, lotto protected, Grizzlies first top 8 protected, (Kings first if we didn't get Lakers first
20- own first, own second
21- own first. own second

Why is all this important? Well as mentioned, Danny does not see the Warriors as unbeatable and looks to be dong his darndest to see to it that his team is the ones winning the final game of the NBA;s 2017-2018 basketball season. Danny is claiming that any deal he would do has to be looked at within the scope of how it affects the playing time of his young guys today who are benefitting from the additional playing time they are getting now. Also, how it affects the teams payroll now and later and the ability to do moves into the future.

While I'm not sure if the Disabled Player Exception counts against the teams regular salary the team is definiantly heading into the luxury cap club for the next few years as the Luxury cap currently sits at about 113 million (without the Monroe deal the C's stand at about 110 Million and peanuts right now. With 12 players on the roster already for next season and already 107 million on the books the idea of cap flexability for next summer is already out the window.

 Of the guys not on the roster for next season, Monroe Smart, Baynes and Larkin on the main roster and Bird and Allen in the 2 way deals lets consider how the draft picks we do have could influence the roster and the possibility of bringing back any of those players.

Our own pick, will be a late round pick, likely one of the last 3 or 4 picks to be taken so the contract will be costing the team about 1.5 million a year. The team could use the selection as a draft and stash which would delay contract hitting the books. But what if they use it to bring a player on board right away, while relatively cheap the poor bass-turd is hardly likely to be a huge help on a team with aspiration of playing for a title right away.  

Our second round pick, were we to flounder towards the end of the season and the pick falls back into protected territory will again be able to be used as a draft and stash, or as very cheap filler on a roster with a title run in mind- will the guy picked at the end of the second round likely have a positive role on a team where he helps us get to 18 or 19?

The Lakers pick, lately the team has been playing better and it isn't as likely to sent end up sending us that pick via half the league.. but really represents the primary chance Boston has of obtaining a guy who could have a valuable role on the following seasons quest for a championship.

So lets ask ourselves this, is the 55th pick in the 2018 NBA draft likely to be a better player than Bird or Allen? Realistically we're likely to find around the same talent level that we already have on the 2 way contracts. And our own first rounder, forget about salary and ask yourself, will we  receive a better player than say Larkin? Maybe. how about a guy who can come in and give us the same quality of play as Baynes? Probably not. Will we find ourselves with a guy who will win us games like Smart? (granted whoever we take will most likely be a better shooter) This is very unlikely. Monroe?  Even the Lakers pick should we receive it doesn't insure we get a guy who right away can have as meaningful an impact as Smart or Monroe in season 1.

So a realistic view of our possible draft picks reveals only the Lakers pick as having a serious possibility of bringing in a player as good as better than any of the three guys whose spots on the roster might be needing replaced. Putting aside the issue of the cost of the player and considering the likely quality of player we could pick up at each draft position (Lakers/our first/our second) vs the spot on the team that person would be taking up  and who those spots now belong to (Smart/Monroe/Baynes/Larkin) I think most would agree that we'd be better off using only the Lakers Pick and keeping Monroe, Smart and Baynes, leaving the other picks at our disposal for other uses.

However, money is a consideration, so Danny has to ask himself, would keeping the picks be beneficial in keeping costs down next season?

The grim reality is avoiding the luxury tax next season will be almost impossible. The truth is even with our young guys having another year under their belts and the return of Hayward we're going to need more players like Smart and Baynes and Monroe. Even if we landed a stud with the Lakers pick the cost of that selection alone will put us very close to the Luxury tax by itself. And like this year, we're going to need those other role players to help us win games during the regular season and in the post season. Filling one of the spots we could have open would be done even cheaper than using our own first by signing either Allen or Bird to a contract.

Lastly we come to the immediate present. Danny has made it clear by going after Greg Monroe that we're playing with our eyes on a title. Right now we're good. we're very good. We will be even better once Monroe is in the rotation. But are we good enough? Possibly. Can we get better? Absolutely.

Earlier for the sake of discussion I'd suggested Tyke Evans as the target to go after. I think the consensus is he is a better fit for us at this point than Lou and his contract is one we could easily make work. Larkin and Nader for Tyreke Of course there is the question of the draft pick wanted as well.

Considering the trade opens yet another possibility. Monroe is the 15th man on the roster, the suggested trade takes us back down to 14 with the added firepower of Evans nearly 20 pts per game. And... yet another open roster spot. We would again be in a position to reap the benefits of another buyout if another vet. wanted a shot at playing for a title. Another opportunity to improve our chances for a title.

So we have the chance to improve our lot this season, or do we pass on that chance and keep our own first next season. To pick, or to not to pick, we'll know Danny's answer within the next 36 hours or so.
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Matty

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Re: To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

Post by kdp59 on Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:23 am

well thought out and a good read.

My thoughts along those lines would be that the salary implications means it is MORE likely that Danny pays to keep whoever is here at the end of this season.

as you pointed out right now Smart. Monroe, Baynes and Larkin are the FA's we have.

Larkin is a minimum deal and can stay or be replaced with no cap issues.

the other three not so much. Smart of course we can control as a RFA (if he is still here). So we CAN Match any offer he might get.

Monroe and Baynes are different. I would think re-signing one of them will be the ideal.

I do think the first round pick will be a roster pick and not a draft and stash.

I also think there may be a chance that Danny try's to move a couple of future first (say Grizzlies and our own both in 2019) to get a mid lottery pick this year.

Draft picks are exceptions to the cap and with Hayward back, we will need cheap bench players.

IF Smart and Monroe are here and re-signed, then next year our rotation would be

Horford
Monroe
Morris
Tatum
Hayward
Brown
Irving
Smart
Rozier

thats a 9 man rotation there

add
Theis
Semi
Nader

and your at 12

Then filler includes
Larkin ( or another Minimum vet)
Yabusele
#28 pick







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Re: To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

Post by NYCelt on Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:04 pm

Matty,

Post of the year so far. Insightful and original. Lights-out job.

I say pick; under the assumption someone like Davis is in no way available. But we need to move up and lock in, if at all possible.

My own feeling is there is almost no value to us in our second round pick, and, despite The Lakers attempts to shoot themselves in the foot and help us, too much to chance with their potential pick. We also have those two protected 2019 picks that may or may not pan out, and our own 2019 first round.

I think the time to strike is now, and pick one of the high-potential bigs expected to come out this year. To me that's our biggest need, assuming Hayward is returning. A young center-forward, to combine in the front court with Horford, and probably/possibly Monroe. I think that makes us almost GSW type scary.

To get one, I believe we need to draft in this years top 10, and no lower. I would trade any or both of our 2018 picks (the potential LA and our 2nd), at least one of our 2019 picks, including our own, and almost anyone or two off our current bench to get there. That is, if any of those protected picks can be conveyed, and there is interest. I would want to retain one of either Smart or Rozier. We have enough talented young players under contract that draft picks outside top 10 quality probably stand no chance anyway, so why worry about keeping them?

My list of bigs becoming available is below.  All have a good chance of going top 10, I've listed all six that I think are worth the effort. There's also a high school kid coming out after taking a year off that some think could be top 10, but I think that's too risky. I think our pick needs to be one of these players, in my order of preference...

Deandre Ayton - Arizona
Mohamed Bamba - Texas
Marvin Bagley - Duke
Michael Porter - Mizzou
Jaren Jackson - MSU
Wendell Carter - Duke

Ayton probably goes #1, Bamba #2 or #3, so they could both be out of reach.

We could take our chances on the LA pick, but we have enough assets to move that I'd do whatever I could to deal for a sure pick inside the top ten.

So I'm all for emptying a good part of the cupboard to move up and pick. Do that, everything else being equal (for now), and I firmly believe we're going to need to make room for more banners.

Regards
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Re: To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

Post by wideclyde on Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:05 am

This season has turned out to provide a much better chance at winning a title than any of us could have guessed at any point of the off season and even early in this season.  We HAVE to take advantage.

Time to go for the championship in my opinion because it is always nice to 'project' future success, but such actions can never be anything more than a 'projection".  The future is now as some old football guy once mentioned.

So then, trading a first, Larkin and Nader should be something that Memphis will take, and Evans is something that we need to go after the title this year.  Larkin is Larkin and is not going to improve very much in the future.  In fact, he may be available again next season to fill the role he currently has if we need him.  Nader is probably going to get better as time goes on, but he was a very late second round pick for a reason.  I do not see him helping to win a title this year or in any future year as a top rotation type player.

As was mentioned above, this trade for Evans still leaves a roster spot available for a player who is bought out in the next couple of weeks, and there will be some vet who will gladly join Boston for a title run out of the group who may really help us.

We have excellent coaching, and with good health plus three vets it may just give us a chance at #18 right now.  If some of our younger players have to take a step back between now and June to get this title so be it.  Development for future years will just have to take a little bit slower path for guys like Semi, but????

BTW, great post, Matty.

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Re: To Pick, Or To Not To Pick: That Is The Question

Post by kdp59 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:58 am

a couple of notes:

Yabusele for Evans works salary wise, but I am sure Memphis will want their 2019 first round pick back also. I would probably do that deal myself.

onto the draft:

Deandre Ayton - Arizona- #1 pick out of reach

Mohamed Bamba - Texas- Possible top 5 pick We should HOPE the lakers tank!

Marvin Bagley - Duke- #1A pick out of reach

Michael Porter - Mizzou- SF, doesn't help as a big man

Jaren Jackson - MSU- I like his length and game, may go top 5 even.

Wendell Carter - Duke- Old school big man game with 6-9 size, I don't like him in today's NBA.


IF Monroe plays well here and we make a deep playoff push, Danny may well be better off re-signing him to play along side Horford and Morris another year, rather than chasing the hope of a 19YO big man in this draft.

We need to remember Monroe will only turn 28 this June.

Bird in the hand, kinda thinking I know
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