COMMENTARY | The Boston Celtics are an extremely different team than they were just a year ago. Prior to last season, Danny Ainge's squad was preparing to take one more outside shot at competing for a title before moving on to another era. Now, these Celtics are clearly in rebuilding mode with some very familiar faces no longer in town.
In their blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce out of town, the Celtics acquired draft picks and a bunch of spare parts that don't quite seem to fit their plans. MarShon Brooks is the only player who could play into Boston's long term plans, as Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, and Gerald Wallace are veterans who would be better off as members of a supporting cast with a contender.
Although he was a valuable piece while the team was trying to compete, Brandon Bass could now be expendable as well. He is owed more than $13 million over the next two seasons, a salary that the Celtics probably wouldn't mind dumping. Brad Stevens has plenty of young players who they would like to give minutes to over Bass, including Kelly Olynyk, Jarred Sullinger, and Vitor Faverani.
Bass, Humphries, and Wallace compose a very large portion of Boston's projected payroll. Humphries will make $12 million this season, and Wallace will make more than $30 million over the next season. These three players will be paid nearly $30 million during the upcoming season.
Understandably so, Danny Ainge reportedly could be looking to deal these three players at some point.
All three have very different situations. Humphries only has one year remaining on his deal, making it a very real possibility that the Celtics might be willing to simply bite the bullet and cut ties following the season. Bass would surely have value to a contender as a power forward who can stretch the floor with his quality midrange shooting. His contract might not be great, but it is certainly affordable to the right team for the next two years. Then, there's Wallace.
Boston would likely have a very tough time dealing Wallace, an expensive role player who looked very bad last season on the Nets. While his spirit will never be questioned, it appears as if his athleticism took a huge fall last year. His game is largely based on his ability to be physical, and $30 million is a lot spend on a role player who is on the downfall. Their best chance in freeing themselves of Wallace would be to attach him to a much more valuable piece in any potential deal.
None of this should be any surprise, as is seems Danny Ainge is always poking around the trade market to see what's available. Teams often look for veteran role players during the season as injuries occur, so the Celtics might have a decent deal or two fall into their lap.
All salary information is via HoopsHype.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering the Celtics for 3 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Danny Ainge
- Boston Celtics
- Gerald Wallace
- Kris Humphries
- Brandon Bass