5-on-5: Celtics Window Closed? Future of Jeff Green & Big Baby
Posted by Brian Robb on Sep 5, 2011
5-on-5 team previews have been up and running for a few weeks now over at ESPN.com, and the Celtics are leading off the pack of Atlantic Division squads this week at the mothership. For the occasion, the entire CelticsHub crew were brought in, along with ESPNBoston’s Chris Forsberg to tackle a number of questions about the team’s offseason and future prospects. You can check out the entire Q-and-A here but I’ve highlighted a couple of the questions that the five of us had the widest variety of opinions on.
3. Fact or Fiction: Boston should bring back Jeff Green and Glen Davis.
Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Superfiction. Undersize forwards who can’t rebound or defend their position? Not much use for them on this team, especially if the C’s are serious about opening up roster space. Jeff Green‘s more likely to return, but he’s also set to earn a payday way above his actual value. Let somebody else overpay for them.
Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub: Fiction. Both of these tweeners were major disappointments last season, and neither one of them can/will rebound. Celtics president Danny Ainge might bring them back if they’re open to one-year deals, but they’ll probably find more money on the open market and end up irritating fans in some other city next season.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: Fact. Expectations need to be lowered with Green, who was simply Jeff Green last season (and that wasn’t enough for some). His numbers will look better with more minutes. Glen Davis‘ mouth gets him in trouble at times, but he’s quite valuable off the bench.
Brendan Jackson, Celtics Hub: Fact. The next salary cap most likely will retain a mechanism that allows teams to go over the cap to re-sign their own players. Both Davis and Green have their flaws, but it comes down to the concept of equal value. It’s doubtful the Celtics will be able get the same caliber players with the cap space left from Davis and Green’s departures.
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub: Fact. I’d much rather Ainge bring back Davis before Green (Big Baby gets a bad rap because of his horrendous final two months in 2010-11), but both players’ return will be necessary for this team to contend next season. Why? A lack of alternatives as well as giving the C’s the continuity they lacked last season.
5. Fact or Fiction: The Celtics’ title window has closed.
Hayes Davenport, Celtics Hub: Fiction. For next year? Yeah, probably. They aren’t going to improve, and a lot of teams are going to get better around them. But the prospect of rebuilding with one of the league’s best distributors, an aging star or two, and an otherwise vacant roster is actually pretty exciting.
Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub: Fact. In the past, Boston could count on going deep in the playoffs even with a few things going wrong. Now, they need everything to go right for that same result. X factor: Ainge’s bench construction. A batch of young, athletic bigs and wings would give Boston a decent chance at making the Finals one more time.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: Fiction. Health is key, and age makes that more difficult, but with the right moves in building a supporting cast around the Big Four, the Celtics are in the mix, especially in a shortened season.
Brendan Jackson, Celtics Hub: Fiction. There is no doubt the road to the Finals goes through Miami or Chicago, but the Celtics will still be the third-best team in the East. Ainge will have to get creative in reloading the roster, but if the Big Three can still play at a high level, the Celtics still have a chance.
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub: Fiction. There have been numerous injuries that have hampered Boston’s playoff runs since 2008. Excuses are excuses, but the fact of the matter is this team still has four All-Stars capable of playing at elite levels along with a top-notch coach. The window is closing, but there is still a wide enough crack to see through for one more year.