Skip to main content

A way-too-early projection of Danny Ainge's long-term strategy

The future of the Boston Celtics is becoming clearer as this season progresses. It is now possible to project, or at least guess, what Danny Ainge's plans are for the next several years.

The Jay Team of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the focal point here. In their third and fourth seasons, respectively, they are emerging as potential All-Stars right before our eyes. Unless something unexpected happens, this duo is destined to be in the spotlight for Boston for the foreseeable future. NBA TV's Sam Mitchell recently compared the Jay Team with the Clippers' pairing of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Brown and Tatum could reach that level in as little of a year or two.


Jaylen Brown was granted a 4-year/$115 million deal that goes into effect in the 2020-21 season. With a projected higher salary cap coming, Jayson Tatum will be looking for something at least slightly in excess of Jaylen's figure ($28.8 million per year). With a projected cap of $125 million for the 2021-22 season, Tatum may be looking at roughly $31.2 million per year for four years, going into effect in 2021-22.

What about Gordon Hayward? As I wrote previously, the best route for Gordon and the Celtics is for him to opt out of his player option for next season and work out a 4-year deal at less money per season. Barring a trade for him prior to the February deadline, I expect him to be in a Celtics uniform next season, but he doesn't stick here past that without making such a deal.

Marcus Smart? He is on a team-friendly contract paying him $12.9 million this season and $13.8 million next year, after which he becomes a free agent. I think he remains with The Green for the foreseeable future. Kemba Walker has fit right in and contributes much. He needs to remain.


The future picture gets much clearer if any of the current rookie crop develops quickly. Grant Williams may be one that does become part of the rotation, and two-way player, Tremont Waters, could end up with a standard contract from the Celtics next season. Carsen Edwards has had trouble finding his shot at the NBA level, but he just needs more floor time. He should stick. We have not seen enough of Romeo Langford to make any evaluations. He could end up as part of a trade.

Semi Ojeleye earns so little - and does so much on the defensive end - he should remain in Boston, even though Grant Williams seems to be taking some of his minutes. Robert Williams and Javonte Green are keepers. Vincent Poirier? If he can be the rough-and-tumble big-man defender Boston seeks, he sticks. If not, he is out. Enes Kanter is a bargain and keeps improving. The post-season will reveal his true value.

If the Jay Team is destined to become Kawhi and PG13 - and get paid accordingly - then Danny Ainge needs to find the likes of Lou Williams, Montrzl Harrell and Patrick Beverly, whose combined salaries ($26.3 million) this season don't equal Jaylen's yearly pay next year. Actually, Danny may already have them in his fold. Time will tell how all of this works out.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

We may be glad Danny Ainge rolled the dice on Theis

Frankly, I was not sure if Danny Ainge would ink Daniel Theis to a new deal, but it looks like a good move. Theis is signed for two years at a total of $10 million, with the second year non-guaranteed. With the departure of big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes, rolling the dice on Theis could work very well. In his first season in Boston, Daniel just kept improving. For the pre-All-Star stretch, he averaged 14.5 minutes/Game, 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG while shooting 52% on field goals and 30% on treys. Post-All-Star his minutes increased to 18.4 per game, his points to 7.8/game and his boards to 5.3/game. And he shot 68% on field goals and 40% on 3-pointers. Then a meniscus tear shut him down. His minutes and production took a hit last season, in part most likely due to lagging recovery from the injury. Right now he is playing on German's entry in the FIBA World Cup. In a game versus The Czech Rebublic, he scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, passed off for three assists and blocked tw

What Jeff Teague can bring to the Celtics offense

Bringing in Jeff Teague as some guard depth this year could end up being a monumental move for this year's Celtics team. Teague is a well respected veteran in the league, and having gone to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks, knows what it takes to win tough games. Here's a brief look at why I think Jeff will be a great fit with the C's Every Celtics fan loves Marcus Smart , due to everything he brings to the table, from the defensive intensity to scoring outbursts. For all the good things he does, Marcus excels off ball, and can have his effectiveness diminished when he is forced to be a primary ball handler. He is often pigeon-holed into that role with the second unit (or when Kemba is out), and Teague's addition will hopefully allow him to play more off-ball and maximize his abilities.  At the deadline last year, Teague was traded to the Atlanta Hawks to play alongside Trae Young. His usage rate and effectiveness dipped considerably, as he