Boston Celtics: Breaking Down the Celtics' Free Agent Options

Chance CookContributor IIIJune 26, 2012

Boston Celtics: Breaking Down the Celtics' Free Agent Options

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    The Boston Celtics were twelve minutes from taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals when they simply ran out of gas. The C's didn't have the players on the bench to fill the voids left by the fatigued veterans and were eliminated by the eventual champion Miami Heat. 

    The Celtics now find themselves in an exciting, yet hectic offseason that will be the first step in fixing the flaws that left the C's out of the Finals this past season. The first step in the offseason journey will be the Draft on June 28th. The options for the Celtics' two picks in the first round at 21 and 22 are endless. After the draft the Celtics need to look towards signing and resigning their free agents. 

    The Celtics have ten free agents from last season's playoff roster and the contract of Jeff Green to mull over and decide which areas of the floor they will look to go a new direction with. These are the Celtics' free agents and the chances that they will be in green and white again next year. 

Kevin Garnett

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    All reports say that if Kevin Garnett is to return to the NBA the only place he would play ball again is Boston. The veteran has built a relationship with head coach Doc Rivers that keeps KG from even considering other destinations. Garnett has also made such an impact on young players on the defensive end as well as re-creating the atmosphere in the Celtics locker room since his arrival in 2008.

    This past postseason Garnett looked like the Big Ticket of old, averaging nearly a double-double and providing the defensive center piece that allowed the Celtics to make it as far as they did. KG is one of the most competitive and motivated athletes the NBA has ever seen, so expect the disappointing finish in 2012 to play into his decision. 

    It is almost certain that KG will be back for one more season in Boston at a significantly reduced salary. 

     

    Chances of returning: Great

Keyon Dooling

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    Dooling's minutes were limited during the regular season. The bulk of the veteran's action came after starting two-guard Avery Bradley went out for the season. Dooling was a charge of energy every time he stepped into the game during the playoffs. He played tight defense, albeit committing unnecessary fouls and hit some incredibly important and clutch threes down the stretch.

    Dooling is also a veteran presence on the team and was one player that the finicky Rajon Rondo trusted and willing to take feedback from. His leadership on and off the court makes him essential to the team going forward and his relatively cheap contract makes him that much easier to pick up.

    While he isn't a guaranteed Celtic next year, I'd be willing to bet he's back. The team felt a bond this past season that is hard to break up and Dooling would prefer Boston to any other team in the league. 

    Chances of returning: Good. 

Brandon Bass

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    After Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal went down for the season, Brandon Bass was promoted to the role of starting power forward, taking Kevin Garnett's position as he transitioned to the center spot.

    The desperation move proved to be the answer for the reeling Boston Celtics. With Bass and KG holding down the front court the C's went on a post All-Star break tear that saw them win the Atlantic division and earn a fourth-place spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    Bass' play throughout the season was solid. He wasn't an especially good rebounder and his offense was headlined with a sweet elbow jumper and a minimal post game. However, under KG's influence, Bass became a superior defender, as his size allows his to guard both forward positions. Bass also had a crucial Game 5 against the Sixers in the playoffs, posting 18 third-quarter points and leading the Celtics to a win.

    Bass did have the option to come back to the Celts on the same contract for one more season, yet he opted out in pursuit of heftier money. He showed he can be an incredibly efficient player on both ends of the floor with the right people around him. While I don't expect him to start in 2013, I do expect him to re-sign with Boston and continue to have a big role with the C's.

    Chances of returning: Good.

Sasha Pavlovic

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    When Pavlovic was a Cavalier he was an relatively efficient player. In the 2007 playoffs with the Cavs he averaged nine points a game in a season when he and LeBron James won an Eastern Conference title. 

    However, now in 2012, Sasha's production has decreased drastically. While he saw very limited playing time throughout the regular season and only a handful of starts, he was almost unnoticeable on the court when he was in the game. He did manage to hit some clutch threes in the regular season for the C's when deep balls were few and far between, but his production as a whole was supremely sub-par. 

    With Avery Bradley returning to the C's and all of the other options at the two guard the Celtics have, Pavlovic shouldn't plan to be in Boston next season.

    Chances of returning: Slim to none.

Sean Williams

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    Despite his first round selection in 2007 Sean Williams has never produced at the NBA level. The Celtics picked him up at the end of the regular season in a desperate attempt to add depth to their front court. 

    Williams didn't see nearly enough time on the court to even attempt to evaluate his game as a Celtic and with so many other options at the five position in both the draft and free agency, I doubt that he will be back in Boston.

    Chances of returning; Slim to None.

Ryan Hollins

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    Hollins' debut for the Celtics was a disaster. In a game in Philadelphia in which the Celtics could have taken control of the Atlantic with a win the C's blew up and got blown out by the Sixers. Hollins was put in the game after Mickael Pietrus went out with a concussion and managed to miss free throws and earn fouls and a technical before his playing time was over.

    Despite an awful start, Hollins managed to put up decent minutes during the rest of the season and even showed signs of being a legitimate big man. He has openly expressed his admiration of Kevin Garnett and has recently said he'd love to resign with Boston.

    I think there is a legitimate chance he will be back in Boston next year. He has a good relationship with KG and if KG comes back he may request another year of tutoring the young Ryan Hollins.

    Chances of returning: Slim.

Greg Stiemsma

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    Steamer went from unknown goofy and lanky bench-warmer to the Celtics lead shot-blocker during the course of the 2012 season. He was able to find his own as a Celtic and routinely replaced Kevin Garnett at the end of the first quarter. 

    The Celtics won with a tough defense and that is exactly what Stiemsma brings. The biggest downside of Greg's game is his consistent commitment of unnecessary fouls.

    Although he has been involved in the NBA for a few years (NBA D-League) Steamer was actually a rookie this season and the big man out of Wisconsin should be able to reel in the fouls next season and be able to produce even more in the post off of the bench. Look for the Celtics to bring him back and for his game to continue to develop.

    Chances of returning: Good.

Marquis Daniels

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    Marquis was another player lost deep within Doc Rivers' bench for the most of this season. He really didn't see much playing time until the tail end of the regular season when the C's were desperate for bodies and then again when they were desperate for hard-nosed defenders in the postseason. 

    Daniels' season was highlighted in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals when the guard/forward hybrid had nine points and five boards in seventeen minutes of a 101-91 win. 

    While he was very useful in the Eastern Conference finals there were few other moments during the entire season when Daniels was even a factor in any game. His ability to play everything from point guard to small forward is nice, but I don't see that being enough for the front office to bring him back.

    Chances of returning: Slim.

Ray Allen

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    Brought to Boston in 2008 as a piece of the Big Three, Ray Allen was expected to do big things and hit big-time shots. For the past five seasons he has done just that.

    However, the sharpshooting, all-time-leading-three-point scoring, cold blooded Ray Allen had a rough season in 2012. His average points per game dropped by nearly five and his assists were roughly one shy a game of his career average.

    Due to injury Allen eventually lost his starting spot to Avery Bradley's ability to make quick cuts off the ball and lock down even the most prolific of shooters. Once being demoted to a sixth man role Allen enjoyed a brief stint of success during the regular season before bone spurs eventually hindered the man nearly useless for much of the playoffs.

    He was able to fight through the pain once Avery Bradley was lost for the season and put together a few stellar performances during the playoffs including a clutch three-point shot to tie Miami in Game 4 with less than a minute to go.

    The Celtics would love to have Ray back, but he is asking a multiple year deal and it looks as though the C's are ready to move in a different direction at the two guard position. 

    Chances of returning: Slim.

Mickael Pietrus

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    Pietrus started his stint as a Celtic showing signs of a great three-point shooter and a lanky defender capable of guarding both twos and threes on and off the ball. It all seemed to change after a horrific play in Philadelphia that saw him leave on a stretcher and miss a few weeks of action due to a concussion. After the injury, MP never really seemed to be back to full strength.

    Pietrus' use in the playoffs was mostly for his defensive presence. His three ball was far from where it was in the first few months of the season. He was able to shoot 5-8 in a Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat in the Conference finals, but that proved to be his only noteworthy offensive performance.

    He has expressed his deep desire to return to Boston in 2013 and his lanky frame and ability to defend so diversely make him an asset to the Doc Rivers' defensive schemes. Look for MP to be back in the Garden as a Celtic next season.

    Chances of returning: Good.