Enough about Game Seven against one of those teams from Florida. Let's move on to the Boston Celtics' plan for championship No. 18.
Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manger, will have to make many decisions this offseason that will affect the next two seasons.
Here is a look at each player and the possible outcomes.
At the deep end of the bench is J. R. Giddens. He is a rookie guard who has at least one year left on his current contract. I believe he will return next year but don't be surprised if he is thrown into a trade.
As a restricted free agent after next season, Gabe Pruitt will not see any new deals this offseason. He also would be available for a trade, but I don't see that happening. He will be in Boston again next year.
There will be no change at all for rookie guard Bill Walker.
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins is all locked for next year, no change.
Stephan Marbury and Mikki Moore are both free agents this offseason. I do not expect either one of them to be wearing Celtic green next year. Maybe, just maybe Marbury if he is willing to play for cheap, but I expect him to be gone. He might even end up overseas.
Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine are both unrestricted free agents in 2010. Neither will be offered an extension before the start of the upcoming season. If Ainge can get a deal he likes, one of them will be gone.
Just to have my predictions down now, I’ll say T. Allen stays and Scalabrine is gone in a trade.
If Kevin Garnett does not have surgery within the next 14 days, my list of questions will grow immensely, but I’ll wait on that for now. I just don't believe we have been told everything about his physical condition. That concerns me.
KG’s early termination option was removed from his contract when he signed his deal worth around $60 million with the Celtics. Thank you, Ainge. He is not going anywhere soon, regardless of his knee’s health.
The Harder Calls
Six additional Celtics will become free agents either this offseason or in 2010. This year's restricted free agents are Glen Davis and Leon Powe.
The Celtics might let Big Baby shop around, but I fully expect them to match any offer another team might give him.
Powe is a wild card because of the knee injury that ended his season early. It will just depend on his rehab, how much Powe thinks he is worth and other players available. It could go either way. My prediction, he will be on the team.
This years’ most valuable unrestricted free agent is Eddie House. He will probably exercise his option. If you want to see the Celtics quickly resign him, you could be disappointed.
If House is looking for his big payday, he could be gone, but the Celtics cannot afford to lose another threat off the bench, like they did when they let James Posey get away.
I think House will be gone and the Celtics will seek a replacement because of salary issues and looking toward 2011. I hope I am wrong.
After next season, Ray Allen and Paul Peirce (has an early termination option) become unrestricted free agents. Plus, Rajon Rondo becomes a restricted free agent. This could seriously affect what the Celtics offer House.
I do not think Allen, Peirce or the Celtics want to wait until the 2010 offseason to get a deal done. Right at this moment, the 2010 list of free agents is huge:
- LeBron James
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Yao Ming
- Tracy McGrady
- Dwyane Wade
- Amare Stoudemire
- Brandon Roy
You can count on both Allen and Peirce being with Celtics next year, and I hope both have new deals done no later than the All-Star Break.
Rondo will be a Celtic for sure next year, but as a possible member of that 2010 free agent class, we will have to see when the Celtics start talking to him.
This offseason will be the first indication of how many more runs Ainge thinks the Big Three have left to run for a title. I hope it is at least three more.