Unexpected Moves Boston Celtics Could Make in Free Agency
Most of those paths are fairly obvious though. The Celtics are in a certain position and are expected to make a few moves in free agency. However, what Danny Ainge does is rarely obvious.
Whether it is dealing his starting center from a team with a title shot (Kendrick Perkins in 2011), hiring Brad Stevens out of the blue last July or suddenly moving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last summer, Ainge can and has fooled us before.
Oscar Wilde said, "To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect."
So, let's be modern and prepared for Ainge's Shyamalan twist!
Going for a Point Guard
Let's say the Kevin Love dream falls through and Boston fans wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
Suddenly, the prospect of Rajon Rondo sticking around after his contract expires next summer are looking slimmer. As much as he says he loves Boston, losing seasons can wear on a player who holds himself in as high esteem as Rondo does.
The Celtics may be his first choice, but if the money isn't where he wants it to be and the roster around him doesn't fit, he'll be exploring his options in 2015.
Being a proactive general manager, Danny Ainge could shock us all and skip the next year of Rondo questions and make a move to bring in a point guard this summer.
Rondo will likely be seeking a maximum contract next summer. If that isn't something Ainge feels he is worth, why not make moves to acquire a solid PG who will come at a cheaper price.
Big names who may be a step below max-money are available in Kyle Lowry and Eric Bledsoe. There are also quite a few intriguing options on the next rung. Shaun Livingston, Kirk Hinrich and Isaiah Thomas are some available options who could steadily lead an offense but don't have the expensive star power of a Rondo.
Coming out Firing with Max Money
The Boston Celtics have been somewhat conservative of late. They are trying to make frugal moves to build a team, or collection of assets, from the ground up.
It would certainly be unexpected if they came out firing with a max contract offer.
Of the possibilities, Greg Monroe makes the most sense. If Boston lowered the boom with a max deal for the Detroit Pistons big man, do they match? With new management in Detroit, and a potentially very expensive frontcourt, the Celtics might be able to swipe Monroe from them.
Detroit is already paying Josh Smith close to max money ($13.5 million a year through 2016-17) and owe Brandon Jennings north of $8 million each of the next two seasons. Andre Drummond is cheap now, but won't be forever.
Monroe may not be initially worth that type of offer, but with a 24-year-old who has center size and 20-10 potential, I could see it happening. Especially considering that Monroe has missed just three games in four NBA seasons.
Another shocker would be Gordon Hayward. The Utah Jazz shooting guard probably isn't worth a max contract, but Ainge could potentially poach him for the Celtics if he made that call. The Jazz wouldn't struggle to match financially, but they may not be willing to part with that chunk of change for a player they aren't positive is worth it.
Pillaging the Miami Heat
Are feelings from the Ray Allen situation still a bit raw for Danny Ainge and company?
The veteran sharpshooter chose to defect to Miami in 2012, rejecting a contract offer from the Boston Celtics after winning his first ring with the franchise.
The Celtics may have openings in their frontcourt and both Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen are potentially available in free agency. Should Bosh be willing to move, he could be another recipient of the max offer Ainge may have in his holster.
If the Heat do wind up disbanding somewhat, Ainge could seize the opportunity and pick over the ruins of a Spurs beatdown.
Boston isn't an honest suitor for LeBron James, but some of the other pieces could be ripe for the picking.
The Boston Celtics are very much expected to make a major move this offseason. There has been such heavy buildup recently, with their name as a focal point, it would almost be disappointing if nothing happened.
It would certainly be unexpected if Boston stands pat this summer and plays out their 2014-15 slate with their current roster, plus the No. 6 and 17 picks.
The Celtics were heavily involved in Omer Asik rumors last season that were ultimately unfruitful. That has led us to this spring and early summer, with Boston involved in rumors with both Kevin Love and Gordon Hayward—and to a lesser extent, Carmelo Anthony.
Should the Celtics hold their course after all that, it would be pretty shocking. With Rajon Rondo's contract set to expire next summer, there is more reason to make moves during this free-agency period.
The Celtics suffered through a 25-57 year and aren't keen to being a laughingstock franchise. With all the history Boston has, especially with the recent quick fix in 2007, they want to get back into contention fast.
Sitting back and building through the draft would be a surprise.
The Boston Celtics are certainly looking to play it safe while building their assortment of assets.
Because of that, it would be rather unexpected if they suddenly decided to take a flier on a player.
This would entail targeting a player with possibly a troubled or injury-rich past. These players will definitely be available, and might not be a terrible idea.
If the likes of Anderson Varejao or Andrew Bynum come at the right price, which is not very high, Danny Ainge could take the acceptable risk.
Still, this hasn't been something Boston has been necessarily known for in recent years. Ainge has mostly avoided taking unnecessary risks.
However, this isn't a situation he has been in very often before. Even before the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen windfall, Ainge had Paul Pierce to rely on. Rondo isn't necessarily at that level right now, especially coming off the ACL injury.
Ainge may feel a bit more desperate than he ever has before and thus be willing to take a flier on a boom-or-bust player in free agency.