After a crazy night for Celtics fans that included a blockbuster and several draft pick trades, many Celtics fans have been asking the question, “So who is actually on the Celtics?”
Here is a detailed look at the team’s current roster heading into free agency.
Rajon Rondo – As one of the few recognizable names on the Celtics, Rondo will be expected to carry the team this year while manning the point guard position. He has two more years on his contract and is set to earn $11,954,454 this season and $12,909,090 next season.
Avery Bradley – This season, Bradley will likely start most games at shooting guard, but he will also play some point guard when Rajon Rondo is on the bench. Bradley has two more years left on his rookie contract, which says that he will earn $2,511,432 in 2013-2014 and $3,581,302 in 2014-2015.
Courtney Lee – Lee will likely play the role of backup shooting guard this season. There is also a chance that the Celtics will try and trade him for a big man. He is contracted for three more years, and will be earning $5,225,000 in 2013-2014, $5,450,000 in 2014-2015, and $5,675,000 in 2015-2016.
Jordan Crawford – Crawford was acquired from Washington at the trade deadline last season, and he played a role of a depth shooter once he joined the Celtics. If the Celtics decide to keep him this season, he will likely play the same role. But don’t be surprised if the team trades him in order to create more cap space. He has two more years on his contract, where is set to make $2,162,419 in 2013-2014 and $3,206,867 in 2014-2015.
Marshon Brooks – Brooks was acquired last night as a part of the blockbuster trade with the Nets. He had a down season in his second year as a pro, but he showed a lot of potential in his rookie season where he averaged 12.6 points over 29.4 minutes per game. Don’t be surprised if he eventually passes both of Lee and Crawford on the depth chart. He has three more years on his contract, which breaks down as follows: $1,210,080 in 2013-2014, $2,179,354 in 2014-2015, and $3,201,471 in 2015-2016.
Phil Pressey – Pressey went undrafted in last night, but the team immediately signed him after draft was completed. He was a junior at Missouri this past season, where he averaged 11.9 points and 7.1 assists over 33.9 minutes per game. He will likely start the season as the team’s third string point guard. The terms of his contract are currently unknown.
Jeff Green – The reign of Paul Pierce is officially over, and it is now up to Jeff Green to man the small forward position in Boston. He showed lots of promise in his first full season with Boston last year, as he proved to be one of the team’s best defenders and showed flashes of brilliance on offense. He has three more years left on his contract, which states that he will earn $8,965,000 in 2013-2014, $9,455,000 in 2014-2015, and $9,455,000 in 2015-2016.
Gerald Wallace – As the best player coming to Boston in the KG/Pierce trade, Wallace will come to Boston with very high expectations. He is coming off his worst season as a pro, as he averaged only 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds over 30 minutes per game. But that is anomaly compared to his usual stats of 15 points and 7 rebounds per game. He will likely start games at power forward for Boston, unless he is passed by Jared Sullinger or Brandon Bass on the depth chart. He also may play backup small forward behind Jeff Green. Wallace has three more seasons left on his contract, and is set to earn $10,105,855 in each season.
Jared Sullinger – Sullinger showed lots of promise as a rookie last season, until a back injury took him out for the season. His back has reportedly healed, so there is nothing standing in his way. Before the injury stopped him last season, he was averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds over 19.8 minutes per game. This season, he will likely play either starting or backup power forward. He has four more years left on his rookie contract, which breaks down as follows: $1,365,720 in 2013-2014, $1,424,520 in 2014-2015, $2,269,260 in 2015-2016, and $3,270,004 in 2016-2017.
Brandon Bass – Bass played well last season, averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds over 27.8 minutes per game. This season, Bass will likely play the role of backup power forward. He has two more seasons left on his contract, where he is set to earn $6,450,000 in 2013-2014 and $6,000,000 in 2014-2015.
Kris Humphries – Humphries was traded as a part of the KG/Pierce blockbuster, but don’t expect him to stay on the team for long. He is set to earn $12,000,000 in the last year of his contract this season, which is way too much money for a player of his skill set. The Bobcats have shown interest in Humphries before, so watch for them to be a potential trade partner. If he does stay on the Celtics, expect him to play backup power forward behind Bass, Wallace, and Sullinger.
Keith Bogans – Bogans was a part of the blockbuster trade last night. Last season for Brooklyn, he played backup small forward and averaged 4.2 and 1.6 rebounds over 19 minutes per game. Don’t expect to see him on the Celtics this season, as he will be an unrestricted free agent starting on July 1st, and there is no reason that the Celtics will want a mediocre veteran small forward on their rebuilding team.
Kris Joseph – Last season, Joseph started the year on Boston where he played in six games and contributed minimally. He was then acquired by Brooklyn, where he played a few minutes in four games. He currently has one year left on his contract, which is worth $788,872. However, this salary is not guaranteed so it is unlikely that Celtics will use a roster slot on a veteran with limited upside.
Fab Melo – Melo was taken in the first round of last year’s NBA draft, but spent the majority of the season playing for the Maine Red Claws in the NBA D-League. He appeared in 6 games with Boston, where he averaged 1.2 points and 0.5 rebounds over 6 minutes per game. He is still considered to be a few years away from being an NBA ready center, so don’t expect to see him on the floor much this season. He has four more years on his contract, which breaks down as follows: $1,311,240 on 2013-2014, $1,367,640 in 2014-2015, $2,249,767 in 2015-2016, and $3,257,663 in 2016-2017.
Kelly Olynyk – The Celtics traded up to pick 13 to select Olynyk, so they clearly have a lot of faith in him. He was a senior at Gonzaga last season, where he proved to be one of the best offensive centers in the NBA. For my full scouting report on him, click here. Danny Ainge has stated that he wants Olynyk to play some power forward, but he will likely start the season as a center based on the fact that the team has no true NBA ready centers. The details of his contract have not yet been released.
Colton Iverson – The Celtics traded cash to Indiana in exchange for the 53rd pick in last night’s NBA draft. With that pick, they selected Colton Iverson, a 23 year old center from Colorado State. While is upside is limited, he should be able to contribute to the Celtics’ frontcourt immediately. His game is very polished, and he averaged 14.0 points and 9.9 rebounds over 30.0 minutes per game last season. If the Celtics don’t add a center via free agency, Iverson could be a sleeper pick to be the team’s starting center on opening night.
Going into free agency, the Celtics will have roughly ten million dollars to spend. Look for them to try and use this money on a center. Some potential options could include Nikola Pekovic and Al Jefferson.
So while the Celtics lost two marquee players in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they have set themselves up perfectly for an impending rebuild.
They have a great young core of players, featuring Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Fab Melo, and Colton Iverson.
The team also has nine first round draft picks over the next five years.
When you combine a bunch of young and promising players with nine first round picks over a short period of time, you get a team that is destined to rebuild itself into a contender.