Olynyk looks to me like the odd man out
Peter Delevett via celtics
celtics at igtc.com
Thu Jul 16 19:07:07 UTC 2015
I know trying to predict Danny's next roster move is like trying to predict Lady Gaga's next wardrobe change, but as I survey our current likely roster of 16 guaranteed contracts, Olynyk looks from here like the most likely to be moved.
Although I would have said this before the draft, we seem set at point guard. And while anybody's available for the right price, I don't think Ainge would move Smart or Thomas unless it were part of a blockbuster deal.
Shooting guard's more dicey, but I think Ainge and Stevens want to keep Bradley around; the idea of a Smart/Bradley/Rozier defensive wrecking crew has to appeal to them. And while Hunter seems to make Young expendable, I'd look for Ainge to give Young at least a little more run; for one thing, without him you've only got Hunter as a long guard who can shoot, and I doubt Ainge would give up that layer of redundancy based on one summer league.
At the three, the depth chart looks like Turner, Crowder and Jones. While you'd think Jae will start soon based on the size and length of his contract, I don't believe Danny would move Turner yet; he's still needed as Smart's bailout ball-handling partner. Meanwhile, I expect Stevens will work another rehab miracle with Jones, finding one or two things he can do well (defensive utilityman? Rebounding expert? Corner shooter?) in order to at least make him more valuable than now. The bummer for me about this is that Jonathan Holmes appears even more unlikely to make the roster; would be nice if Ainge could figure out some way to stash him overseas or in the D-league (or if, cough cough, we'd used the 45th pick on Holmes instead of Marcus "Keep That Passport Handy, and Oh Yeah I'm Only 6'3" Thornton).
The real positional glut is at the four. Lee probably won't object to coming off the bench, but you've gotta think he's going to get minutes. Sully, despite all the hand-wringing over his weight and desire, figures to stick because he's our best rebounder by far (and Lee isn't a long-term substitute given his age). We just gave a new deal to JJ, and Mickey doesn't shoot well enough to be a power 3; even if Mickey spends much of the season in Maine and Jerebko on the pine, I figure all four of these guys to be on the roster.
So, at the 5 spot, we appear to have Johnson, Oly and Zeller. While all three bring different strengths and weaknesses, Amir obviously isn't going anyplace this season, or at least, before the All-Star break. Zeller didn't exactly overwhelm last year, but he's got good size, he works hard, he brings toughness and he doesn't bog down the offense by clogging up the middle. Olynyk, meanwhile, showed progress in his second season and has undeniable skill, but I wonder if Ainge and Stevens share our frustration with his passive "Canada dude" play. I remain shocked that Danny didn't draft Bobby Portis when his two young bigs are marked by lack of desire, but our post-draft moves have sent a clear message that Ainge isn't satisfied in the frontcourt. It's surely possible Ainge still believes in Olynyk long-term and that Lee is essentially a rental with more upside, both on the court and as an expiring contract, than Wallace. But Jerebko's length and shooting touch make Olynyk more replaceable; unless JJ suddenly develops some mystery ailment that would lead the league to grant us an injury exception (wink wink, Jonas), Oly just seems to me like the guy who's both most replaceable and has the most potential to bring back a decent return, even if it's just a late first-rounder. Would, say, Dallas flip Raymond Felton's expiring deal and a pick for Olynyk (plus Babb's contract as filler)? Would Atlanta part with Kent Bazemore's expiring deal and a pick for some added frontcourt firepower? How about Toronto straight up for James Johnson, whoever that is exactly? Lots of possibilities given Olynyk's youth and reasonable deal.
If anybody's read this far, the resulting roster (assuming whoever we got for Oly were waived) looks like this:
PG: Smart, Thomas, RozierSG: Bradley, Hunter, YoungSF: Turner, Crowder, JonesPF: Sully, Lee, JJ, MickeyC: Johnson, Zeller
Pending more moves, Young and Mickey likely would spend time in Portland. If Jones shows life (a big if), Sully could pull some shifts at center to relieve the gridlock. This lineup really doesn't give us a long-term solution at the 5, but if Danny and Stevens have decided Olynyk's not that, they might as well roll with it until next season's draft ... or until pulling off a Boogie Miracle (something I'm personally not a fan of).
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