BY DERRENMATTS Already this team has made some changes (via the draft), and more changes are probably going to be made to the roster.
Tonight, we added Jr Giddens and Billy Walker to our roster, and a 7 foot big man from Turkey, who will probably remain overseas for the immediate future. Giddens and Walker are both SG's (though Walker is strong enough to play some SF) who were highly touted high schoolers who haven't lived up to their billing. But, they still have the talent to be good players in the NBA. IMO, Walker has a better shot at being a starter, while Giddens is a safer pick to succeed in the NBA in some capacity (probably as a bench guy). If that confuses you, think of Walker as a hit or miss prospect, and Giddens as a slap hitter who gets on base but doesn't have the homerun power.
Ainge has a big to do list to cover this summer, and at the top of the list is to keep Tom Thibodeau. We won this year because of his defensive game plan. I can honestly say that we don't win without him. Do whatever it takes to keep him, even if it means making him the highest paid assistant coach in the league.
Next big decision on the list is whether to keep James Posey or not. Its not that Ainge doesn't want Posey here--its just that if Posey asks for his fair share of the loot (and he deserves it), he'll be too costly to keep. IMO, if Ainge and Co have their sights on repeating as champs, they have to, at all costs, bring back James Posey. I'd argue that Posey's importance on the team was just as important as any of the starters. Pay the guy, even if it means paying more luxury tax--tht's the price you have to pay to win another title.
I've read that PJ Brown is going to retire. That leaves us without a veteran big man who rebounds, defends, and hits open shots. To me, a player like Brown is vital. You could trust a guy like PJ not to cough up the game with dumb plays. Finding his replacement is important.
Eddie House is another key contributor whose future Ainge needs to decide on. He and Cassell were brought in to handle the backup PG duties and knock down perimeter jumpers. But with talk that Tyronne Lue might be headed this way, we have House's and Cassell's replacement in place. No worries here. In a couple of years, Gabe Pruitt could fill this role.
What about Tony Allen? If it were my choice, I'm keeping him. Though we hear the same thing every year, that this will be Tony's breakout year, this year is different. I believe Tony saw the importance of being prepared for battle every night, and the importance of keeping focused throughout the game first hand, as he was a part of this championship run. He experienced how it feels to be on a winning team, and he now realizes the price, and the effort it takes to be this good.
If we need to clear some roster space, its time to cut ties with Scalabrine and Pollard. Neither were important in our championship run. Not sure who will take them off our hands, but Ainge must shop them around.
What about Powe and Big Baby? I think they are both safe for now, but one day there may not be enough space to keep both. Ainge needs to decide which one he'll keep. It looks like if it came down to it, Powe would be the keeper. Leon could be our low post scoring presence, even from this upcoming season. And he's a rebounding magnet, and an unexpected shot blocker. Baby can be exciting, but Powe is more productive.
So here's our gameplan.
Keep James Posey (no brainer) Bring in Lue to replace House and Cassell (better backup PG) Find PJ Brown's replacement (easier said than done--what about Kurt Thomas?) Cut off Scalabrine and Pollard and give their roster space to Giddens and Walker Sign Tony Allen to his qualifying offer and give him a year to prove himself
Next year, we'll have the Big 3 and a playoff tested Perkins and Rajon who will be a year older and a year more seasoned. James Posey off the bench, along with Tyronne Lue and PJ Brown's replacement. Powe will provide 15 minutes of low post scoring and solid rebounding and TA will come in and be a defensive pest.
Pruitt, Giddens, and Walker will go to the NBDL and improve their games there.