The Boston Celtics season seems like it has finally taken shape, as the losses have started to accumulate. It’s hard to notice, but head coach Brad Stevens has to be getting frustrated.
Players that had been playing well, and changing their style of game to accommodate Brad Stevens new system, have been slowly regressing to their former, less appealing styles. Jordan Crawford has been the prime example, as he has struggled mightily shooting the ball, and unfortunately for the Celtics, that slump in shooting is now affecting the rest of his game. Jeff Green is another example of a player, that I believe Stevens has seen all he needs to see. It’d be wise of the Celtics to unload Green if there happens to be a willing trade partner.
The trade of Courtney Lee for the Memphis Grizzly, Jerryd Bayless was a step in the right direction for the franchise. No disrespect to Lee, who had been playing quite well for the Celtics, shooting very well overall, and from the three point line, but his future in Boston would’ve been unclear, as he is a supporting player on a rebuilding team. In the process, the Celtics have dumped Lee’s contract contract for the cheaper, and coming off the books at the end of the season contract of Bayless. This move will give the Boston front office more flexibility in making moves going forward.
This move is more about offering flexibility going forward than it is about the actual players swapped for one another. While Courtney Lee has been playing well, in a limited role, he’s much more valuable to the Celtics for the cap relief this move brings.Jerryd Bayless is a decent backup point guard, although he hasn’t played that well this year, and should be competent enough for the Celtics to remain competitive while he is on the floor. However, much like Lee, Bayless is of more use to the Celtics because of his expiring contract. I’d imagine they will let him walk at the end of the year, unless he drastically increases his level of play during the remainder of the season.
Now that the return of Rajon Rondo is supposedly imminent, its a good time to reflect on what the rest of the season could bring for the Celtics with their all-star point guard back. It sounds that he should be playing at the latest, the beginning of February, and judging by his past behavior and demeanor, its doubtful he’ll have D-League stint to shake off the rust. He’ll likely just jump right back into NBA action.
The gut feeling here, is that the Celtics will use the rest of the year to showcase Rondo, showing that not only is he healthy enough to play, but to be a reasonable imitation of his former all-star self.
It will be very interesting to see what exactly the Celtics could get for Rondo. When healthy, he is one of the top 20 players in the league, a unique player, that can impact the game, even when he isn’t scoring. Although that is his biggest issue, his unwillingness at times to score, even when he’s wide open.
Either way, the front office has to be pretty happy the way this season is heading for the Celtics right now. If they can’t get anything that blows them out of the water for Rondo, it’s not the worst thing in the world, as he has a modest contract for a player of his caliber.