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Discussion Starter #1
If the Celtics really do trade for Vin Baker, that means that the team can't afford Rodney Rogers. I'm going to assume that the Celtics DO make the trade: Vin Baker and Shammond Williams for Kenny Anderson and Vitaly Potapenko. And that the Celtics re-sign Erick Strickland (for really cheap, maybe $2 mil/yr) and Mark Blount (for about $4 mil/yr). Fellers, here are your 2002-03 Boston Celtics:

PG Tony Delk--Shammond Williams--Omar Cook
SG Erick Strickland--Joe Forte
SF Paul Pierce--Eric Williams--Kedrick Brown
PF Antoine Walker--Tony Battie--Darius Songalia
C Vin Baker--Mark Blount

Projected payroll for the next 3 years: around $58 million (which is why the team might have to let either Blount or Strickland--or, god forbid, BOTH of them--walk this offseason, in order to avoid getting hit with the dreaded luxury tax)

NOW! Is this team better than it was last year? Kenny Anderson won't really be missed, but is Vin Baker REALLY going to SUDDENLY return to his form of 4-5 years ago? Just because he's switching conferences? A change of scenery sometimes helps, but it's not like he's not going to have some ridiculously high expectations. Boston fans ALREADY are probably hating this deal because of Baker's contract--when he goes out there and averages 13 points a game, HE WILL NOT HEAR THE END OF IT FROM CELTICS FANS! They will be MERCILESS! Why is the pressure in Boston going to be less than the pressure in Seattle? WHAT? And is Vin Baker REALLY better than Rodney Rogers? Answer: NO! And he's significantly more expensive!

Here's what Vin Baker will be "earning" over the next four years, for those who don't have the exact numbers: $12.4 mil in 2002-03, $13.5 mil in 2003-04, $14.6 mil in 2004-05, and $15.8 mil in 2005-06. OUCH! So you can FORGET about the Celtics ever having the cap room over the next 3-4 years to sign a significant free agent. All you can do is pray that either Joe Forte or Kedrick Brown gets REALLY good.

Celtics fans, sorry about yr luck, but if this trade goes down, well, like I said, SORRY. Seriously. I had a feeling a few weeks ago that Baker would end up in a Celtics uniform next season, looks like I might be right. OH WELL!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Joe Forte?

The Celtics are doing the Sonics a HUUUUUUUUUGE favor by taking on Vin Baker's contract here. They are lucky to find a taker, so lucky that they aren't in a position to insist on Forte.

If the Celtics want to give up on Forte so soon, well, that's one thing. But, if the Celtics don't want to include Forte in this deal, they don't have to. Like I said, the Sonics are in no position to negotiate here--if the Celtics don't want to give up Forte in the deal, they won't, period.

As for the payroll jumping up to $58 million: Yeah, I know, the Celtics don't want to go any higher than $53 or $54 million, but I don't think they have much of a choice. Blount and Strickland both play key roles for this team, and I just don't think you can let them walk. If you let them walk, here's the Celtics next year:

PG Tony Delk
SG Eric Williams (right?)
SF Paul Pierce
PF Antoine Walker
C Vin Baker

Backup big guys: Tony Battie and DARIUS SONGALIA. You can't ask Songalia to be yr #2 backup big guy! Keep in mind that Vin Baker always misses games due to injury--if Baker can't suit up, DARIUS SONGALIA is yr first big guy off the bench! THAT'S NOT GOING TO WORK!

Backup perimeter players: Shammond Williams, Joe Forte, Kedrick Brown. You CANNOT WIN if Shammond Williams is yr #1 backup perimeter player! And neither Forte nor Brown are ready to play key roles on an Eastern Conference Finals team!

Yeah, the team really has no choice but to re-sign both Strickland and Blount if they want to make it back to the conference finals, don't you think?

And, besides, we keep hearing about the "luxury tax"--and it keeps not happening! I think that it's pretty obvious that "avoiding the dreaded luxury tax" is just a way for owners to be cheap without seeming cheap. Although a $58 million payroll is NOT cheap, hell, a $50 million payroll isn't cheap!
 

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I hope they don't give up Forte, I really like him, I would also like the C's to re-sign Blount, but am not sure of Strickland because I don't know how they will rotate those 6 or 7 PG we have. And about the tax thing what bothers me the most is that the Fleet Center was sold out every playoff game and have raised some prises by 50 percent and our Stupid owner can't go into red for one season??? I hate them both. If they don't want the team to win then why the puck (sub the p for an f) are they still the owners, sell the team!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's a way for the Celtics to avoid the luxury tax...

The Celtics will have a payroll of over $60 million if this Vin Baker trade goes down and the team re-signs both Erick Strickland and Mark Blount (while Rodney Rogers is a goner). I think it's pretty obvious that this isn't going to work, Celtics ownership doesn't want to pay the luxury tax. How can the team save money AND get better? First, let's take a look at their roster if the trade goes down--I am including the contracts for each player (over the next four years), just so we all can see what kind of predicament the team is in here:

Paul Pierce ($10.6 mil in 2002-03, then $12.0 mil, $13.3 mil, and $14.6 mil)

Antoine Walker ($12.4 mil, $13.5 mil, $14.6 mil)

Vin Baker ($12.4 mil, $13.5 mil, $14.6 mil, $15.8 mil)

Tony Battie ($4.0 mil, $4.4 mil, $4.8 mil, $5.2 mil)

Tony Delk ($2.7 mil, $2.9 mil, $3.2 mil, $3.6 mil)

Eric Williams ($5.0 mil, $5.6 mil)

Kedrick Brown ($1.6 mil, $1.8 mil, $2.3 mil)

Joe Forte ($1.0 mil, $1.1 mil, $1.7 mil)

Erick Strickland (I'm guessing $2.0 mil, $2.2 mil, $2.5 mil)

Mark Blount (I'm guessing $4.0 mil, $4.4 mil, $4.8 mil)

Shammond Williams ($2.0 mil)

Add that all up, and add in the contracts of bench fodder (JR Bremer, Omar Cook, Darius Songalia, etc.--we'll say $2 mil combined for these guys), and here is the payroll that the team is looking at for next season:

$59.3 million

Fellers, I just don't think that's going to fly. So what has to happen? Here is the trade I'm proposing:

Joe Forte, Eric Williams, some filler (JR Bremer? Omar Cook?), and next year's #1 pick (which should only be about #22 overall) for Chris Mills, Troy Murphy, and the Warriors' 2003 second round pick

Rationale: Chris Mills makes $6 mil next season, but that's the last year of his contract, so that's $6 mil off the books for 2003-04 right off the bat. Eric Williams has two more years left on his deal, and he's obviously the most expendable player on the roster who is making much money at all. The #22 overall pick is generally nothing special--this year's #22 overall pick was Casey Jacobsen, who is nothing special--so no big loss there. The Warriors figure to be one of the 2-3 worst teams in the league next season, so you're looking at one of the top 2-3 picks in the second round. Joe Forte and the Celtics' #1 pick are the keys to the deal for Golden State--maybe Forte turns out to be pretty good, and maybe the Celtics aren't so good next year, maybe that #1 pick turns out to be around #16 overall. Besides, the Warriors need to give Antawn Jamison 36 minutes/game at PF (since they're paying him the max) and 0 minutes/game at SF (since they just drafted Mike Dunleavy #3 overall)--I don't see how Troy Murphy fits into the Warriors' plans (ESPECIALLY if they don't find a taker for Danny Fortson!). And I'm sure the Warriors would rather have Forte and the Celtics' #1 pick in 2003 instead of a guy who doesn't quite seem to fit in (Murphy).

The Celtics get three things they really need in this deal: payroll relief (they get rid of Williams immediately, and they get rid of Mills after next season, AND Murphy isn't making a whole lot of money over the next few years), a backup power forward with some upside WHO IS CATHOLIC FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND WHO WILL BE A HUGE HIT AMONG CELTICS FANS (Troy Murphy, the greatest Irish-American player in the world), and a backup guard in the 2003 draft (there are always solid guards available early in the second round--Steve Logan this year, Gilbert Arenas and Trenton Hassell last year). Here are the Celtics in 2002-03:

PG Tony Delk--Shammond Williams
SG Paul Pierce--Erick Strickland
SF Antoine Walker--Kedrick Brown
PF Vin Baker--Troy Murphy
C Mark Blount--Tony Battie

Payroll: $60 million

So okay, $60 million is higher than $59.3 million--but, after next season, Chris Mills' $6 mil/yr contract is off the books, and so is Shammond Williams' $2 mil/yr contract. That's $8 million--and the only payroll you add in the 2003 offseason is yr high second-round pick, which you spend on the best guard on the board, somebody who can step right in and be as good as Shammond Williams (which isn't asking for a lot, obviously!).

And Troy Murphy! OH DEAR GOD! I mean, if there is one team in the league that this guy NEEDS to be playing for, GOOD LORD, it's the damn Boston Celtics, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? He is a perfect fit--he's Irish, he's Catholic, he's white (Celtics fans love white guys, as we all know), he's got more upside than people realize, he fits a team need (backup PF), he makes sense financially for the next several years. And seriously, are you really going to miss Eric Williams? Do you REALLY think Joe Forte is ever going to turn into something special? Do you REALLY think that you're going to get anything special at #22 overall in the draft?

Anyway, let's say that the Celtics grab a nice backup PG with the Warriors' second-rounder, somebody nice and polished but without much upside. Somebody like... BOSTON COLLEGE'S VERY OWN TROY BELL! Fellers, here are your 2003-04 Boston Celtics, which look a whole lot like your 2002-03 Boston Celtics:

PG Tony Delk--Troy Bell
SG Paul Pierce--Erick Strickland
SF Antoine Walker--Kedrick Brown
PF Vin Baker--Troy Murphy
C Mark Blount--Tony Battie

Total payroll: $58.7 million (low enough to avoid the increased luxury tax, I THINK--but definitely lower than the payroll from the year before)

Blount and Battie are a decent two-headed monster at center, they can each play 24 minutes/game; Baker can play about 30 minutes/game at PF and hopefully provide the team with a decent post threat, UNLESS, of course, Troy Murphy's development (this will be his third year in the league, you know) forces the team to start him over Baker (you never know), but, worst case scenario, Murphy should be able to give the team the remaining 18 minutes/game at PF; Antoine Walker is able to play his more natural position (SF), giving the team 36 minutes/game; Kedrick Brown, in HIS third season, should be able to play 12 minutes/game at SF (and, like Murphy, HOPEFULLY the dude will have developed into a nice young player by his third season); Paul Pierce moves over to HIS natural position (SG), and gives the team 36 minutes/game, too, just like Walker; Strickland gives the team 12 minutes/game at SG and 12 minutes/game at PG (24 minutes/game total); Delk also logs in 24 minutes/game, all at the PG position; and Troy Bell is able to give the team an important 12 minutes/game at PG during his rookie year.

Is this team not better than the 2001-02 Celtics? You're not REALLY going to miss Kenny Anderson, are you? You're not REALLY going to miss Eric Williams, either, are you? Same thing goes for Joe Forte, right? You are BASICALLY replacing Kenny Anderson, Eric Williams, and Joe Forte with Vin Baker, Troy Murphy, and Troy Bell--and the rest of the team stays intact. And you GOTTA LOVE the continuity, the only thing that is different about my proposed 2003-04 Celtics team from my proposed 2002-03 Celtics team is the backup PG, Troy Bell (who seems to be an upgrade over Shammond Williams, and, like Murphy, should be an instant fan favorite). And, like I said, both Murphy and Kedrick Brown will be entering their third seasons in the league, so they should be, at worst, SOLID BACKUPS, and, at best, starter-caliber players.

In any event, the team needs to do SOMETHING to dump some payroll now that they are acquiring Vin Baker--but they don't need to jeopardize their chances of winning NOW by doing so. Which means they are going to have to part ways with either Forte or Kedrick Brown along with their 2003 #1 pick.

Just to prove my point that the #22 overall pick is generally nothing special--#22 overall is, of course, where Boston would've picked in last month's draft if they hadn't shipped the pick to Phoenix--I've provided a list of the LAST TEN GUYS drafted #22 overall. Here it is:

2002 Casey Jacobsen
2001 Jerryl Sasser
2000 Donnell Harvey
1999 Kenny Thomas
1998 Brian Skinner
1997 Ed Gray
1996 Roy Rogers
1995 George Zidek
1994 Bill Curley
and, appropriately enough,
1993 Chris Mills

As you can see, the kind of guy who you get at #22 overall is generally nothing special. I mean, how many of these dudes are better than anybody in the proposed 2002-04 Celtics' rotation? Here's that rotation again, just to refresh yr memory:

PG Tony Delk--Shammond Williams/Troy Bell
SG Paul Pierce--Erick Strickland
SF Antoine Walker--Kedrick Brown
PF Vin Baker--Troy Murphy
C Mark Blount--Tony Battie

The best player on that list is Kenny Thomas, and seriously, who would you rather have on your Celtics, Kenny Thomas or the young, white, and Catholic TROY MURPHY? Huh?

So okay then, let's hear some feedback, peoples!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One more thing...

The Celtics are getting a #1 pick from Philly next season, unless it's a lottery pick. So, even by trading the worthless #22 pick, the Celtics STILL are going to get to draft SOMEBODY. By the way, I have Philly as the #7 team in the East next season (as I think that David Stern is going to issue a ridiculously harsh suspension for Iverson--at least 20 games and maybe more--therefore ensuring that the Sixers dig themselves into a very deep hole early on), which probably means that the Celtics are looking at the #15 overall pick next year. Here are the last ten guys who went #15 overall, just so you can see what a huge difference there is between #15 overall and #22 overall:

2002 Bostjan Nachbar
2001 Steven Hunter
2000 Jason Collier
1999 Frederic Weis (!)
1998 Matt Harpring
1997 Kelvin Cato
1996 Steve Nash
1995 Brent Barry
1994 Eric Piatkowski
1993 Doug Edwards

In other words, the Celtics have about a 50/50 chance of finding somebody worthwhile at that spot (although nobody who will be able to contribute anytime soon).
 

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You have really tought about this heaven't you?

Yes you are right we would definitly be better, but as you know there is no way that the C's want to go over the tax!

They also will not pay Mark Blount 4 mill as they have already signed Sundov for minimum.

Joe Forte would be a great bite for other teams, we could get some quality for him. But if we trade Forte then why the heck did the celtics wast two of their three picks for a year ago, if they had a better chance of getting more quality players this years.

And last if we get the say 15 pick form the phillies we sure would have a better chance of getting a MUCH more quality player then 22 maybe even further down, with the new line ups.

*Others- Please comment on this thread*
 
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