Weekly Q&A Mailbag | Week 3 | Dec 6th - 12th Dec
We got some awesome questions from you guys this week. A lot of excitement surrounds this time of year. Trade rumors are rampant, playoff positioning is starting to shape up, and the All-Star break is right around the corner. Let's jump in with some questions.
From Raoul Duke @WWMTD: Any more news on the possible signing of Larry Sanders?
Thanks for the question Raoul. It was confirmed by multiple sources that Larry Sanders did indeed work out for the Celtics last week. Afterwards pictures surfaced of Jae Crowder treating Sanders to dinner so you know there was some interest on the players’ part as well. Unfortunately, after the work out news came out that Sanders simply did not impress Celtic’s brass. Word was that he just did not look good. I can’t say that I am necessarily surprised by the fact that he didn’t look good because he has been out of the game for about three years. I think that the Celtics are so desperate for rebounding and defensive help that if Sanders even showed an inkling of skills they probably would have signed him. Simply put, it didn’t work out and Sanders isn’t ready to play in the league again.
Two questions from Celtics Fanatic @celtic_diehard: 1) @CelticsDirect if you had your choice at one of the top 3 PGs in this upcoming draft class TODAY, who would it be?
Great question; Markelle Fultz is the most fascinating prospect in this draft in my opinion. His offensive instincts are off the charts averaging 24-6-6 a game. I think he has also surprised a lot of people showing that he can play above average defense. Add on the fact that he is 6’4”, you have yourself a dream point guard for today’s NBA. it is important to have positional versatility and Fultz’ skills and size lends itself very well to that. Where things become very interesting is if the Celtics have the chance to draft him. If they were to draft Fultz, or any of the point guards for that matter, they would have to make a decision on Avery Bradley and IT. Both of those guys are due for huge pay raises in the very near future, and unless Ainge thinks they are in a good position to truly compete for a championship, I am not sure if he would be willing to pay both. With Fultz in the fold they could 1) move IT to the 2 guard spot, because he plays very well off the ball, 2) keep AB in the starting lineup and move IT to a 6th man role, or 3) trade either IT or Bradley and pair the other with Fultz. The Celtics have a surplus of guards, but I believe Fultz is a true difference maker and if the Celtics have to opportunity to draft him, they should do everything they can to make him their starting point guard of the future.
2) Do you think the Celts will resign Kelly Olynyk
It depends on if they acquire a center and what kind of free agents they want to sign. I think Stevens and Ainge both love KO, but if they think resigning him will impeded them from adding a transcendent star in any way, I don’t think they would have a problem moving on from him. However, if they acquire the players they want and can afford to sign him at a reasonable price, they will. Also, if they are unable to acquire impact free agents or trade for a superstar, they would keep KO in the fold.
From Hunter @hyples35: @CelticsDirect you know of any players we do actually find fitting for Boston ? (Butler, George, etc) cousins doesn't seem like he's moving
Hey Hunter. I agree with you that Cousins probably isn’t being traded any time soon, if at all. Maybe even simply due to the fact that he can make the most money by staying with the Kings. In terms of superstars the Celtics are interested in and may be available, I think that the most likely person to be traded is Jimmy Butler. The D-Wade/Butler/Rondo experiment has completely failed in Chicago and they seem to have completely tuned out Fred Hoiberg. I think now is the perfect time for Chicago to hit the reset button by trading Butler. They are lightyears away from competing for a championship and not a team in the NBA would be interested in trading for Wade or Rondo due to their age and diminishing skills. Paul George, Anthony Davis, and other superstars do not seem likely to move. So for Celtics fans dreaming of a transcendent player to join the green team, I think Butler is the guy to keep an eye on. In terms of a package for Butler, I would think one of the Brooklyn picks, Amir Johnson, as well as either AB/Jae and Rozier/Smart.
From @CelticsTalk18: Who is the best, obtainable center we should consider getting?
Good question, especially during this time of year it is important to think realistically. I think the most obtainable centers that the Celtics have expressed interest in are Andrew Bogut and Nikola Vucevic. Bogut could potentially be available for next to nothing. His offensive game is severely limited but his rebounding and defense are both very good. He could be a good center to pair with Horford for at least the rest of this year and potentially the next couple of years. Vucevic is a budding star that I think could be a real difference maker on a contending team. He is a double double machine that does not get much playing time on a very bad Orlando team. I think pairing Vucevic with Horford and having the opportunity to play pick and roll offense with IT could be lethal. Vucevic is also only 26 so he could realistically be a part of the next great Celtics team.
From @andr3w_21: When do you realistically think Jimmy Butler becomes available?
Thanks for the question. I think if Jimmy Butler is to be traded, it will happen a day or two before the deadline, if not the actual day of the deadline. I think ultimately Fred Hoiberg and the Bulls’ front office would love to keep Butler as the face of the franchise and try to fix the situation between him, Rondo, and D-Wade. However, if Butler is truly available, I believe Danny Ainge would be willing to give up quite a bit of assets to get him and it might be too much for the Bulls to pass up. Players like Butler do not get traded very often and it is usually a painful decision by the team losing the star player.
From @01Turner: If we draft Fultz how does that affect IT resigning?
Great question. I think Fultz is a dynamic player and could be a franchise point guard for any team, and I would be thrilled if that team were the Celtics. In terms of Fultz’ impact on IT, the Celtics have a few options. No matter what, IT is getting a huge payday once he becomes a free agent. The Celtics could decide to pair Thomas with Fultz to form one of the best backcourts in the NBA and potentially trade Bradley, or they could pay Bradley because his contract is also up, pair Bradley and Fultz together and explore a trade for IT. I think the best situation for the Celtics would be to star Bradley and Fultz together and have IT as the sixth man. However, I don’t know if IT would be very happy with that situation.
From @Eddie_Leahy: What kind of trade do you think the C’s are going to make?
Thanks for the question Eddie. I think the most likely trade that is going to be made is a trade for Nikola Vucevic. Orlando should be in total rebuild mode and Vucevic’s age makes him an ideal center to pair with Horford, IT, and the role players they have. It wouldn’t take a Brooklyn pick to trade for him either so they may be able to trade for Vucevic, pick a player near the top of the draft, and still have some money left over to add a player or two in free agency.
Thanks for reading guys. I am taking submissions for a title for the mailbag. I'm looking for reader input on this. Something catchier than "Fan Mailbag." Tweet your ideas to @CelticsDirect and you can also tweet me @ajcosta6, Hope you enjoyed this edition of the mailbag.