Grant Williams, Business Talk and Buying Ideas (Responses to Mail Bag – Part 1)

A brief aside from me about the state of the blog. Vox Media announced layoffs yesterday and several of its NBA sites are being hit with cuts. My heart goes out to those who have been affected and I hope they can find a home elsewhere in this brutal industry/economy. Having said that, celtsThe blog is largely unaffected and will continue as usual (knock on wood). Thank you once again for being the best fans and the best communities anywhere.

No to your questions! Remember, these are being graded.

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What do the Cs have to do to make sure Tatum wins MVP when it really counts in the finals?

Question grade: B (thanks for going first)

My sarcastic answer is “win.” But I think there is a deeper answer here. It is clear that everyone has to step up and contribute. Everyone has to play selfless basketball, move the ball around, allow good shots early on the clock to find good shots, and play within their roles. Tatum and Brown are professional scorers but they can’t do it alone. They need guys like Robert Williams cleaning the offensive glass. They need shooters stretching the floor. They need Brogdon to cut through the lane to break the defense. And of course, everyone needs to play elite defense when it matters most.

On a larger scale, the NBA has leaned toward favoring offense this season. But that just means it’s that much more important for the defense to step up in the postseason.


Do you think forwards and/or bigs will test the buyout market for the Celtics to pick up a shot or do I get my hopes up too high for Boston’s appeal?

Question grade: B+ (very self-aware, I appreciate it)

I think you need to understand the market as a whole. Impact Wings are one of the most sought after positions in the game right now. Teams that have them aren’t willing to give them up on the cheap, and the guys who are available are likely on the market because of some deficiency in their game. Now, there’s always the chance that someone decent will hit the market for one reason or another. Sometimes an unbalanced trade will require a team to drop someone they normally wouldn’t. Although that’s pretty hard to predict.

However, you might see larger ones available. There are some elite big boys who are paid top dollar, and then there is a large population of guys who are available at much lower prices.

In terms of being motivated to take the buyout to sign with the Celtics or another contender, I think that’s very real. Especially for players in the final part of their career.


Do you think Grant has done enough to justify someone putting a price on us not to sign him again?

Question grade: B- (predictable but a reasonable question)

I admit I’m not as knowledgeable about the market as someone like Keith Smith, but I’m still very hopeful that we can sign him to a fair deal. He’s certainly earned himself a nice payday and could even make some more money with another solid playoff run.

The hope here is that enough teams understand that the Celtics will match any reasonable offer. As good as Grant is, paying him like a superstar would be a mistake for any team.

Then again, it only takes one team to offer him a huge number that would make the Celtics blink. Still, even in that situation, I could see that the team was motivated to reach some sort of sign-and-trade deal, if only to preserve cap space on our books (we’ll be on top of the tax).

I’m cautiously optimistic that Grant and the Celtics will figure things out.

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This year, will the Celtics organization, along with the TD Garden, take responsibility for removing members of the audience when they yell racial slurs at players from opposing teams?

Last year at the final there were several reports of people yelling abusive language and nothing was done about it.

Question grade: B- (the heart is in the right place, but it is a bit unnecessary to assume negligence)

I don’t think it’s fair to say “nothing was done about it” without knowing all the facts. I’m reasonably sure that if someone were to point out the people making the insults, the Celtics would be quick to act on it. Of course, they also wouldn’t want to falsely accuse someone without proof. These things are extremely difficult to keep an eye on in a crowd of hundreds of thousands, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.

Bottom line though: if you are racist or use stupid racial slurs in any way, shape, or form, then you should be ashamed of yourself and rethink your life immediately.


Three questions:

1. Is Poeltl worth PP and a first round or 2 first round (I guess Galinari should be included in a 3 team trade)? It sounds like if he can step down, he’ll add much-needed insurance this year and be a long-term replacement for Al.

2. Is it just me or is White playing better defense than Smart this year?

3. What happened to Hauser’s shot? And have the Celtics lost confidence in him (at least for the moment)?

Question rating: A- (all relevant and worthy of discussion)

1. Poeltl is likely to bring the Spurs a first-rounder and potential player (on par with Payton Pritchard), so it could be a reasonable price. However, I’m not sure I want the Celtics to pay for it. For me, the wing position is a bigger need and you may be able to find a big one in the buy market that could provide some emergency minutes. In the playoffs, you’ll likely see a lot of Rob and Horford, and Kornet is a reasonable backup in case he has to take a game or two off.

2. I think White is a better defender off the ball and perhaps one of the best rim guards in the league. Smart is better with the ball and perhaps in every way just because he has the size advantage over White. Teams don’t have anyone to target in the Celtics most of the time, so they occasionally take Derrick just because he’s smaller. Smart started slowly on defense but has picked up lately. At the end of the day, I don’t care who is better, I’m happy to have them both on our team.

3. It just goes to show that a big part of shooting is confidence. It seems that Sam has lost confidence and is pushing to make those shots. I think the team believes in him and wants to see him get over it. Especially in the long term.

Right now, though, it’s just not falling. Some of that probably has to do with teams being more aware of him after he got off to a good start. Keep in mind that he was an undrafted rookie last year and this is his first real season in the NBA.

I think he’ll get a few more chances to get things right, but if/when the rotation gets shorter, he’ll be the first to find himself on the bench for more time.


What happened to Blake Griffin and why isn’t he playing anymore? There is talk of trading for another big one, but wasn’t he supposed to be in that role?

Question Grade: B- (some guys are more name than game at this point in their career)

Father Time is undefeated. Blake isn’t who he used to be anymore and that’s okay. His main role was to be a solid veteran on the bench who could give us time when Rob Williams and Al Horford weren’t available. Rob is back now and there is a good rotation with him, Horford and Kornet. There’s no reason to go back to Blake if you don’t have to.

By the way, for those pinning their hopes on a buyout type: Blake is right about the level of type you could reasonably expect to get in that market. Good enough to be an option when players are short, but not likely to be a rotation type in the playoffs.

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So which of the players listed below should we expect the Celtics to sign on the buyout market?

Luka, Giannis or Jokic? Of the three, who would you prefer?

Question grade: A- (for sarcasm)

I guess that’s a fun type of hypothetical 2K you could debate. Who would you add to the Celtics if you could? Obviously you would take any one of them and make it work. But I am a fan of Jokic, if only because he works to make everyone around him better without having to dominate the ball.

c is the day

When will Brad finally sign Isaiah Thomas?

Question grade: A- (for nostalgia)

I wouldn’t be opposed to adding him on a 10th day at some point, but we clearly don’t need any more help on guard this year. Always hoping for the best for The Little Guy.

I’m running out of power right now, so I’m going to split this mail folder into two parts. Stay tuned for Part 2 soon.

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