- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Boston Celtics are overstocked with bodies at the moment and will need to trim down for the start of the season. As part of our Summer Forecast series, we asked which Celtics player is most likely to not make the opening-day roster.
For the sake of this exercise, both our expert panel and responding readers were asked to ignore Chris Johnson and Chris Babb -- two younger, nonguaranteed players who face uphill battles to stick on the roster. Voting options included (1) Keith Bogans; (2) Brandon Bass; (3) Jeff Green; (4) Joel Anthony; (5) Marcus Thornton; or our voters could use a write-in candidate.
The voting for our reader poll was almost identical to our expert poll, with more than half the fan responders believing the team will take the path of least resistance and simply waive (or trade) Keith Bogans and his own bloated nonguaranteed deal before the season tips.
A look at the voting:
And here's a handful of notable responses:
J. Michael (Bass)
Bass has everything a contender who needs a scoring forward option needs. Bass also performs well on defense when the team he is playing on plays defense. I bet his talents are maximized by a reduced role. He is not a starter.
Bobby P (Green)
The Pacers have two options for this season: blow it up by trading David West and anyone else who can be flipped for assets, then tank and try again when Paul George comes back. Or trade for some help on the wing, and try to scratch the sixth or seventh seed in a suddenly competitive Eastern Conference playoff picture. I think Green is probably the best (extremely) available scoring forward. Here's hoping the Pacers stay competitive and send Luis Scola's partially guaranteed deal, an expiring, and a pick for Green. This clears the logjam on the wing for the Celtics.
Not sure Ainge can move any of these guys before October, but Joel Anthony is most expendable player on roster.
This is obvious. Keith Bogans will be off the roster to get total salaries below the luxury-tax line. Bass, Green, Thornton, and Anthony will be around all year because no team will give up value for them and it is better to just let their salaries come off the books in 2015.
I really like what Bass has given the Celtics, but he could be of more use to a team closer to the top of the league. Let's create time for the young guys.
There's always a need for scoring wings around the league. I'm sure a team like the Pacers could use him, but don't rule out a team like the Grizzlies taking a gamble, knowing their window is closing and they need an upgrade from Tayshaun Prince.
Aaron in D.C. (Bogans)
The Keith Bogans contract is the easiest to trade or outright release. With so many players already on the roster, Bogans' contract will be Danny Ainge's first priority move. Joel Anthony may get bought out or moved as part of a multiplayer throw in. Bass, Green and Thornton would all look good as complementary pieces for a contender, but should be secondary moves at this point based strictly on the need to get value back for them in return.
Keith Bogans would be the initial reaction, but diving deeper reveals that dealing him too early would make little sense. His deal isn’t guaranteed until January, so holding on to him and waiting for a deal where his contract can be used as a trade chip makes more sense. Thornton on the other hand plays a position where there’s a logjam of young talent. The only potential obstacle to moving him is the money he’s owed, but there should be a team that needs shooting bad enough to take him on.
Does this one really needed to be explained? The Celtics are in full rebuilding, look-to-the-future mode. Dealing Rondo would likely give us a first-round pick, at least. And there are suitors. The Kings, for example, have cropped up in many reports. It makes sense, and it should be done.