Danny Ainge's 72-hour cure

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
4:59
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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The Celtics have a roster with a couple of holes. They could use a big man (who couldn't?) and a wing stopper (ditto). But more or less they have a team, which is a minor miracle.

Boston entered free agency with a grand total of six players under contract, and no cap room, as Paul Flannery points out on WEEI's website.

A few days later, Danny Ainge has turned all that into a roster of the big four of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, supported by Jermaine O'Neal, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green (pending health issues), Keyon Dooling, Marquis Daniels, Chris Wilcox, Sasha Pavlovic, Avery Bradley, JaJuan Johnson, E-Twaun Moore and assorted other prospects like Greg Stiemsma.

Nobody's dream roster, but good enough to take another shot. And not bad for 72 hours' work.

But here's what makes it masterful: Through all of that, Ainge also managed to keep a metric ton of cap space and flexibility for next summer, by convincing almost all of those new players to take one-year deals. That means next summer Ainge will have options including keeping the existing core of stars together, or bringing in new maximum-salary stars by trade or free agency.

Henry Abbott | email

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