Chat with Chris Forsberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNBoston.com blogger Chris Forsberg stops by to chat about the Boston Celtics.
Forsberg has been reporting on the Boston sports scene since 1999. With his video camera in tow, Forsberg covered everything from Massachusetts high school sports to Boston's pro sports teams. Follow him at his Celtics blog.
Send your questions now and join Forsberg Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Forsberg (1:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everybody. Thanks for hanging out. Hopefully auto-update is on this time around (if it's not, sorry to give your reload buttons a workout). Let's dive into your Celtics questions for a bit.
Jeff Green (DC)
Hey Chris,I am an unrestricted free agent, but the Celtics have done me right step by step. What kind of contract am I looking at here? I am thinking maybe 3 year, 25mil? Or 2 year, 18mil with a PO?
Chris Forsberg (1:02 PM)
It's a good question that we're still waiting to find out the answer to. I don't necessarily think another one-year, $9 million is out of the question. Might be good for both sides to do a short-term deal and reevaluate next summer. All indications are both sides are agreeable to a deal this summer, but with a thin free-agent crop, I do wonder if Green will get increased interest, even coming off major heart surgery.
Jim (Hudson NH)
Seriously, Doc was right, 3 months ago, if you told me we would be playing a game 7 of the ECF, on the road, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. I love the team, but they got a bit lucky, and probably still overachieved. At the same time, the only thing they were out matched in was pure athleticism. Having AB and Jeff Green, and hopefully a healthy PP, this team is not far off, regardless of age. Why not put the band back together?
Chris Forsberg (1:04 PM)
I remain convinced it's their best option. There's no elite player available to spend all the money they've got available on, so why not put this thing back together and see if you can get eight minutes closer to the NBA Finals. The risk, of course, is that health has failed you in each of the last four seasons (to varying degrees). Even still, it might beat overpaying for marginal talent or detonating this thing and enduring a year as a non-contender.
Ray Allen (Recovery)
Although no bridges have been burned, seems I won't be in a Celtics uniform next year. Where would you expect me to land? Remember, I only want to play for serious playoff teams, and ideally still start. I'm thinking around 7.5 mil? is that too high?
Chris Forsberg (1:06 PM)
Again, I think the market will push your value higher than it might have necessarily been with a bumper crop. I think playoff contenders like the Heat, Bulls, and Clippers will be very interested. Alas, championship-caliber teams don't often have the money to spend. So you might have to come cheap, but maybe you can still find a starting job in one of those cities. I can't rule out a Boston return, but my gut says it might be time for both sides to move on.
Two parter:1)Are you going to be relocating to the Heat Index after this chat and for future seasons? Because I'm sure a lot of eloquent writers would like to take your job and a lot of readers would like to see their hometown reporter backing their team for a change. 2)You started covering the Celtics in 07, is that the same time you became a fan?
Chris Forsberg (1:09 PM)
I'll take this as the first official: "Hey, sorry Chris, you actually nailed that Eastern Conference finals prediction." Everyone gave me grief last week when Celtics were up, 3-2. It's OK. I thought the C's were going to pull it out at that point, too.
Please remember that journalists do not get paid to cheer on the home team (and most abide by that rule). I grew up here. Even had a Danny Ainge poster on my wall (shooting this sweet little floater in the lane). But when you cover a team, your fan allegiance goes out the window. I find it hilarious that so many sweat that ECF prediction. I believe it's the first time in three years I went against Boston in a playoff series.
Danny A (Boston)
If I can convince KG to come back, which I think I can, what is he signing for? I'm thinking of offering him 2 years/ 20mil like Ray before. Sounds about right don't you think?
Chris Forsberg (1:11 PM)
Maybe if the second year is an option year (for one side or the other). I think you still have to be careful to protect the cap room next season in case you want to go after a max guy (or two?) But let's face it, KG at $10 million is a steal the way he played. If you have to overpay even more to keep it a one-year deal, you should still do it.
Do you think that there is any chance that brandon bass and jeff green don't return. I really think they need to come back if we have any chance to return to the finals.
Chris Forsberg (1:13 PM)
I think there's a very real chance that neither is back, but both seem very open to the idea of coming back. I think Bass almost has to try free agency because of the payday. Green is a little more complicated. But if a team comes with a big money, long-term deal, it might best what Boston is offering. Both guys have to look out for their futures.
soooo, I'm the man right? I know PP is still here and all, but next year, hands down... my team? Also, you think I have played well enough that Danny would have to think about trading me straight up for Paul or Rose? No one else is close right?
Chris Forsberg (1:15 PM)
You can probably rest easy. No need to sweat this offseason. Maybe this is the first year you can actually avoid trade whispers (even if that friendly contract won't make it easy). This is your team now, Doc said as much a couple weeks back. Management just needs to figure out how to keep it competitive this year and then start the transition process with you as at least part of the foundation.
Is rajon rondo willing to spent time this summer working in is mid to long range jumper
Chris Forsberg (1:17 PM)
Is this a chat from 2010? I think he put that question to rest pretty well in recent seasons.
Mark (Marlboro, MA)
Chris, what's your predicted starting 5 for next year? And whose the first guy off the bench?
Chris Forsberg (1:19 PM)
How about: Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Green, KG? I'm just not sold that Brandon Bass will take the $4.25 million -- but if he does, it's a steal for Boston. First guy off the bench is probably Stiemsma fetching KG after 5-6 minutes (I do think he'll be back). But Boston would surely benefit from finding some sort of bench scorer to go along with the likes of Pietrus (if the C's can bring him back).
Jeff C (Cambridge (by way of Auburn))
Considering all the breaks they needed to get even a sniff at a NBA finals this year why bring back a year-older Garnett? Why not realize the door is closed and go another direction hoping to be competitive again in 2-3 years?
Chris Forsberg (1:23 PM)
So this is the old glass half full thing. While some will say the C's were eight minutes away from the Finals and needed some help (Bulls losing in 1st round), others rightfully point out that the Celtics have now failed four straight years to get that elusive second title. Alas, I think it comes down to what gives you the best chance to remain competitive now and future seasons. Blowing it up this year opens cash, but you still don't have anybody you'd want to spend it on -- nor would it net the assets necessary to land an elite player via trade. In a way, Boston is stuck. They just gotta hope that health doesn't fail them like it has in recent years.
If Kevin Garnett does retire, do you see Jajuan Johnson's role increasing next season?
Chris Forsberg (1:25 PM)
Regardless of KG's plans, I think you have to expect a player to make a jump in Year 2. I'm not saying it'll be an Avery Bradley-like jump, but if Johnson can compete for a role on this team, that shows development. I'm interested to see what he does at summer league, which will offer a hint at his yearlong development.
Kevin Garnett (Boston)
Anything is possssssssssssssiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chris Forsberg (1:26 PM)
True, but there's only two real possibilities in my mind: 1) You retire; 2) You're back in Boston. I think your loyalties to Doc and the C's are too much for you to go elsewhere if you come back next season.
Andrew Nicholson fits our system the best with his ability to pick/pop?he?s no doubt perfect for us. he also has al jefferson like foot work--thoughts???
Chris Forsberg (1:27 PM)
His name sure comes up a lot and I believe he's one of the two picks that Ford currently has in his mock. Sounds like the only fear might be that he rises in the draft given the buzz about his workouts. But if he's there, he makes an awful lot of sense for the Celtics.
Collin (Ohio )
Chris who do you believe will have more of an impact next year on our team and kind of take that Avery Bradley step, JaJuan Johnson or E'Twaun Moore?
Chris Forsberg (1:30 PM)
Probably Johnson. Sure, Moore dressed and got some trash-time minutes in the postseason (while Johnson was scratched in favor of Sean Williams), but I do think Johnson's size and skills will eventually lead to him getting more time. Like Bradley, it could just be a confidence thing. Moore certainly doesn't lack for it; I wonder if Johnson still needs to earn that from Rivers.
josh (savannah, ga) [via mobile]
What are the chances of danny ainge deciding to trade up in the draft? I'd like to see them make a run at jeremy lamb
Chris Forsberg (1:31 PM)
Can't rule out anything with Danny. As others in the chat have pointed out with their questions, having JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore and three more rookies would be a lot for Boston to carry. You can't help but wonder if they'd be open to move a pick or two, or whether they'd actually lean heavy on the youngsters for a change.
Cameron (Greensboror, NC)
If we choose to retain Bass and KG next year, what should our draft needs be focused on if Ray-Ray doesn't come back? Should we draft bigs or a a scorer (shooter)? Don't we need to get young legs that can run w/Rondo?
Chris Forsberg (1:33 PM)
To me, Boston has been looking for the same thing for three drafts now: Size and bench scoring. And when you're picking where they are, those two things are not always easy to find (at least not the sort that's ready to contribute immediately). I think Boston will focus on those two areas regardless of how the offseason plays out. A young ball-handler wouldn't be a bad thing, either, but Boston seems to like bringing in a veteran for that role (West, Dooling, etc.)
Andy (Washington, DC)
Chris, I know we're still stinging a bit from the Miami loss, but can you give us a sense of what the Celtics WILL do and what they SHOULD do this offseason? I love the team's guts, but perhaps it's time to pass the torch?
Chris Forsberg (1:35 PM)
I really don't think they have a lot of avenues. If KG comes back, you keep the core together and hope to stay healthy enough for another run. If KG retires, you have to consider a blow-up and maybe endure a lean year in order to put this thing back together quickly. Neither is ideal, but the free-agent crop didn't cooperate.
Mr.Forsberg:Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with all the Celtics fans! My question for you is: Which player (currently on the team) should the Celtics focus the most on re-signing for next season? Thanks.
Chris Forsberg (1:38 PM)
Busy schedule!? It's the offseason. I'm working on my tan. Well, let's ignore KG for this hypothetical, because he's the clear answer. I'd say if they can convince Bass to stay at $4.25 million, that's highway robbery. Otherwise, maybe Pietrus. He was huge in that defensive role off the bench and coming off knee surgery, maybe his offense will bounce back. Selfishly, reporters wouldn't mind Reverend Dooling back. He brought great leadership, really upped his play on the floor late in the season when healthy, and provided the best quotes in that locker room (next to KG's craziness).
Danny Ainge [via mobile]
Seeing that I believe that superstars win championships, who and how are we going to get our next one?
Chris Forsberg (1:39 PM)
Short answer: Patience. It sure looks like you're going to have to wait until next summer for a crack at an elite free agent, or maybe you can swing an in-season deal, but that's not easy without giving up your top assets (Rondo, Bradley).
Jesse D (Waltham, MA)
How important will it be for Danny Ainge to sit down and talk with KG before he starts planning? KG won't sign unless he knows what the team looks like. Ainge can't plan the team until he knows KG's plans...
Chris Forsberg (1:40 PM)
Double-edged sword, right? I'm guessing they have a pretty decent read on what KG is thinking and he probably told them to give him "x" amount of time to make a final decision. As always, Danny and his crew probably have multiple plans of attack based on what they have to work with.
I know this is a pipe dream but what kind of offer do you think it would take to get restricted free agent Roy Hibbert away from Indiana?
Chris Forsberg (1:41 PM)
Probably more than it's worth spending. I think Indiana matches whatever is out there.
Mick manns (Pittsburgh, pa)
What's up with Garnett and rondo leaving the court with time on clock? Poor sportsmanship?
Chris Forsberg (1:44 PM)
My take on this: It looked worse than it was. These are two guys that really care about winning and that sometimes makes them look like bad losers -- at least in the moment. They pulled a Belichick and it looked bad, but it wasn't a statement about the way they felt about the Heat or anything like that. It happens.
Jermaine O'Neal (MGH)
Hey Fozy, what do you think? The C's still got that midlevel exception. 'Sheed tells me I got a few good years left, I just have to work on my three point shot.
Chris Forsberg (1:45 PM)
The correct location for any JO spoof is (Germany) where I believe he's getting that crazy spinning blood treatment. Not sure even that can help him at this point. I know he's still got the urge for a title, but those were two rough seasons in Boston.
Feels like East is wide open w/Bulls uncertainty and major minutes for Heat trio/Wade on wrong side of 30. Please tell me Ainge doesn't want to blow this thing up when the East could be open next year.
Chris Forsberg (1:48 PM)
Just another reason to consider keeping the core together. But I'll say this: Philadelphia, with the right moves, is a heck of a hurdle now, too. And clearly the Pacers are headed in the right direction. It's not incredibly daunting, but it's also not easy. But I think you're right. With Bulls uncertainty, maybe it's slight more attractive to stick with the core.
Do you think the Celtics need to get a true backup point this off-season, or is it acceptable to continue playing Rondo 40 mpg and back him up with pg-sized shooting guards?
Chris Forsberg (1:49 PM)
Clearly the team has preferred to lean on combo guards that can help eat up the minutes that Rondo isn't on the floor (which is minimal). I do think it wouldn't be a terrible idea to maybe even draft a young ball-handler (or combo) instead of having to search for one each offseason.
If KG does retire, do you think Ainge would look to trade Pierce? Would Pierce be amenable to going to play on a different contender, or would he just retire?
Chris Forsberg (1:50 PM)
I think C's would have to consider trade (or amnesty) for Pierce if they can't keep the core together. Pierce, given the whispers around his name last season, is probably at peace with the notion of playing for another contender if it meant a shot at another title. It's not ideal, but certainly something both sides have to consider depending on how it all plays out.
Chris Forsberg (1:52 PM)
Let's wrap it up there. Tons of good questions and many that I couldn't get to. Let's do another offseason chat again soon.
Manny Pacquiao (Philippines)
That was the worst day of my life!
Chris Forsberg (2:00 PM)
Sorry, had to throw this one in as a postscript. Hilarious because it's true. Rough night for Pacquaio and his beloved Celtics.