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July 23, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg
  (1:00 PM)

Greetings and thanks for dropping by for another offseason Celtics chat. Three weeks into free agency and the only new face that's not a rookie (Avery Bradley, Semih Erden) remains Jermaine O'Neal. I get the feeling that's leaving some of you antsy. Let's see what you've got for questions this week.

Brian (Tokyo Japan)

Do you think Rasheed Wallace will be back next season?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:03 PM)

The Celtics keep indicating that he will not be. I've said since the Finals that we need to give Rasheed a little bit of time here as the emotions from that season just don't sink in for a bit. If he does "retire," I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop back up on a contender before the playoff roster deadline. He's still got basketball in him, just not sure it's 82 games.

Joe (NY)

I have to admit in late june i was all for the celtics blowing it up and rebuild around rondo and try to attract some FA in 2011-2012 but now i am more optimistic about this team for the upcoming season, pierce, allen and garnett should be in better shape than last year and they are definately in better shape than the bird big 3 in the early 90's and even those teams won 52-56-51 games the final 3 years in a tougher eastern conference(knicks-bulls-pistons-cavs-pacers), for this year id be satisfied with 50-55 wins with the division title and a top 3 seed if it meant they went into the playoffs healthy and motivated by not being the favorite.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:06 PM)

We'll have more on the topic this weekend, but I do think -- depending on how you look at it -- there's no reason to believe this team can't compete for another title with much of the same roster from last season. It's a bit too early to really pass judgment because there could be some noteworthy moves (depending on how the Wallace situation plays out), but if they got to the Finals last year with this roster, why can't they do it again with the same core?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:06 PM)

The flipside, of course, is that the rest of the East is loading up and Boston can't just bring back the same group and expect the same result. But we'll break down that more in an article slated to appear Saturday.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:08 PM)

Apologies for the brief timeout... getting a washer/dryer delivery at the Forsberg household. Back to the action...

kim simonsen (north dakota)

When will the Celts make an offer on a good rebounder?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:09 PM)

If there were good rebounders to be had at the veteran minimum, they'd be making plenty of offers. But Paul Pierce might have described the free agent market best as "slim pickings," especially for cash-strapped teams like the Celtics. I think the best hope for C's fans is if the team can trade Wallace for an impact big man, but free agent wise, brace yourself for the Earl Barrons and Josh Boones of the world.

Drew (Waltham)

Do you think Scal will be added back to the team to fill out the end of the roster?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:12 PM)

At the beginning of the offseason, I thought he would be. Now, as the roster bloats to 12 players, I'm starting to wonder if those finals spots are more likely to go to Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney. It's going to come down to whether the Celtics think they've got a guy in Luke Harangody who will essentially take Scal's role. But let's remember that Danny & Doc really like what Scal can bring, so I wouldn't be floored if he's another of the free agents they bring back.

Marc (Malden, MA)

How could they use the FULL midlevel on Jermaine O'Neal? The guy was done 5 years ago.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:14 PM)

I think the market, particularly early on, dictated paying that price. I still think it was a good deal for both sides. Again, no one complained last year when the team spent its entire midlevel on Rasheed. And they didn't need Rasheed to come in and essentially serve as interim starter until Kendrick Perkins returns from ACL. And I'm guessing Jermaine O'Neal won't go all season without a double-double. I think it was a solid pickup and will pay dividends for this team. Yes, there's a lot of miles on those tires, but he's still relatively young (31). Let's see how it works out.

Sweeney (Philadelphia)

Does Marquis have the mental toughness to handle the return to the team and regain any form of a contributing player defensively and offensively?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:16 PM)

Great question. This will be interesting to see. What both sides really need to do is just forget about the 2009-10 season. Just press the reset button and start over. As I've stressed all along, if they carve out a specific role for him, and if (the biggest if of all) he can stay healthy, I think Marquis can be a very productive member of this team. He showed flashes last season, now he's gotta show it for a full season.

Raj Prashad (Kennesaw, GA)

In your opinion, what would be the best scenario for the whole Rasheed retiring storyline to play out? I feel like i'm talking about professional wrestling.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:20 PM)

So you want steel chairs and/or a ladder match? I think the best-case scenario for Boston is to find a team willing to trade a proven perimeter player that can backup Ray Allen at the 2 (and maybe play the 3). Ideally, it's a well-rounded guy, as Nate Robinson's return means the team doesn't necessarily need to find a scorer at that spot off the bench (it wouldn't hurt, of course). I know everyone threw around Shane Battier's name and all indications out of Houston is that they plan to keep him, but if they can find a player like Battier, then they'd do well for themselves.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:21 PM)

In the absence of an available wing, I still explore some sort of deal with Cleveland that includes a sign-and-trade for Shaq. I know he's old and he's a liability on defense at times, but few moves are going to have as much of a big-splash impact as that would. And are you really losing THAT much going from 'Sheed to Shaq?

Michael (Michigan)

Any chance the Celts work a deal with Sheed to allow him to come back for only the second half of the season? I'd rather see him back in the playoffs than anyone else left out there

Chris Forsberg
  (1:23 PM)

This is the other option. And Jermaine O'Neal and Paul Pierce suggested they're willing to lobby Wallace for a return. My concern, like yours, is whether Wallace could hold up over an 82-game season. He mailed it in for the better part of 82 games last year, and still came up gimpy with a sore back in the postseason. So I do think it's best to try to find someone with more durability, but in the end, few players have as much playoff experience (and potential) as Wallace.

Joe (LA)

LA dropped Mbenga, Powell, Morrison and Farmar nd got back Blake, Raliff, Fisher, and Barnes. They improved by 50000%. 3 Peat is on.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:26 PM)

I like what LA did and I think that's part of the frustration with some Celtics fans. They see teams like LA making moves that, at least on paper, solidify a championship team. As Ainge noted, there's still time here in the offseason and it's hard to get too worked up until we see exactly how this roster shapes out. But it's also not the end of the world if they simply keep this core together. Remember, they can always try to upgrade at the trade deadline when there might be more sellers than there is now.

Kevin (Boston)

Chris isnt it true that JO having alot of miles on his tires is a misconception. The guy barely played his first 4 years in the league, during that time the most he averaged was 13 minutes per game.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:29 PM)

You can certainly make that case. It's tough because he's a 14-year veteran, one year less than Wallace. But he's also played only 24,450 total minutes (by comparison, Paul Pierce is at 32,936). That's a huge difference considering O'Neal is exactly one year younger and has two more seasons than Pierce.

Tyler (Indianapolis)

Marqueezy Daniels getting 2.5 million next year, one word: how?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:31 PM)

Potential. When you consider it's not much more than the bi-annual exception, the number shouldn't surprise anyone. Sure, he had a miserable season. But Tyler, as an Indy guy, you should know what Daniels is capable of when healthy. Alas, you also know that healthy hasn't exactly been his thing. In the end, it's a low-risk, high-reward situation for Boston, dictated by a lack of serviceable swingmen who would play for the minimum.

Josh A (Boston, MA)

Could we include Big Baby and Rasheed for Chris Paul

Chris Forsberg
  (1:34 PM)

Can we stop the Chris Paul chatter until we get a real indication that 1) New Orleans is willing to trade him and 2) Boston would be willing to take him? At the end of the day, the Hornets need to tell him to shut his mouth and play basketball before every star player starts yapping for a trade.

Smith (Boston)

Take your pick: Tolliver, Barron, Shaq, Kwame, and Josh Powell. Rate them from best to and worst and most likely to least.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:36 PM)

I think Shaq, at a reasonable contract and the understanding of a reserve role, would be mighty intriguing. Can you imagine how motivated he'd be to play the likes of Miami, Orlando, and the Lakers -- three teams you probably have to go through this season in order to get Banner 18.Tolliver and Barron are simply too unproven over long stretches, but if they'd come for the minimum, they wouldn't be bad to have as frontcourt depth. And I do think this team desperately needs rebounding, something the two of them did well last season.

Mark (Boston)

Do you think Bradley and Harangody will have a impact on this Celtics roster for the regular season, and perhaps the Post-season?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:40 PM)

I think they potentially can, but I think the Celtics will approach it with caution, especially with Bradley. I think they really like what Bradley can offer, but he's 19 and there's really no reason to throw him into the fire. With Nate Robinson back, maybe they bring Bradley along slowly. We'll have to see a bit more of Harangody through training camp/preseason to know how big his role will be. Don't expect too much from either guy in Year 1 and they'll probably meet your expectations.

Joe (LA)

Do you think Boston improve if they get Tracy Mcgrady and will that help them.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:43 PM)

The Celtics weren't on McGrady's Tweeted list of remaining suitors the other day, so not sure if there's any interest on Boston's end. I know I'm sitting here suggesting Shaq, who will turn 39 before the 2011 playoffs, can help this team, so I'd be a bit of a hypocrite to suggest McGrady couldn't. But I do think Shaq has more left in the tank and can offer this team more at his position.

Raj Prashad (Kennesaw, GA)

Rondo, Sheed, Perk for CP3/Okaforwould you make that deal?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:46 PM)

More importantly, would New Orleans make that deal? So they get a one-time All-Star point guard with a suspect jumper, a center coming off ACL surgery, and about $6.5 million in cap space, for a three-time All-Star regarded as one of the best players in the game and a former Rookie of the Year? I just don't see it. And I'm being harsh on Rondo there, I do believe he's one of the best PGs in the game, which is why I'm slightly fascinated with how quickly some fans are willing to send him out of town.

Edwin Vargas (Puerto Rico)

Why dont look now to a Shannon Brown???

Chris Forsberg
  (1:49 PM)

I'm guessing he can find more money elsewhere. Boston can only offer the minimum, which would be less than the $2 million he played for last season.

Jfree781 (Saugus)

Do you think that Matt Janning and Deshawn Sims could, or should get the chance to battle it out with Lafayette and Gaffney for a possible roster spot in training camp? I personally thought both Janning and Sims outplayed Lafayette and Gaffney.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:51 PM)

It will be interesting to see if Janning takes Boston's invite to camp. I wouldn't mind seeing more of Sims, who had his moments at summer league. I still think Lafayette was the team's best player overall and I liked a lot of the little things Gaffney did.

Wootay (DC)

Roger Mason Jr. Is he a free agent and if so is he a fit with Celtics???

Chris Forsberg
  (1:54 PM)

Mason is one of the remaining free agents and I believe he was drawing interest from a decent pool of teams. He'd be a decent fit as a backup shooting guard here. But, again, Boston's going to be left chasing the type of players that shun a little extra money for a shot at a championship.

Randy (Portland)

Celtics love the Blazers Power Foward scraps from the late 90's. Who will they pick up next year Dale Davis?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:55 PM)


Derek Havens (Phx)

I love CP3, I have his Jersey but all this lets get him to Boston in exchange for Rondo is ridiculous. The team need a SG and or SF. Rudy Fernendez, J.R Smith, Jarvis Hayes, Von Wafer, Shane Battier have all been names mentions either via trade or FA. To me the Celtics need a solid wingman coming off the bench to really have a shot at the title. What do you think is the best path for the Celtics?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:57 PM)

Best path probably remains trading Wallace's contract for an established player. But again, it's not going to be clear until teams really start finishing off their rosters who are sellers. So I'll continue to preach patience. I agree that Boston's most glaring weakness -- especially once Perkins returns -- remains the wing. Marquis was a nice addition, but I think they would be well served to find an established swingman who can really hold down that 2 behind Ray Allen.

Noah (Boston)

I wonder why we are still talking about Paul when Base Year Contract clause makes it only possible in a 3 way deal? Anyhow, I'd really like if this team could flip Sheed into a scoring wing. Daniels may yet become that, but the bench lacks a guy who can create his own shot.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:59 PM)

I think the importance of finding a bench scorer is slightly lessened by the return of Nate Robinson, who I think the team really believes can get back towards that 12 points per game he's averaged for his career. Alas, they need to find a way for him to be the backup point, but still have the aggressiveness to put up that type of scoring. That's why it's huge for him to be in the system. But having a reserve 2 that can score might further take pressure off him.

Courtney Jackson (Lindenwold, NJ)

Hi chris, Do you see the celtics actually getting cp3?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:59 PM)

:: Holds head in hands ::

Matt (Boston, MA)

Since Kendrick is hurt, why don't the Celtics try and work a trade for Dwight Howard?(just kidding)

Chris Forsberg
  (2:00 PM)

Would Rasheed's contract and Semih Erden get it done?

Rasheed Wallace (Boston)

I'm sorry I'm taking so long to decide. I'm just waiting for SportsCenter to keep hourly updates on my decision like with LBJ or Brett Favre. Will I get that kind of coverage?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:01 PM)

No. Eventually this will all play out without much fanfare. You'll get your moment in the sun when you decide to come back to the league in February for another title run.

Noah (Boston)

Good points about Nate, I know this is hard to conjecture but: the Celtics struggled with the length of guys like Bynum and Gasol, will Garnett being healthy solve some of these problems or are those guys paying volleybally in a potential rematch next year

Chris Forsberg
  (2:04 PM)

I'm sticking with Noah here, because he brings up another good point. I think the Lakers absolutely exploited that Boston has a rebounding issue. I'm not sure the Josh Boones of the world solve that, but I guess it has to be an upgrade over Shelden at the end of the bench. And the Celtics certainly believe that, another year removed from surgery, KG will be better. I think he really struggled finding his timing coming back after the hyperextension and only really found it into the playoffs. I do wonder if he's able to ramp up even more.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:05 PM)

Let's wrap it up there. I'll pull some of the leftover questions into next week's mailbag (including you, Zain). Thanks to everyone for dropping by. Remember, be patient. Don't judge this team until it's complete. Plenty of time left to build this offseason.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:06 PM)

Let's do this again next week. Thanks everybody for the questions.