Boston’s Off-Season Woes
Boston has recently had a string of luck with a lot of their moves panning out (fleecing Brooklyn, getting Crowder and roster spots being non guaranteed) although; now the team has tough decisions to make come this off-season. With the cap jumping to a projected 92 million next year, Ainge will have the ability to sign two max players with roughly 40 million in space (or 57 million if Jerebko and Johnson don’t get picked up). But before all that Ainge will have to make some key decisions on players that may be in for a hefty payday.
Boston’s favourite gamble turned into a sixth man of the year candidate; this guy has turned into a key contributor off the bench. He provides president Brad Stevens with plenty of options to either go big or small with line-ups. His one major draw back, HE DOESN’T SHOOT THREE’S and when he does he can’t make them (17% this year). In an offense that thrives on space and ball movement we find him giving up open three pointers to shoot either a contested or fade away mid range shot. He is however shooting 41.5% on shots between 3 feet – 23 feet (league average is 39.9%) so it isn’t an inefficient shot but isn’t ideal and can cause Boston to get out of their rhythm. Also when defending off the ball he can tend to help too far off his player causing them to either drive or shoot open shots. Now on his current contract (M.L.E) these flaws are tolerable but with wing in high demand this offseason would you be happy with him making these mistakes being paid upward of 10 million? He’s a fan favourite, he’s passionate, hardworking and I think all of us want Danny to resign him. I’m all aboard in re-signing Evan.
When he fell to number 21 Boston fans rejoiced, now 3 years later lack of conditioning has stunted his progression. Now, he has always been a great rebounder averaging 8.3 rebounds in 24 minutes and grabbing 2.5 offensive rebounds per game, his problem though? The athleticism. He is a 6’7 forward that is force to guard centres because he can’t stay in front of forwards. This then forces Amir Johnson (our best shot blocker) to guard the forwards out to the 3-point line neutralising his shot-blocking prowess. Another issue is when athletic centres come against him they tend to get offensive boards by simply going over him (as seen against Minnesota) so now what is he worth? However, if we get rim-protector most of us would prefer Sully going back into the PF position.
We got a seven footer in a salary dump from Cleveland who played 82 games and now can’t consistently get on the floor. His per 36 min numbers look amazing (18.1/9.1/1.5) but he doesn’t play more then 12 minutes per game and can only play if the match up dictates it. He is a solid offensive player however, who can space the floor by shooting mid range shots. Now his jump shooting percentage isn’t great (33%) but between 16-23 feet he is shooting a respectable 44%, which helps force notable shot blockers to respect his shot (ask Hassan Whiteside). He is best at 0-3 feet shooting 68.7% and forcing him to shoot jumpers is just wasting his skills. On the defensive end he is slow to react as a help defender and is too slow on pick and rolls.
With all this said, the market will ultimately dictate whether these players walk in free agency or they stay. Turner’s production would be missed most next season and hardest to replace but depending on who we get in free agency and the draft may determine whether Boston fans even care if this is the cost of stars.
Written by, Haitham Winterbottom