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In A Stunning Twist, It Turns Out There Will Be No Heist For Ime Udoka As The Celtics Are Apparently Letting Him Leave For Free

Brian Babineau. Getty Images.

The challenge with the blog game is that shit happens so fast in real time that something you write could immediately be proven wrong as we all get the details at the same time. It's what happens when you get Shams/Woj bombs every two seconds and everything is a bit chaotic as we wait for the full picture to be painted.

That's basically exactly what happened with my Ime blog from earlier. I think most out there thought that if the Celts were going to allow the Nets to inquire and hire Ime Udoka, that there would be at least some type of compensation attached to it. Why wouldn't you ask for it? There's precedent with the Doc Rivers trade in 2015, Ime is under contract, seems like a no brainer.

As it turns out, the Celts decided to go in the complete opposite direction and not ask for a single thing

As with almost everything revolving around the Ime Udoka situation, I'm left with more questions than answers. On the surface, it feels like bad asset management to let something walk out the door for free when you technically did not have to do that. But then you feel a little gross even talking about Ime as an "asset" when for all we know he did some pretty fucked up shit. I think that's an element that makes this all so confusing, we don't even know what he did! Or at least the full details around it.

At this point we're all speculating, so here's the best thing I can come up with

1. The Celts initially wanted to fire Ime but couldn't due to legal/contract reasons. The Nets taking him off their hands basically lets them do that while not having to pay his contract/deal with any legal issues that might come up by firing him.

2. Wyc decided to help Ime out and not get in the way of another opportunity or ask for a return that could compromise it

3. Brad may have wanted a return, but got the direction to just get Ime the hell out of the organization and be done with it

My gut says it's probably close in some ways to #1. Remember, it never really made sense that whatever Ime did was bad enough to suspend for the year but not immediately fire. That told me there was probably a bunch of shit the Celts had to do to get their ducks in a row in order to pull the trigger on firing him, and the year long suspension was their way to simply get him the hell away from the team.

This way, those ducks are no longer needed. The Celts get Ime out the same way they would have if they initially fired him and don't have to worry about any potential issues/legal battles over it. 

It's just wild how none of this feels like it makes any sense from the outside looking in, because none of us know what the hell happened and we'll probably never know. There's obviously a reason why the Celts would let Ime go to a division rival for free, but I doubt we ever hear it. This is how I envision Brad/Wyc answering any questions about it 

"Our focus right now is on the guys who are here and how they can help us reach our goal of winning a championship. We believe in Joe as an organization and look forward to moving on from this situation"

My question is, if Ime is now gone from the Celts, do they finally leak what happened? It's not their problem anymore. The Nets are already dealing with Ime backlash anyway, this coming from the daughter of the Bucks owner


I will say this. While it may be annoying that the Celts didn't get a return, there is some relief that this whole thing is finally done and over with from a Celts perspective. The book is closed. There isn't any sort of Ime cloud hanging over the team/franchise anymore. For all we know that could be just as valuable. 

By now I think Brad has earned the benefit of the doubt, and without the details, it makes things tricky. On the surface, it feels like a miss by not getting a single asset in return just in terms of asset management. But at the end of the day who the hell knows? The whole thing is still so bizarre.