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The Weekend Greenie Bag - We Have A Lot To Catch Up On

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We’re back! My sincerest apologies for missing the first weekend in this history of this fine franchise last week, but sometimes when you’re packing last second for a flight to Vegas at like 430am you forget your computer charger on the kitchen counter. As a result, get comfortable because we’re busting out a mega Greenie Bag this week. I’m sure you could say these are always mega bags, but whatever the people have had A LOT to say over the last couple weeks. These last 7 days have been quite an emotional ride and with everything going on I really haven’t had time to sit down and reflect with my fellow stoolies.

As a reminder, heading into the season this bag doesn’t have to just be Celtics related. The people have asked for a more broad NBA approach, so we’re going to give it a shot, sleep be damned. Tweet WHATEVER is on your mind with #greeniebag or email greenieceltsbag@gmail.com (no chance I change this email, far too lazy for that).

Now…your questions

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Yeah that’s right, we’re not fucking playing around this week. Starting off with maybe the toughest question that came in. A true punch to the heart. Nate my hat is off to you even if myself and every stoolie reading this question now wants to vomit.

I’ve spent some time looking at both sides, and this is what I came up with

1. You absolutely make this trade and here’s why. Anthony Davis is a 24 year old superstar with 4 years left on his current deal. Now here’s the problem, financially this trade wouldn’t work but let’s throw that out for the sake of discussion. As promising as both Jaylen and Tatum are, and as high as those picks could possibly be, are they going to be 28/12/2/2 by age 24? Are they going to be doing stuff like this?

Just think about this for a second. This is your starting lineup: Isaiah/Smart/Hayward/Horford/Davis. Think of the defensive lineup of Smart/Hayward/Jae/Horford/Davis. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be in favor of that? That’s a team that most likely gets you past Lebron which the Celtics haven’t been able to do in half a decade.

2. Here’s why maybe you don’t do it though. Horford is 30+, Isaiah is about to be in his 30s, and losing Jaylen + Tatum + two high lottery picks kind of fucks you 3 years from now. At that point Davis/Smart are still young, but Hayward is in his 30s, and the Celtics aren’t really left with much to build off of outside cap space. They have their own picks, but they would have been so good those are probably low 1sts, and unless NO gives you back picks (which they don’t really have) Ainge is in a tough spot. Now a core of Smart/Hayward/Davis is probably pretty good, but it’s not enough.

That’s why if I’m Ainge, I wait this out a little bit, like two years. By that time the price on AD is going to start dropping, especially if they stink. It’ll still hurt, but maybe by that time you can keep one or two more young pieces to pair with him. Sure there’s the risk that Brown/Tatum’s value isn’t as high, but there’s an equal chance it will be. There’s also the possibility that AD plays out his deal and wants to hit the open market. Well you know who is rapidly becoming one of the best summer closers? Brad Stevens. Imagine Davis hits the market in 4 years, is 28, and all the sudden he’s your starting center AND you get to keep all your pieces who have since developed. By that time Lebron is old as shit or in the West, so why wouldn’t Davis be interested if he was thinking of leaving? I think that’s my play.

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Not sure if you meant combined or individual, so I’ll give my thoughts on both as to what I am HOPING for.

Combined: 55 minutes, combined average 28ppg

Individual: Jaylen – 30 mpg 15ppg w/ 45/37% splits…Tatum – 25 mpg 13ppg w/ 43/34% splits

I don’t think this is expecting too much from Jaylen, especially when you look at his Per 36’s. The interesting thing is to remember their roles. Jaylen could very well find himself in the starting two spot, which is obviously going to limit his FGA. Last year he only took 5.4 shots a night, which probably won’t change too much if he’s spending the majority of his time with Isaiah/Hayward/Al.

If both he and Tatum are on the second unit, this is where their numbers could skyrocket. I am a firm believer in Tatum being the #1 offensive option on that second unit, they need shooters. The thing is, if he doesn’t show Brad that he can at least play somewhat acceptable defense, Brad won’t play him at all. It’s hard to remember these guys are 19 and 20 years old, so by no means are they even close to being a finished product. For Jaylen I just want to see improved handles and if he can start to get ready for his Year 3 jump, and with Tatum I am entering the season with literally no expectations. The Celtics aren’t like the Lakers where they NEED their high lottery talent to save their franchise. Let him learn the NBA before we start putting crazy expectations on him.

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Greenie,

Keep leading the Team Isaiah train, its hard in these streets. Just like you, I am a big James Young guy and recently found out he plays for the Pelicans summer league team.  What are the chances he makes the team and or gets a chance to be on a NBA roster this upcoming year? Can’t see my mans go out this way.  Keep grinding away Greenie and keep fighting the good fight – Paul

See I knew I wasn’t alone. Me and Paul, perhaps the last standing members of the #FREEJAMESYOUNG movement. Well, he is now free just unfortunately not for the team I root for. But they say if you love something set it free, so I’m happy James is going to a place that absolutely needs his skillset. Yes he has a skillset shut up and go with it. The Pelicans were 19th in the NBA in 3pt%, don’t really have a ton of options on the roster, and Young is a 21 year old prospect who can knock down shots from the outside. My whole stance with Young has been we have NO IDEA what he is because he hasn’t seen the floor. That’s 90% his fault 10% of how the Celts roster looked, but he’s going to get his opportunity in NO and I think he’ll surprise a lot of people. I mean look at him!

I’m calling my shot. Double digit points and 45/38% splits. Watch.

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What’s the deal with Daniel Theis? Are people sleeping on him in the rotation? Is he even making the team? Why don’t people talk about this guy – watched one highlight video and he looks like a serviceable big. – Harry

Harry I’m with you. I don’t know much about Daniel Theis other than what this video showed me

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At just 6’8 I don’t see him two hand dunking on people inside like he does in Europe, but there are parts of his game that are extremely intriguing. I like his ability to block shots, especially from taller guys for example. If the future of the NBA are these small ball fours, I can see what the Celtics were thinking. I also like how he can put the ball on the floor. Versatility is the name of the game, and from watching those highlights that’s maybe how I would best describe him. He’s versatile. He moves/handles like a guard, but is big enough to dance with the big dudes down low.

He’s 25, and in 30 games this season he put up 9.6/4.6 in just 19 minutes and had 59/41% splits. A low risk move, he has every opportunity to be a steal.

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Hey Greenie,

I figure everyone’s had a rough time recovering from both the physical and mental trauma from the fourth weekend so we could head into the weekend with a fairly simple question. How do you think Gordon Hayward will affect Isaiah and the others in terms of production? Who do you think will benefit the most from his style play? Do you think Isaiahs role in the fourth will be lessened? Obviously W’s are the most important stat at the end of the day, but let’s be honest everyone loves stats as well.

Thanks – Robert

I love this question Robert. I think the addition of Hayward is going to have both positive and negatives for multiple guys on the roster. Here’s what we know though. It’s never a bad thing when you add All Star talent, and just because production may be different, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worse. Let’s start with Isaiah. Much like the addition of Horford did, I actually see Hayward making Isaiah’s life easier, and in return we may actually see a BETTER offensive Isaiah Thomas. Now that doesn’t have to mean more points, let’s say his scoring drops to like 24 a game (5 pt decrease), but his efficiency goes way up? Isn’t that a better situation? Pre Horford what was the problem, teams could key on Isaiah at all times and as a result his shot selection and efficiency struggled. Well then he finally got a taste of what All Star teammates look like, and he had a career year which also happened to be one of the better seasons in the entire NBA. I think Hayward adds to that. Teams are not going to be able to cheat as much which is going to give Isaiah more space/one-on-one opportunities which he has an extreme advantage in. Having another guy who can get his own shot and be a 20ppg scorer is going to allow Isaiah to approach offense differently in a sense that he no longer has to worry about doing things all by himself. How many times did he have to be the ONLY offense for this team last season?

When it comes to the fourth quarter, I don’t see Isaiah’s role changing one bit. He proved his position as one of if not the best fourth quarter players in the league. His crunch time stats are right there with Westbrook, and again, if anything I think things get easier for him during these moments while Hayward is also on the floor. Will there be some games where Hayward takes game winners? Of course, but why are we going to try and act like passing to a teammate for an end of game winner is a problem for Isaiah?

Well by now we know we’re getting DAL, and I for one cannot wait. A matchup of two undefeated teams led by two rookies having outstanding summers, I really hope the Celts are at full strength for this one. Tatum has been phenominal in every game against other high picks from his class, and how could you not want to see these two go against eachother

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Tonight at 8pm should be just a little bit of fun.

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Greenie,

I’m having trouble making sense of the Bradley deal in terms of assets. I understand we had to cut salary for Hayward but I don’t see how Danny didn’t swindle more from Detroit. Morris has definitely improved over his career and his 3 point % isn’t bad for a big man his size but I don’t see his rebounding being the Celtics’ answer at the 4/5 for the future. What the hell was Danny thinking?

Viva, Tim

OK, I tried to hold off long enough. I didn’t want to talk about it, I’m not emotionally at that stage yet, but I’m a slave to the stoolies and I know if I’m having such a hard time with this, then guys like you and Tim probably are as well so let’s just get this over with.

Losing Avery Bradley fucking sucks. Sucks so hard. It hurts the Celtics in more than one area and I think they’ll feel the impact of not having him more than others.

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But like you said, Ainge’s hands were tied. The lower cap gave them no choice and with Avery about to get paid something ridiculous, he had to be the one to go. And don’t look at who they got back as what Ainge traded for. The reason he traded for Morris wasn’t so much what he can do on a basketball court as it was his salary. That doesn’t mean Morris doesn’t provide skills that will for sure help the Celtics, but to me that was just a bonus. I don’t think Ainge made this trade in an effort to get a player who was the answer for the future. He needed to make this trade to bring IN one of those type of players in Hayward. When you look at it that way, the return is somewhat easier to stomach.

But seriously. Avery Bradley was the perfect Celtic in my opinion. Worked hard, was accountable, got better each year, ridiculous defender, not afraid of anyone. Without a doubt one of the most under appreciated Celtics of my lifetime. I cannot wait to see him and Kawhi absolutely murder people once he becomes a Spur. That team is going to be impossible to score on.

God I miss him.

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Greenie, I hope the Vegas gods smile upon you, especially if prop bets for Summer League exist. 

On Jae Crowder: 

I get why his contract is so valuable considering all the absurd money being thrown around this off season, but at the end of the day isn’t it still money on the books for a player who will have a diminishing role? The one thing I think the Celtics will miss from moving on from Crowder is his defensive versatility, but I think Jaylen proved he’s capable of picking up that slack when he got the call during crunch time of playoff games for his defense. I know Ainge hates to lose on a deal, but when the rest of the league knows you have to make a move the return just won’t be what you were hoping for, (see George, Paul) so even if it’s just for a later first or a couple 2nd round picks I think you gotta make the move for flexibility going forward. – Paul

Personally Paul I don’t think Jae’s role is going to be all that diminished. Different for sure, but not really diminished. He played 32 minutes a game and took 10 shots a night. Maybe his minutes drop (I personally think Brad keeps him in the starting lineup) a little, but 10 shots a night isn’t a lot. That’s just over 2 a quarter. You’ll see Crowder on the floor at the end of games and in crunch time, I could see a IT/Smart/Hayward/Jae/Horford crunch time lineup so I’m not expecting that much to change.

Also, I don’t care what his role becomes, I do NOT want my GM giving up that sort of talent/contract for something like 2 second round picks. No chance. I’d rather just have him be unhappy and ride out his deal. You never know when you might need him.

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Hey Greenie, love the blogs,

What are your thoughts on the Celtics moving Jaylen to the 2. Personally, I think they are expecting Avery to be gone at some point, sooner rather than later. It would make sense since he has done so much ball handling in the summer league games. Do you think that might be so he can learn to be a better 2 guard? – Jake

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Jake it wouldn’t surprise me if we see this at some point during the year. I think they moved Avery in part because they feel like Jaylen is ready for more responsibility. I don’t know if we see it right at the jump of the season, but if I were a betting man I’d bet we see him play a shit ton of minutes at the two. Especially when he’s on the floor with the starters.

But much like Avery, his handle has to get better if this is going to be the case. Nothing I’ve seen in Summer League tells me he’s ready yet, but if that isn’t going to be an issue he has the athleticism and size to handle the position. The way he shoots from the corner doesn’t give me any worries about his spacing, and it wouldn’t shock me if in a handful of years Jaylen is the starting two and Tatum the starting three.

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Hey Greenie

As much as I would love to see it for his sake and for the team doing well, does IT making another all-NBA team scare you at all? I am all for #teamIsaiah but that supermax money is no joke. I’m torn because on one hand, IT making another all-NBA teams means he had another crazy year but at the same time, if he finishes just outside and doesn’t command supermax money, gives the C’s some room to work with. – Ben

Ben I’m not worried in the slightest. In fact I predict it DOES happen again, and this is why I don’t care. If I understand the supermax correctly, the Celtics can’t even give it to Isaiah because they didn’t draft him. Doesn’t matter how many All NBA teams me makes. Now at that point you aren’t going to get him for cheap, but that’s why I think the compromise is going to be the Lowry deal. Give him 3/110M and call it a day. Isaiah’s going from 6M to 36M, but the Celts aren’t locked up for his mid 30s, and it allows him to go into the market one last time. Win win for everyone.

Alright, Walter is losing his shit so we’re going to call it here. Thanks to those who wrote in, you guys continue to rule. See everyone next week

Have a great weekend!