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There are a lot of difficult decisions ahead for Celtics General Manger Danny Ainge. Many of the difficult decisions surround free agency. The Celtics could have a completely new team next year, as they have a total of 10 free agents, nine of which are unrestricted. Let’s take a look at the two players the Celtics acquired in a trade with the Thunder at midseason:
Jeff Green is a restricted free agent, meaning he will likely be back next season, and that is a good thing. Green’s contract next year is relatively cheap next year at $5.9 million. Green was the main piece in the Kendrick Perkins trade so expect Danny Ainge to lock him up sometime next year. In 26 games with the Celtics, Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds. He really struggled to find a role with his new team as it was the first time he was coming off the bench in his NBA career.
Green is a very good player; before the trade he was averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds. It’s important to understand that Green is the future of the Celtics along with Rondo. At just 24 years old, Green will be the small/power forward of the future and be a main stay for the Celtics. Danny Ainge will re-sign him, I can guarantee that. The key is not overpaying for him. That should not be a problem though with Green’s decline in production. Expect the deal to be around four years and $28-30 million.
Probability of return: 95%
Nenad Krstic was also involved in the Kendrick Perkins trade. Krstic started 20 of the 24 games he played for the Celtics, averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. Krstic made $5.8 million last year and if he is to return next year, it will have to be for less money. The fact that Krstic played just eight minutes a game in the playoffs might point to the fact that he is on the way out of town. Or, it could just be Doc shortening the rotation. Either way, Krstic is a serviceable big man who can provide quality minutes. Danny Ainge may try to go after another big man such as Nene, but if he wants to go the cheaper route, then Krstic would be the choice. Look for a deal around 3 years and $12 million.
Probability of return: 55%