Celtics Strike Deal with Ray Ray and the Band Will Play On

Heading into the off-season, NBA pundits were nearly unanimous in their description of Boston’s future. UNCERTAIN. Well, a month later, that uncertainty has been vanquished as the Boston Celtics have convinced the entire band that just played in the NBA Finals to come back out for a 2011 encore.

The bill for keeping the band together came in the mail this afternoon and it looks in-line with expectations, at least my expectations.  The details: Ray Allen has re-upped with the Celts for two more years and a total of twenty million dollars.  

2/20 is probably a bit above-market, but given how the market has been inflated of late (Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Brendan Hayward 6yrs/55M and Travis Outlaw 5/35M), 10M/yr probably isn’t too grotesque. But more importantly, the Celts got away with just a two-year extension and that is a big deal since they certainly didn’t want to be paying this guy out after the 2011-12 lockout and during Ray Rays “age 37” season.  

Net Net: I would say this is a fair price to pay for another bite at the apple. It’s hardly a “steal,” and there certainly is no hometown discount here, but after signing Pierce to a four-year extension, the Celts really had no choice but to hit Ray’s number and it looks like they did just that. And in doing so, the Celts kept Allen away from an improving Chicago team who had been making noise about paying up to bring Allen in.

So going forward, the Celts have the guys back together for 2011. Perkins might be a little late to the party as he recovers from knee surgery and Wallace will be gone but Doc will be coaching, the big four will be back and hopefully healthy, Baby should be around from Day one, a couple of veteran faces will probably be acquired, and with a little health, this team should be right in the mix.

And after 2011? Well, who knows what awaits the NBA. There will almost surely be a lockout, the 2012 season will definitely be impaired and it’s anybody’s guess what the rules look like once labor peace is achieved. But whatever happens, the Celts have set things up so they will be free from KG and Allen after 2012, meaning they will basically just have Rondo and PP under contract for about $27M. Throw in some guys they pick along the way, and the Celts should be in OK shape to rebuild at that point so long as they don’t go crazy re-signing Perk and Baby to long-term deals.

And until then ….. the band plays on.

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