Evan Turner agreed to terms with the Boston Celtics earlier this summer, details haven’t been released of the contract but it is believed to take up a portion of the Celtics mid-level exception. The Celtics bring in Turner under coach Brad Stevens and GM Danny Ainge. The Celtics drafted guards Marcus Smart and James Young in this years draft as well as resigned Avery Bradley to a rather large 4 year/32 million dollar contract. All that aside, there is also the big question mark on who many believe is the franchise player, Rajon Rondo. What to do with him now? Well, all these recent moves, may have spelled the end for Rondo in Boston green.
Evan Turner, former Ohio State Buckeye and Thad Matta product goes to the Celtics to join another former Buckeye and Thad Matta product, Jared Sullinger. While Turner and Sullinger missed out on playing with each other by one season, Matta knew if he had both of them at the time, he would dominate the NCAA. Each player, when they played under Matta helped lead Ohio State to great victories at the college ranks. Fast forward a few years and now, here is their chance. Brad Stevens knows this and while he would have loved to have a former player in Gordon Hayward return to play under him, his contract number was too high for the Celtics to acquire and the Jazz were not interested in letting Hayward walk so easily.
Evan Turner’s success in college was at a position he has played his whole life, until the Philadelphia 76ers, eager to have a replacement plan for Andre Iguodala at the time, changed Evan Turner from a point forward to more of a wing player in the NBA. He played the point forward role at Ohio State and dominated in the college game being named a Consensus first team All-American, National Player of the Year for the AP, NABC, Naismith, Robertson and Wooden awards, Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, Big Ten Tournament MVP and First team All-Big Ten all in 2010, his best college season which followed him being drafted second overall by Philly in the 2010 draft. 20.6 points per game, 6 assists per game and 9.6 rebounds a game, Evan Turner should have played his point forward role, which Brad Stevens being so close to the college game, might actually use to make sure the Celtics dominate in the future.
Now Brad Stevens has talked to Thad Matta before especially due to the fact that he is a Thad Matta disciple. Stevens was a former volunteer assistant coach under Matta back when Matta coached at Butler, before Stevens took over. With the Turner, Sullinger and Stevens in Boston, I look for the two former Buckeyes to turn into leaders on a team that only includes three players over the age of 30 and in an Eastern conference that is now seemingly wide open due to LeBron James going to Cleveland.
A starting lineup of Marcus Smart, Evan Turner, Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger might just be what the Celtics ordered for the future. Marcus Smart isn’t a pass first point guard by any sense of the word. Turner wasn’t either but always found a way to create for his teammates. Turner can also help Smart develop more of a passing game in the NBA. James Young coming off the bench is a scorer, Avery Bradley can handle the ball, pass efficiently but his prowess is defense. This means, pending a Rondo trade, the man bringing the ball up the court for the Celtics could easily be Evan Turner. Partnered with Jared Sullinger and Brad Stevens, this is an Ohio State mindset. Of course, Rondo needs to be moved.
Rondo’s contract is up after this season. He currently is making 13 million dollars and at 28 years old, his next contract will be his biggest one yet. But The Celtics are making moves to the affect that make it seem like the team won’t be using Rondo anything more this season than just trade bait. Now there are some other contracts the C’s can get rid of, Gerald Wallace’s ridiculous deal at 10.5 million a year, Marcus Thornton and Brandon Bass who pull in a combined 15 million dollars this year and are in the last years of their respective deals.
Now let’s say you move those contracts, Wallace, Thornton and Bass which frees up space to offer Jeff Green a max deal, pending an intense examination of his heart, which wouldn’t be too far fetched since Green has played terrific since being in Boston even though the C’s haven’t been winning a lot as of late. That still leaves a lot of money on the table and the guys they trade away can be turned into draft picks or other good developing pieces.
This ties into Rondo now due to the fact that Boston now has to make a choice. Jared Sullinger, does he get the max once his deal it up? I say if he continues to develop the way he has, yes. Sullinger has the talent and skill set to be a top rate center in the NBA. The contract wont have to be worried about though for another three seasons.
The big question is now, does Rondo want to wait or have the time to wait? I don’t think so and I believe he will be involved somehow in a big time trade, maybe even the one that lands Kevin Love in Cleveland.