Tristan Thompson to Boston: 2 years, $19M, player option to re-up with Khloé Kardashian

nighthob

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Williams is always hurt (whether he's on the court or not) and he's in year 3. At this point the Celtics cannot rely on him to be the only backup big, and if he wants the playing time, he has to get there on his own. Theis is undersized (making him weak in a few key matchups) and a FA after this year.
Beyond that the league schedule is going to be heavily compressed next year, using the Williams Gang as your only backups is a recipe for Theis breaking down. So having two starter quality centers means that, in theory, Boston gets to the playoffs next year with both guys rested and healthy. And still plenty of minutes for Gill and Rill to get playing time and develop. One more big wing and they’re ready to roll.
 

mcpickl

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I think they tried, but Milsap resigned in Denver and no one else left at a position more in demand was available.
Jae Crowder signed for the MLE at 3 years, maybe he preferred Phoenix to returning to Boston but I'dve offered that anyway
Justin Holiday got 3/18 to stay with his brother in Indiana. Maybe he would've taken 2/18 here
Jamychal Green got 2/15 in Denver. Maybe he would've liked an extra 3 million here
Garrett Temple took 1/5 to sign in Chicago(edit, originally had him in Brooklyn)
Mo Harkless took 1/3.6 in Miami. Can i get you to much worse weather for some extra money Mo?
Kent Bazemore got a one year deal for the Warriors, terms undisclosed so far. Maybe some more bucks or term from Boston?

There were some guys available

I'd take any of those dudes and a cheaper center over Thompson and a cheap wing.
 
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Cellar-Door

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Jae Crowder signed for the MLE at 3 years, maybe he preferred Phoenix to returning to Boston but I'dve offered that anyway
Justin Holiday got 3/18 to stay with his brother in Indiana. Maybe he would've taken 2/18 here
Jamychal Green got 2/15 in Denver. Maybe he would've liked an extra 3 million here
Garrett Temple took 1/5 to stay in Brooklyn. Maybe he would've taken a bit more in Boston
Mo Harkless took 1/3.6 in Miami. Can i get you to much worse weather for some extra money Mo?
Kent Bazemore got a one year deal for the Warriors, terms undisclosed so far. Maybe some more bucks or term from Boston?

There were some guys available

I'd take any of those dudes and a cheaper center over Thompson and a cheap wing.
I'd rather have Thompson than anyone on that list, and it isn't close on most of them.

I definitely don't want 2-3 year deals for wings on a team with essentially 3 wings (Jay, Jay, Smart) locked in long term, and 2 more wings recently taken a 14. Plus a 3/4/5 Hybrid (Williams) locked up long term.
 

cheech13

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Jae Crowder signed for the MLE at 3 years, maybe he preferred Phoenix to returning to Boston but I'dve offered that anyway
Justin Holiday got 3/18 to stay with his brother in Indiana. Maybe he would've taken 2/18 here
Jamychal Green got 2/15 in Denver. Maybe he would've liked an extra 3 million here
Garrett Temple took 1/5 to stay in Brooklyn. Maybe he would've taken a bit more in Boston
Mo Harkless took 1/3.6 in Miami. Can i get you to much worse weather for some extra money Mo?
Kent Bazemore got a one year deal for the Warriors, terms undisclosed so far. Maybe some more bucks or term from Boston?

There were some guys available

I'd take any of those dudes and a cheaper center over Thompson and a cheap wing.
With the possible exception of Crowder, Thompson is better than anyone on that list. Sure you can find 80% of Thompson’s production for half the cost but then come playoff time you’re giving minutes to a far worse player. Incremental improvements on the margins can mean a lot for team with title aspirations.
 

shoelace

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I'd take any of those dudes and a cheaper center over Thompson and a cheap wing.
I see where you're coming from, but I don't really think any of the wings you're suggesting here see minutes in the playoffs. Most of the 2/3/4 minutes in the playoffs will go to Smart, Brown and Tatum. Maybe Jae Crowder could have carved out some minutes of the 2/3 or 3/4 players you listed. Some of those guys would probably lead to more regular season wins, but we don't care about that. As lovegtm suggested recently, those backup wing minutes should go to Langford and Nesmith in the regular season for development purposes.

Outside of some games where Robert Williams crushed it, the minutes where Theis was off the court in the playoffs were not great. The logic of this signing is having the option of having Theis or Thompson on the floor at all times during the playoffs. None of the players you suggested would really do that. I think Thompson has proved he can play in the playoffs in a way that someone like WCS hasn't. And again, Jamychal Green can opt out after this season. I don't think the Celtics wanted to be in a position where Robert Williams would be the only center under contract for 2021-2022.
 

mcpickl

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With the possible exception of Crowder, Thompson is better than anyone on that list. Sure you can find 80% of Thompson’s production for half the cost but then come playoff time you’re giving minutes to a far worse player.
And without a wing, I'm giving minutes to a far worse player there, correct? Again, your current backups at your three spots that aren't C & PG are Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Semi Ojeleye and Aaron Nesmith. That's with all three of Tatum/Brown/Smart healthy. Might be able to squeeze a handful of Teague minutes w Kemba, assuming Kemba is healthy. But the rest go to those guys right now.
 

mcpickl

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Yeah, I've come to the realization that you just have a really bizarre valuation on Thompson that differs from basically everyone else.
Yeah, I've come to the realization that it's really bizarre people can't understand I'm saying it's less about the player and more about the positional value and opportunity cost.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah, I've come to the realization that it's really bizarre people can't understand I'm saying it's less about the player and more about the positional value and opportunity cost.
No I get what you are saying, everyone does. the issue is... That's why you can get Thompson for the MLE, because he's a center, if a player had the same position relative production as a wing he's a 15M a year guy (hell the worse Marcus Morris made a ton). He's a really good player and an excellent fit for what the Celtics want in a center (besides shooting).

And the opportunity cost you keep arguing for is using the MLE on what the rest of the world sees as worse players who would have much less clear roles here.

You have this idea that centers should never get paid. But the NBA doesn't have that idea, and so a good center who is one of the elite rebounders in the league is always going to get the MLE at least.


Edit- the Celtics #1 need this offseason was probably shooting, we used picks to add that. A close second was rebounding and the ability to defend real bigs. Thompson is arguably the best on the market for that.
 

mcpickl

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No I get what you are saying, everyone does. the issue is... That's why you can get Thompson for the MLE, because he's a center, if a player had the same position relative production as a wing he's a 15M a year guy (hell the worse Marcus Morris made a ton). He's a really good player and an excellent fit for what the Celtics want in a center (besides shooting).

And the opportunity cost you keep arguing for is using the MLE on what the rest of the world sees as worse players who would have much less clear roles here.

You have this idea that centers should never get paid. But the NBA doesn't have that idea, and so a good center who is one of the elite rebounders in the league is always going to get the MLE at least.
Much less clear roles?

Any of the guys I mentioned would be the top backup at three different spots.

Pretty clear,

Any it's not right that a good center who is one of the elite rebounders in the league is always going to get the MLE at least. This time yesterday people were trying to convince me that Enes Kanter was just such a guy.
 

shoelace

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Much less clear roles?

Any of the guys I mentioned would be the top backup at three different spots.
Okay, part of your rationale is that you want strong backups behind Smart/Brown/Tatum for wing minutes. What happens if you sign Justin Holiday or Jae Crowder and some bi-annual exception vet for the 5 if Theis (who missed 19 games his first season and 16 his second) gets hurt? You're relying on Williams and that unknown player in the playoffs? The 5 isn't as valuable as it was in the early 2000s but that doesn't mean you can just throw trash out there and expect them to survive in the Celtics defensive ecosystem.

Any it's not right that a good center who is one of the elite rebounders in the league is always going to get the MLE at least. This time yesterday people were trying to convince me that Enes Kanter was just such a guy.
They didn't sign Thompson for his rebounding ability. That's a bonus. They signed him because he's an exponentially better defensive player than Kanter. And he's a a high effort, rugged player, which actually does help in the playoffs.
 

Cellar-Door

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Much less clear roles?

Any of the guys I mentioned would be the top backup at three different spots.

Pretty clear,
See I don't see any of those guys as clear top 8 rotation guys for us next year. Worst case scenario sure, but hopefully not, and definitely not in the second year

I guess I don't see it that way. to me G. Williams is the backup 4 (and way ahead of R. Williams who is the backup 5 which makes a 5 more important), and given the flexibility of the 3 starters, I think the youngsters will get their shot.

In particular, I think this is a 2 year deal, and C after this year is a real concern, where we're basically locked in to 5 guys who are wing/swings (and another PF) and 3 of them are going to split like 80%+ of the SG/SF minutes
 

mcpickl

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Okay, part of your rationale is that you want strong backups behind Smart/Brown/Tatum for wing minutes. What happens if you sign Justin Holiday or Jae Crowder and some bi-annual exception vet for the 5 if Theis (who missed 19 games his first season and 16 his second) gets hurt? You're relying on Williams and that unknown player in the playoffs? The 5 isn't as valuable as it was in the early 2000s but that doesn't mean you can just throw trash out there and expect them to survive in the Celtics defensive ecosystem.
Yes, I'm relying on Williams, the second guy I'm getting for cheaper, or a buyout guy if Theis gets hurt

Just like right now we're relying on one of Romeo, Grant, Nesmith or Semi to start, if any one of Smart/Brown/Tatum get hurt.

Not that it matters that much, when you're thin any injury can sink you, but I'd say it's more likely one of three wing starters gets hurt than one center gets hurt.

Edit: I will say, Ainge can recover from what I think i a mistake if he gets the TPE from trading Hayward to Charlotte and uses it to take an expensive wing from a team that might want to dump money. Maybe just take Trevor Ariza from OKC or something
 
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chilidawg

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Yes, I'm relying on Williams, the second guy I'm getting for cheaper, or a buyout guy if Theis gets hurt

Just like right now we're relying on one of Romeo, Grant, Nesmith or Semi to start, if any one of Smart/Brown/Tatum get hurt.

Not that it matters that much, when you're thin any injury can sink you, but I'd say it's more likely one of three wing starters gets hurt than one center gets hurt.

Edit: I will say, Ainge can recover from what I think i a mistake if he gets the TPE from trading Hayward to Charlotte and uses it to take an expensive wing from a team that might want to dump money. Maybe just take Trevor Ariza from OKC or something
You think TT is an overpay, but want Ariza as an " expensive wing"? Wow.

Put me in the solid signing camp. I think characterizing him as a backup sells him short. I see he and theis splitting time, a d I think they'll both be more effective that way.
 

mcpickl

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You think TT is an overpay, but want Ariza as an " expensive wing"? Wow.

Put me in the solid signing camp. I think characterizing him as a backup sells him short. I see he and theis splitting time, a d I think they'll both be more effective that way.
JFC

You only had one MLE to spend.

If the Celtics get a TPE from Charlotte, they can only use it to add players thru trade.(or claim a player who's been waived) Would I want Ariza at one year and 12.8M normally?

No, I would not. But the good wings that were available in free agency are now gone, and the Celtics spent their MLE on a center.

They need a wing. The only route available for a decent one is through trade. The only way to get one without giving up assets is to take an overpaid one into a TPE.

Signing TT with the full MLE limited their options to find a good wing that they need greatly. So I'm scrolling thru rosters looking for non-contenders, that have decent wings that are overpaid on one year deals so they might use an opportunity to just get off of money. It's a limited pool.

It's really not rocket science here.
 

Cellar-Door

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JFC

You only had one MLE to spend.

If the Celtics get a TPE from Charlotte, they can only use it to add players thru trade.(or claim a player who's been waived) Would I want Ariza at one year and 12.8M normally?

No, I would not. But the good wings that were available in free agency are now gone, and the Celtics spent their MLE on a center.

They need a wing. The only route available for a decent one is through trade. The only way to get one without giving up assets is to take an overpaid one into a TPE.

Signing TT with the full MLE limited their options to find a good wing that they need greatly. So I'm scrolling thru rosters looking for non-contenders, that have decent wings that are overpaid on one year deals so they might use an opportunity to just get off of money. It's a limited pool.

It's really not rocket science here.
Yeah, I think we all disagree with 3 things:
1. That those are good wings who are clear upgrades to the guys on the roster.
2. That the Celtics have a significant need for a quality wing.
3. That the Celtics didn't desperately need a real big

I think Danny looks at the rotation without Hayward and thinks...
I need to replace Wanamaker (with Teague and maybe a bit of Pritchard),
I need someone who can take all of Kanter's minutes and some of the other minutes at the 5 particularly against centers with size who beat up Theis and Williams in the post and especially on the boards(TT),
give G. Williams around the same minutes he got in the playoffs, same with R. Williams (and use G. Will less at the 5, and occasionally us R. Williams at the 4, which worked well in some matchups), and then the miscellaneous minutes get split up between your two #14 pick wings.
At some point you need to trust the guys you invested top 15 picks in to play 8-12 minutes a night.

I also think players don't see us as a team that has real opportunity or minutes for a wing. We made an offer to one of the guys on your list at least in Bazemore, he went to GS on the minimum because he thought he'd get more minutes there. I look at our roster and I agree. Unless you are a top player who is not settling for the MLE, there is really only a limited number of regular minutes up for grabs with a ton of guys fighting it out and getting minutes based on matchups.

View: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1330647623783550981
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Bazemore is not a great example here and Robb, who has limited characters to work with, didn't note that Golden State gave him his first shot as an undrafted FA. He is also very close with Curry, Thompson and Green and actually is responsible for Curry signing with Under Armour.

I am in the camp that Boston still needs more experienced wing help and certainly more than another big. That said, I trust that Ainge, Stevens, Zarren and their staff determined that TT was better than what was out there. I love Garrett Temple as a veteran locker room presence because, by most accounts, he is very well regarded but I wouldn't want him in Boston over Thompson.

Ditto for some of the other names. But at the point when Boston inked this deal, the shelves were they keep anyone really impactful were bare like a late November 2020 toilet paper aisle. At that point, it really didn't matter who they signed as the impact on winning games is effectively marginal. Nobody, including TT is a real difference maker.
 

mcpickl

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I'd like to know what the Celtics offered Bazemore.

If it was after signing TT, it's at most the BAE. I'd just choose to live in California too.

If they offered him the MLE, or at least some of it, maybe a different story.

I don't see how anyone could look at the current roster and not see a glaring need for a wing.

Let's say they went my way and signed Bazemore to the MLE and a cheap vet center, the rotation would look like this

Theis
Tatum
Brown
Smart
Kemba

Bazemore
Teague

BAE Center
G Williams
R Williams
Langford
Semi

Nesmith
Pritchard
Carsen

Even if those top seven guys are miraculously healthy come playoff time, you could make the case unless Romeo makes a jump or Nesmith is a very rare ready to go mid first rounder, they could still use another wing in addition to Bazemore. I'd say the most likely young guys to make a jump are the Williamses, since they at least showed flashes in the playoffs. So I think the place to go cheap is big, hoping for a jump from a Williams, rather than hoping for a jump from Romeo(who is still in a cast) or Nesmith to be ready now.

I have no worries about blocking the mid first rounders from minutes. The guys ahead of them in the rotation will miss games. They'll get their chance to earn playoff minutes if they play well.

Also, I don't see Rob Williams as a 4 and the Celtics don't either. He played a total of 7 minutes with either Theis or Kanter also on the floor last year. He's a 5. If you were worried about anyone getting blocked from minutes, it's him with Thompson here.
 

Sprowl

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I'm thinking that Thompson and Theis, both of whom are getting on in years by NBA standards for big men, will both get injured intermittently in 2021, Time Lord will get plenty of minutes, and Tacko will get a few chances along the way. I'm looking forward to 2021.

I am quite content to let Langford, Nesmith and Semi battle it out for backup wing minutes until the trading deadline. Saving the MLE for yet another wing when the Celtics have just drafted two is short-sighted. Both 14s need some chances to fail.

Kemba has a lot of gravitas, but he's still a newbie to Boston. Thompson and Teague are short-term rentals. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are now the Celtics' eminences grises.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'd like to know what the Celtics offered Bazemore.

If it was after signing TT, it's at most the BAE. I'd just choose to live in California too.

If they offered him the MLE, or at least some of it, maybe a different story.

I don't see how anyone could look at the current roster and not see a glaring need for a wing.

Let's say they went my way and signed Bazemore to the MLE and a cheap vet center, the rotation would look like this

Theis
Tatum
Brown
Smart
Kemba

Bazemore
Teague

BAE Center
G Williams
R Williams
Langford
Semi

Nesmith
Pritchard
Carsen

Even if those top seven guys are miraculously healthy come playoff time, you could make the case unless Romeo makes a jump or Nesmith is a very rare ready to go mid first rounder, they could still use another wing in addition to Bazemore. I'd say the most likely young guys to make a jump are the Williamses, since they at least showed flashes in the playoffs. So I think the place to go cheap is big, hoping for a jump from a Williams, rather than hoping for a jump from Romeo(who is still in a cast) or Nesmith to be ready now.

I have no worries about blocking the mid first rounders from minutes. The guys ahead of them in the rotation will miss games. They'll get their chance to earn playoff minutes if they play well.

Also, I don't see Rob Williams as a 4 and the Celtics don't either. He played a total of 7 minutes with either Theis or Kanter also on the floor last year. He's a 5. If you were worried about anyone getting blocked from minutes, it's him with Thompson here.
See I look at it as a minutes issue.

I assume the top 4 in minutes will be: Kemba/Smart/Brown/Tatum... with all but Kemba in the 33/34 MPG range, maybe 35, and in the playoffs you're talking 38-41.

Theis isn't a 30 minute player, he's more a 20 minute player, even in the playoffs with a bunch of Big heavy opponents he couldn't crack 30. That leaves a lot of minutes.... last year Kanter played around 17MPG.... I expect Thompson to take all that and more.

Now, Smart is basically taking Hayward's place, as he did in the playoffs as a starting wing, so it's Marcus' minutes more than Hayward's that are being replaced. Marcus played a LOT of PG, the Teague signing is to take those PG minutes and some of Wanamaker's PG minutes. I assume they liked what they saw from Grant Williams so he will keep his role from the playoffs which eats into some of R. Williams, and some of the Smart minutes.

If the argument was, we should have swapped the PG and C signings.... that I'd be more amenable to, but there really weren't any PGs out there for the MLE that made sense. Marcus's minutes that need replacing are mostly the PG minutes he played while Kemba sat.

To me, looking at what we kept, what we lost, the two places where there were a lot of minutes up for grabs wasn't on the wing.... it was a PG and C, especially with Grant seeming to have really cracked the rotation a the 4, which shifts more of Tatum's percentage to SF and more of Brown's to SG. One or two of Brown/Tatum/Smart likely is on the court at all times.

Now, yes, we'd be in trouble if Tatum or Brown had a serious injury since we'd have to play some combination of G. Williams/Langford/Semi/Nesmith/Gree etc. but let's be real, if either of those guys has a serious injury Jae Crowder or the like isn't saving the season (especially if we get CLE/UTA/MEM Crowder, who was not very good instead of 20 game inferno hot-streak in MIA Crowder).

I don't like the idea of using the MLE on a guy who is likely looking at averaging 10-13 minutes a night when we're healthy and at a position where we have more upside young players instead of a guy who is basically walking into a 18-20 MPG average with only 1 guy on the bench (and that a guy who only played 30ish games last year).
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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A quick pass of the data, without digging into specific player vs player match ups shows that Giannis, Embiid and Adebayo have all had good career TS% against Cleveland. This isn't to suggest that Thompson cannot defend those players but it also calls into question the idea that TT would have helped the Cs against Miami.

Bam had very little trouble scoring in the two matchups in which Thompson played last season. The individual match up data may show that he is more effective vs those players and to be fair, Thompson has clearly not had consistent coaching or the same role over the last four seasons. All of which is to say that he might yet help in those matchups, especially given the Cs usage patterns, but the high level stats don't support the idea that Thompson will slow those players materially. Of course few other defenders can make that claim so...
 

reggiecleveland

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I can't get how people are generally so negative. Tatum was one of the top players in the world last year. Brown was really good, and the team was really good, despite a terrible bench. This is the bench after HG got hurt: Wannamaker, Semi, Williamsx2.

You replace that group with the 2008 bench, forget the big 3, they probably win the title.

I don't need an "it's not the 80s" speech, please, but the Cs almost went to the finals with a 6'9 lightweight 4 (Theis) A project still really raw (Williams), a guy useless at one end, (Kanter) and a guy that would not play five even in college, (Grant Williams) as their 5s. That is some low grade talent at one position, even if it doesn't matter at all, anymore blah blah. TT is way better than any of those bench guys, like exponentially better, and so far in his career better than Theis. Quibble about the money, but I am not seeing better guys signing for less. This is a massive upgrade.

And Teague? Remember how the Celts blew leads when Tatum was forced to bring the ball up and launching some bad shots? It seems small but now they have vet PG who knows what the fuck he is doing.
 

Cellar-Door

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A quick pass of the data, without digging into specific player vs player match ups shows that Giannis, Embiid and Adebayo have all had good career TS% against Cleveland. This isn't to suggest that Thompson cannot defend those players but it also calls into question the idea that TT would have helped the Cs against Miami.

Bam had very little trouble scoring in the two matchups in which Thompson played last season. The individual match up data may show that he is more effective vs those players and to be fair, Thompson has clearly not had consistent coaching or the same role over the last four seasons. All of which is to say that he might yet help in those matchups, especially given the Cs usage patterns, but the high level stats don't support the idea that Thompson will slow those players materially. Of course few other defenders can make that claim so...
Well Cleveland was pretty awful, and plays Kevin Love at PF who grades out as the worst frontcourt defender in the NBA, so I'm not sure that is gonna tell you much. I'll see if I can find matchup data, but I don't have synergy.
DFG% differential puts him overall as a good defender.

For some halfway measures, last year his DFG% differential against PHI was about twice as good as Drummond in the same games, MIA the difference was ridiculous (-1.0 for Thompson, 16.4 for Drummond), I didn't bother with MIL, since I doubt he spent most of the game on Giannis.

The other thing I noticed is Embiid's rebounding numbers against CLE are well below his averages. Probably not all on Thompson, but the difference is so significant, and Thompson is a great rebounder so I assume that is part of it. Bam's were lower as well, but it was less significant.
 

mcpickl

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I don't like the idea of using the MLE on a guy who is likely looking at averaging 10-13 minutes a night when we're healthy and at a position where we have more upside young players instead of a guy who is basically walking into a 18-20 MPG average with only 1 guy on the bench (and that a guy who only played 30ish games last year).
Zero percent chance you top wing off the bench is averaging 10-13 minutes a night if you spent there instead of center

I'd say their minutes as currently constituted and if 100% healthy.

C Theis 24 Thompson 24 Sorry Rob Williams 0
PF Tatum 30 Grant 18
SF Jaylen 34 Tatum 4 Romeo/Semi/Nesmith 10
SG Smart 32 Teague 4 Romeo/Nesmith 12
PG Kemba 30 Teague 18

So that gets Tatum 34 Brown 34 Smart 32 Kemba 30 Theis 24 Thompson 24 Teague 22 Grant 18 Romeo/Nesmith/Semi splitting 22 RobWill zero

Say they signed Bazemore instead and a BAE center

C Theis 24 BAE 12 Rob Williams 8 Grant 4
PF Tatum 34 Grant 14
SF Jaylen 34 Bazemore 10 Romeo/Nesmith 4
SG Smart 32 Bazemore 8 Romeo/Nesmith 8
PG Kemba 30 Teague 18

So that gets Tatum 34 Brown 34 Smart 32 Kemba 30 Theis 24 Teague 18 Bazemore 18 Grant 18 BAE 12 RobWill 8 Romeo/Nesmith 12 Semi zero

I think that gets me worse, definitely less certainty at center, gets me better at the SG and SF spot and more certainty there, spreads out my risk for injury.

in option A, if a center gets hurt RobWill comes out of mothballs and if anyone else gets hurt the Romeo/Semi/Nesmith minutes get pumped up way higher than I'm comfortable.

In option B if Theis gets hurt, the minutes get spread amongst the BAE, RobWill, and Grant at center, trickling down a few of the Grant PF minutes to wings, and if anyone else gets hurt Bazemore/Teague/Romeo/Nesmith/Semi get their minutes pumped up.

I think option B gives three of the prospects(I'm counting Grant as a player, not a prospect) a chance to be in the mix when everyone is healthy as opposed to 2 with Tristan, so they have a chance to develop and be ready if/when needed. Also think it gives me a better chance to survive when injuries hit.

Now if Ainge goes out and finds a good wing with the BAE or a trade exception to fill the spot I have Bazemore in, great. I just think that's the spot that really needed the biggest resource they had available because it's more critical as a lineup fit/need. And it definitely needs a big boost right now.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I dug in further via Advanced box scores.

Caveats are that sample sizes are small and the NBA matchup data is hard to interpret. That said, Thompson clearly struggles when he has some responsibility for Embiid - Joel eats when TT is guarding him. He did hold Adebayo on 3-7 shooting in ~ 11 minutes/three games last season so maybe there is something there. He also fared well against Giannis for roughly the same amount of time. Again, given how the matchup data is measured, I caution taking too much from it but you start to see why the Cs might value him situationally.

Thompson seems to struggle when guarding quick athletic wings but again, who doesn't? Siakam feasted when facing him last year and a certain new max player whom TT no longer has to worry about cooked him the most. Again, these are Vanian sample sizes.
 

Cellar-Door

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Zero percent chance you top wing off the bench is averaging 10-13 minutes a night if you spent there instead of center

I'd say their minutes as currently constituted and if 100% healthy.

C Theis 24 Thompson 24 Sorry Rob Williams 0
PF Tatum 30 Grant 18
SF Jaylen 34 Tatum 4 Romeo/Semi/Nesmith 10
SG Smart 32 Teague 4 Romeo/Nesmith 12
PG Kemba 30 Teague 18

So that gets Tatum 34 Brown 34 Smart 32 Kemba 30 Theis 24 Thompson 24 Teague 22 Grant 18 Romeo/Nesmith/Semi splitting 22 RobWill zero

Say they signed Bazemore instead and a BAE center

C Theis 24 BAE 12 Rob Williams 8 Grant 4
PF Tatum 34 Grant 14
SF Jaylen 34 Bazemore 10 Romeo/Nesmith 4
SG Smart 32 Bazemore 8 Romeo/Nesmith 8
PG Kemba 30 Teague 18

So that gets Tatum 34 Brown 34 Smart 32 Kemba 30 Theis 24 Teague 18 Bazemore 18 Grant 18 BAE 12 RobWill 8 Romeo/Nesmith 12 Semi zero

I think that gets me worse, definitely less certainty at center, gets me better at the SG and SF spot and more certainty there, spreads out my risk for injury.

in option A, if a center gets hurt RobWill comes out of mothballs and if anyone else gets hurt the Romeo/Semi/Nesmith minutes get pumped up way higher than I'm comfortable.

In option B if Theis gets hurt, the minutes get spread amongst the BAE, RobWill, and Grant at center, trickling down a few of the Grant PF minutes to wings, and if anyone else gets hurt Bazemore/Teague/Romeo/Nesmith/Semi get their minutes pumped up.

I think option B gives three of the prospects(I'm counting Grant as a player, not a prospect) a chance to be in the mix when everyone is healthy as opposed to 2 with Tristan, so they have a chance to develop and be ready if/when needed. Also think it gives me a better chance to survive when injuries hit.

Now if Ainge goes out and finds a good wing with the BAE or a trade exception to fill the spot I have Bazemore in, great. I just think that's the spot that really needed the biggest resource they had available because it's more critical as a lineup fit/need. And it definitely needs a big boost right now.
We used the BAE on Teague I believe. But the thing is... he tried to do both. Bazemore was a target at the minimum (about where he should be) he just chose to go elsewhere for personal and playing time reasons.

I also think that there are Bazemore level players who are likely available at the minimum when it all falls out, which one depends on what skill you want:
Roberson, RHJ, Bembry, Chandler (might hold out for more), Evan Turner, Hill, Ellington, GR III, Thornwell, Lee. And a few more might get cut loose in the next couple days, There are definitely names in that group I like more than Bazemore.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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We used the BAE on Teague I believe. But the thing is... he tried to do both. Bazemore was a target at the minimum (about where he should be) he just chose to go elsewhere for personal and playing time reasons.

I also think that there are Bazemore level players who are likely available at the minimum when it all falls out, which one depends on what skill you want:
Roberson, RHJ, Bembry, Chandler (might hold out for more), Evan Turner, Hill, Ellington, GR III, Thornwell, Lee. And a few more might get cut loose in the next couple days, There are definitely names in that group I like more than Bazemore.
None of those players, including Bazemore, are really inspiring. I'd rather see Romeo learning to stay attached to his man and do mason work than any of those retreads soaking up minutes. To be clear that is a function of what is available now.

If Ainge can conjure another useful wing via a trade that is a different story.
 

lovegtm

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I dug in further via Advanced box scores.

Caveats are that sample sizes are small and the NBA matchup data is hard to interpret. That said, Thompson clearly struggles when he has some responsibility for Embiid - Joel eats when TT is guarding him. He did hold Adebayo on 3-7 shooting in ~ 11 minutes/three games last season so maybe there is something there. He also fared well against Giannis for roughly the same amount of time. Again, given how the matchup data is measured, I caution taking too much from it but you start to see why the Cs might value him situationally.

Thompson seems to struggle when guarding quick athletic wings but again, who doesn't? Siakam feasted when facing him last year and a certain new max player whom TT no longer has to worry about cooked him the most. Again, these are Vanian sample sizes.
It’s better imo to Youtube “Embiid Cavs” (insert player as desired). So much of defending Embiid/Giannis is the team approach: your C is there to make things hard at the point of attack, but the rest of the players and scheme matter a LOT.

Let’s just say that Cleveland is...lacking in those other players and scheme, and it shows up on the tape.

As for Thompson himself, he definitely isn’t perfect or great against either of them (looks better against Embiid, worse vs Giannis), but he is physically capable of the assignment, more so than anyone else I saw left on the market.

He’s also definitely not Kanter in terms of needing to be hidden, which is a big deal.

I’m very fine with the signing, but I’m higher than most on 2 of 3 out of Grant/Romeo/Nesmith being decent options.
 

lexrageorge

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I know it's fashionable to pooh-pooh rebounding these days, but in way rebounds are like stolen bases. Yes, volume rebounding is overrated. But a rebound in a key situation in a playoff game can make a big difference, much like The Stolen Base did in 2004. Somebody needs to replace Kanter's minutes: we didn't want Kanter to be playing those minutes, and the jury is very much out on R. Williams being able to do so.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They didn't sign Thompson for his rebounding ability. That's a bonus. They signed him because he's an exponentially better defensive player than Kanter. And he's a a high effort, rugged player, which actually does help in the playoffs.
Not to pile on but injuries do happen especially with a condensed schedule. At the trade deadline you aren’t going to be able to easily acquire someone like TT as their are few of them available and are in demand by others looking for big depth. OTOH, as mcpcikl states there are many other wings flying around out there should you need to add one later.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I'll say this, the advanced on/off numbers really hate Thompson's performance last year.

I'm guessing the Celtics have some scouting that indicates that they can mitigate his offensive liabilities.
Having guys who can penetrate, pass, and draw defensive attention are all things that will help Thompson relative to Cleveland's team last year---he's a role player on offense and that team did not have the guys to enable him to be effective at all offensively. That said, he's never going to be good offensively--just serviceable.
 

EL Jeffe

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TT got a little more than I expected, but the COVID market ended up being fairly robust. Robin Lopez's corpse got over $7mil from Washington. 34 year old Baynes got 2/$14mil. At 29, TT shouldn't be cooked and is the more versatile defender than the 7' bigs that were out there. Ibaka signed the same 2/$19mil deal that TT signed, and while I would have much rather signed Ibaka than TT, Boston couldn't afford to lose out in a game of musical chairs.
 

slamminsammya

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I'll say this, the advanced on/off numbers really hate Thompson's performance last year.

I'm guessing the Celtics have some scouting that indicates that they can mitigate his offensive liabilities.
I've never been too convinced the on off models do enough to control for teammate quality, especially when it comes to offensive usage. There just isn't a good way for those plus minus models (as I understand them) to understand that Thompson was going to take lots of garbage shots for himself because he was surrounded by scrubs.

When he was in a good offense with a real primary creator he was extremely efficient. Lebron leaves, his usage goes up, his shots 3-10 feet from the basket balloon, and he looks like shit because in some sense he is shit (at the role he assumes in a bad offense). The models can't capture that context. But he won't have to be that player in Boston.

For what its worth, his defensive plus minus numbers in that link are mostly good.
 

BigSoxFan

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TT got a little more than I expected, but the COVID market ended up being fairly robust. Robin Lopez's corpse got over $7mil from Washington. 34 year old Baynes got 2/$14mil. At 29, TT shouldn't be cooked and is the more versatile defender than the 7' bigs that were out there. Ibaka signed the same 2/$19mil deal that TT signed, and while I would have much rather signed Ibaka than TT, Boston couldn't afford to lose out in a game of musical chairs.
This is where I land. Don’t really care if he’s getting a little more than he probably deserves. He is a capable rotation big and we needed one. I don’t have any illusions or grandeur with respect to his play but I do think he’ll add something positive to the team. Just need him to set some good screens, rebound the ball, block the occasional shot, and push around opposing bigs.
 

Devizier

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For what its worth, his defensive plus minus numbers in that link are mostly good.
Yeah, they're probably about as good as you would expect of anyone available in free agency.

It does seem likely that the Celtics can push his touches down to the level they were during the Cleveland playoff runs (10-12% USG).
 

lovegtm

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I'm a bit surprised that people wanted Ibaka, and I think Ibaka is a decent player. But does he hold up against the bulkier interior guys in the East? My recollection was that that job usually fell to Gasol, because Ibaka isn't as strong as you'd think.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I can't believe that he is not even 30 years old yet. Feels like he has been in the league forever
It was a funny draft lottery that year, the Cavs had a 19.9% chance to win the lottery with their own pick and a 2.8% with the Clippers pick they acquired for taking on Baron Davis in a salary dump. It wound up being the Clippers pick that won the first overall and Kyrie, so their own pick fell to fourth and they got Thompson in that spot. In the much more likely scenario where their own pick had won, the Clippers pick would most likely have fallen to eighth, where Brandon Knight got taken in the real draft by the Pistons, but where Kemba, Kawhi, both Morris twins, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Isaiah Thomas (not that he would have gone that high), and another Thompson (Klay) were still available. Interesting “what if” draft.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm a bit surprised that people wanted Ibaka, and I think Ibaka is a decent player. But does he hold up against the bulkier interior guys in the East? My recollection was that that job usually fell to Gasol, because Ibaka isn't as strong as you'd think.
I like Ibaka, but I think Thompson is a better fit for us. With centers in the current NBA, you have elite players ( a handful at most), then you have rotations. We are a rotation team, and Theis does what Ibaka does better than Ibaka, while Thompson does well the things that Theis and Ibaka don't. You pair them up with matchups determining who gets the heavier end of the night's center minute split and you can produce a lot of value out of that spot.

Edit- also, I don't think Time Lord drops out of the rotation entirely, he has a bit of a hybrid skillset, so I can see matchups where he gets more run and Theis less, and ones where he gets more and Thompson less. Of course the key with him is... will he stay healthy and continue to improve. He has a team option for 3.7M after this year, which I assume gets picked up either way, but I think if he isn't showing much he's a candidate to be traded with a Theis re-signing. If he takes a step up, he's probably the Theis replacement.
 
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amarshal2

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Listened to Karalis/Locked On Celtics this morning and the Locked on Cavs guy made an appearance. He said what we all should know by now: can switch, defend PnR, great clubhouse guy, great rebounder, some lob ability, good screener, can throw a pass, and no shooting/driving game to speak of. He said exactly ONE thing that surprised me. He said perhaps Boston would rather have Theis be the one to bang with an Embiid type of guy because TT is a bit undersized. In my head, TT is 1 inch taller and a lot of muscle bigger. I think he'd be the down low banger. If he can't do that job better than Theis, then yes, I'd rather have a Ibaka.
 

bowiac

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I don't want to overreact since Thompson won't make or break the team, but I think this is probably the least I've liked a Ainge free-agent signing. It's like getting a less useful version of Enes Kanter for twice the price.

I'd be surprised if Thompson is in the rotation by the playoffs.
 
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amarshal2

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I don't want to overreact since Thompson won't make or break the team, but I think this probably the least I've liked a Ainge free-agent signing. It's like getting a less useful version of Enes Kanter for twice the price.

I'd be surprised if Thompson is in the rotation by the playoffs.
I think he's going to be much more useful than Kanter. He's not an immobile defensive sieve. Last year if Theis went down -- not exactly an unlikely scenario considering his history -- the Celtics were straight screwed. Grant and Kanter could not step in and keep things moving. Not really. At the very worst they now have 48 minutes and 12 fouls of very similar play to come out of the center position (trade out a little shooting and rim protection for some o-boards and lobs). And it's not like the Celtics were losing that Philly series if Kanter wasn't on the team.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I don't want to overreact since Thompson won't make or break the team, but I think this probably the least I've liked a Ainge free-agent signing. It's like getting a less useful version of Enes Kanter for twice the price.

I'd be surprised if Thompson is in the rotation by the playoffs.
Can you expand on that? On the surface it seems like Thompson is an offensive downgrade but a defensive upgrade (to be fair anyone would be over Kanter) and rebounds about the same. Which, yeah, isn’t earth-shattering, but to suggest this is the worst signing Danny’s ever made seems ridiculously hyperbolic. I mean, just last year Danny signed Poirier who produced exactly zero value.