This weekend got off to a fast start, as LeBron James announced that he was going home and is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami Heat.
The NBA Free Agency dominoes are beginning to fall after this announcement and it is deserving of its own commentary at the end of the weekend. For now, this major shift in the Eastern Conference is going to have an impact on the Boston Celtics and the question is now what do the C’s do with their current roster.
Kevin Love is probably out of play for Boston. There are rumors galore that he is willing to sign a long-term extension, or at least use his player-option in Cleveland to play a minimum of two years with King James. If that doesn’t work out, then Golden State is still the second most likely destination for the stretch four. Danny Ainge will still be calling the Minnesota Timberwolves but he may get a busy signal with all of the other calls they will be taking first.
But the real issue for Boston will be the answer to the question, “Can we contend with Rajon Rondo and our roster over the next four years”? If they believe the answer is no, then Rondo may be on the way out by the trade deadline. Personally, they can make something work with their current group of guys and Rondo. It may not be the version they have now, but in two or three seasons, Ainge can assemble the right cast of players around the captain, especially with Jeff Green and Brandon Bass‘ contracts coming off the books.
Can Brad Stevens convince Rondo to stay after his contract is up? Or will Ainge get an offer for Rondo that he simply can’t say no to? James going back to Cleveland now sets in motion a string of events that can make or break the current rebuilding process that the Boston Celtics have been working towards since the start of last season.