Thomsen talks about the teams who will be big players in the market at that time, like the Knicks (who made two trades the other day geared towards clearing the books for 2010), the Cavs and the Nets. But what about Boston? Can they get into this contest?
Actually, I think they can. If you check out the numbers (all courtesy of hoopshype.com), the Celtics could make a run at one player before the 2010-2011 season.
After the 2009-10 season, the Celtics will still have four players under contract; Garnett, Pierce, Perkins and Rondo (on a qualifying offer). They will be on the books for a little more than $48.4 million in the 2010-11 season. Now figure that the Celtics will extend Leon Powe past his current deal that expires this summer and that Rondo will likely get a better deal by then that pays him more like $5 million in 2010-11. Now figure the total to be around $56 million. Toss in role players and the like and you're likely looking at $60 million or so. That leaves enough room for the Celtics (if they are willing to pay a little luxury tax) to make a run at a player like Chris Bosh and offer him the max six-year, $120 million deal.
Now Toronto may be able to offer him more. But could they offer him a chance to play with Pierce and Garnett, a chance to have a great point guard running the offense and a legit shot at a title? There are very few teams that can make an offer like that.
I'm not including LeBron in this, because we all know he's hooking up with Jay-Z and the Nets. Wade will probably stay in Miami. Stoudemire would be interesting, so I could see him as a possibility.
But I would love to see Bosh wearing the Celtic green. And with Pierce's contract expiring after 2011 and Garnett's finishing in 2012, he would be well-poised to be the face of the team and part of a possible new "Three Amigos" with Perkins and Rondo.
I am sure this is all just a pipe-dream. But it's a nice one to have.