Day 149: The NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout.
The two sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, and after coming to terms, all that is left is for the owner and players to cross the i’s and dot the t’s. If everything goes according to plan, the season begins on Dec. 25.
In the past few years, the NBA turned Christmas day into a spectacle, scheduling the top matchups between famed teams and players. After long and grueling negotiations that predicted no season at all, what better way to bring holiday spirit than with the season opener of the 2011-2012 season.
The Boston Celtics open in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks on Christmas, but there is plenty of work to be done in the 31 days prior to the game.
The Celtics have six players under contract: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, and Avery Bradley. They also have three unsigned rookies: JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, and Gilbert Brown (they have no rights).
The biggest challenge for the Celtics in the short off-season is going to be who they decide to re-sign and who they let go to look for better options elsewhere. Jeff Green is a restricted free agent and has expressed great interest in remaining with the Celtics, and the front office should keep him around and give him another opportunity to showcase what he has to offer.
Then there is Glen Davis, Delonte West, Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, Sasha Pavlovic, and Carlos Arroyo, who are all are unrestricted free agents.
The Celtics should look for a better option than Davis, whose play is inconsistent at best. West should be resigned to come off the bench and provide support to Rondo and the other players in the backcourt.
Krstic signed with a team in Moscow and is not expected to be back in Boston. Murphy, Pavlovic, and Arroyo probably will not return, and the Celtics can find much better players to fill their sport.
Hold on tight because this training camp period is going to go by very quickly, so stay tuned to see who goes and who stays as we anxiously await Dec. 25.