So far, we know the top level of the 2010 free agent class — LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh, Nowitzki, Amar’e — will be taking a long look at New York and all the money and mass appeal the city has to offer, even if the team still stinks by then. We know Miami, one of the NBA’s other destination cities, will be in the mix. We know Detroit is setting itself up to be a major player in the bidding.
Now we may have to add Boston to the mix. During a radio interview earlier today, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said the franchise will have room to offer somebody a max contract next summer, that “there is a situation under which we could do that.”
Looking at the team’s salary structure, Ray Allen‘s $19.7 million is coming off the books in 2010, and Paul Pierce has a player-option on his $21.5 million deal. Kevin Garnett is still locked in for $18.8 million in 2010-11. And don’t forget Rajon Rondo will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2010.
Assuming Boston wants to re-sign Rondo to a big-money long-term deal and that Pierce opts out to test the market, what would you do if you’re running the Celtics? Try to keep Pierce, or let him go and go for one of the other superstars?