Greg Stiemsma went from zero to 60 last season with the Boston Celtics, and he may have shown a little too much potential for the Boston Celtics’ liking.
The Boston Herald is reporting that Stiemsma has a $3 million offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves. While I’m not sure exactly how the Timberwolves plan to have that cap space available in the slim chance Portland passes on matching Minnesota’s offer to Nicolas Batum — according to John Hollinger, the Wolves would have to deal away some salary just to open space for Batum and Brandon Roy, and that’s without the additional $3 million to Stiemsma — that offer could mean the end to Stiemsma’s short run in Boston.
If he accepts it, the Celtics will be unable to match. Stiemsma is a non-Bird player, so the Celtics cannot go over the salary cap to re-sign him. Because they have already used the full mid-level exception to lure Jason Terry, they have no cash left with which to match the Stiemsma offer.
If Stiemsma leaves, which now seems almost definite, the Celtics could look to re-sign Nenad Krstic using their Bird rights on him. The Celtics could certainly find a worse backup center, but a second unit consisting of Krstic, Jason Terry, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger might force me to pray for the first time in years: “Dear lord, I know we haven’t spoken in a long time. But you should see all the shitty — err, I’m not supposed to swear to God, huh? — I mean, all the cruddy defenders Danny Ainge has assembled on Boston’s second unit. Please help them find the ability to stop teams, at least occasionally.”
Chris Wilcox could also be another option, hopefully on a veteran’s minimum deal so the C’s can still use the bi-annual exception on another wing. Wilcox was a pleasant surprise last season, though he was only recently cleared for full-court contact after season-ending heart surgery.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, assistant coach Tyron Lue had some kind words for Sean Williams after the Celtics’ first summer league practice. (Boston Herald)
“I just had a talk with him a second ago,” said Lue. “We’re not looking for him to score. We just want you to do what you’re going to do on this team next year — rebound, block shots, run the floor. He understood. Just do what you do.
“(Williams’ approach) was good going back into (last spring),” he said. “He really worked, stayed in great shape. When the strength coaches told him to do conditioning, he was able to do it. Being around professionals like Paul (Pierce), Ray and Kevin (Garnett) helped him out a lot. He’s not complaining now. He’s accepted that he has to be here. I think he’s great. He even came in four days early last week.
“Last year wasn’t a distraction to him at all, and this has been great. You can come in thinking I’m the oldest guy, and I should be doing this or that, but he hasn’t had that approach at all. He’s a phenomenal shot blocker, great rebounder, he can run the floor and show on pick-and-rolls. He has a lot of talent. For sure, he belongs in this league.”