WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge expressed satisfaction in the roster his staff has put together despite strict financial limitations, but was noncommittal when asked if he had completed the roster-building process with the 2011-12 season now less than two weeks away from tipping off.
"We knew coming into the summer that we had limited resources and it’s proven to be very challenging," said Ainge. "It's been a chaotic week. There’s been a lot of time put in, but we’re still trying to build our roster. But we liked the guys that we’ve signed and the team that we have."
How close is he to finalizing the Celtics' roster?
"I don’t know the answer to that," he said. "We only make moves if we think they fit our parameters. We may be done. But we may not be."
Pressed if the team needed another big, Ainge noted, "Yeah, probably so. That would be nice. And not just big, but somebody who can play and is big."
Ainge shed a little more light on the Celtics' roster situation noting that the team used its full tax-payer mid-level exception ($3 million) to ink Chris Wilcox at the start of free agency last week. He also confirmed that Sasha Pavlovic's one-year, minimum deal is fully guaranteed. That means that, outside of trades, the team is limited to minimum contract signings and space is quickly filling up without having to eat a contract in order to add another body.
Ainge passed on the opportunity to discuss free agent David West signing with the Pacers. Boston reportedly had a sign-and-trade agreement in place with New Orleans involving Jermaine O'Neal before the deal fell apart and West signed a two-year, $20 million contract in Indiana.
The Celtics did a nice job not committing to longer-term deals this offseason. Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and JaJuan Johnson are the only players with guaranteed deals beyond this year. Newly signed Brandon Bass has a player option, while rookie E'Twaun Moore has a team option in his second season. The remainder of the team is on one-year pacts, allowing the team financial flexibility this summer.
Even still, the Celtics have committed roughly $85.6 million to 14 contracts and are on pace to pay a hefty luxury tax bill (teams must pay dollar for dollar over the roughly $70 million threshold).