With the leaders of this team being traded to Brooklyn this off season, Danny Ainge knew that he would need someone to step up and be a veteran leader. From what Danny has said, he doesn't plan to trade Rondo and he will be the new face of the franchise, replacing Paul Pierce. But, Rondo has always had a veteran to lean on and the inclusion of Keith Bogans in the trade insures that there will still be a veteran leader along side of Rajon Rondo.
Yes, there were Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace, but neither is known as a particularly strong locker room leader. Crash will give his all on the court and with Humphries' off court issues still hanging around, he couldn't be counted on. Brandon Bass might step into the role, but he started some complaining last season about his role and hasn't been a verbal leader in the past. Enter Keith Bogans who is just what the Celtics needed. From ESPN Boston:
With a minute left on the clock, veteran guard Keith Bogans barked at the team to pick it up and finish strong. This, in a nutshell, is Bogans' role in Boston: to be a vocal leader for a young team.
"Keith Bogans is a guy that's known throughout the league as a consummate teammate," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "You look at him, and he's a guy that may not start in the starting lineup, but he's found his way into a starting lineup a lot over the course of his career. He makes shots and, on a day like today, where we lost our legs a little bit, he stood out a little bit more because he's in really good shape, he takes care of himself, and he competes all the way until the end."
At the time of the trade, his 3 year $15.9 million contract was considered a throw in to make the trade work. Only the first year of the contract is guaranteed, but it allowed the Celtics to gain a $10.3 million trade exception, which could be very valuable in the rebuild process. Next off season, the Celtics could waive Bogans with no penalties for some room under the cap, or they could use his non-guaranteed contract to make a deal with a team that needs to clear cap space.
Bogans may not see a lot of playing time this season, but his role is already clear. He will be a leader in the locker room and an invaluable asset to help Rajon Rondo as he takes the reins of the team as their leader. He will push the young guys in practice and will make the most of any minutes he does get without many mistakes.
"The most important thing is how hard we have to work," Bogans said. "We set the tone early on [Day 1], Coach did a good job setting the tone, and now we know what we have to do to get where we want to be."
Leadership like that is why Keith Bogans is going to be an important part of this rebuilding season and beyond.
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