It has been an interesting off season for the Boston Celtics thus far.
The first move was an obvious no-brainer: tending an offer to Glen “Big Baby” Davis making him a restricted free-agent. This allows the Celtics to match any offer, which they will most likely do unless that offer is outrageous. Big Baby showed some maturity and ability to perform consistently in the playoffs with both KG and then Leon Powe injured. He rose to the occasion.
It was not a Celtics’ move, but one that helped the Celtics. Eddie House picked up his player option, staying with the Celtics. He’s been a great player for them, and his contract is quite reasonable.
The third was one that disappointed most Celtics’ fans, and players. Leon Powe was not tendered an offer. This does not rule out a return by Leon Powe, but means they don’t have the right to match any offers he does receive. Many think it inhumane since Leon was injured during the playoffs and is currently recovering from surgery. I’m sure Leon will be on someone’s roster come January, but perhaps not until he proves the knee allows him to play his game. This was the whole reason he slipped to the Celtics in the draft in the first place. He has displayed lots of guts and grit. But having 2 under-sized c/pfs on the team was too much. Big Baby gets the nod as the player most likely to be a big contributor for years to come.
Fourth, offering Rasheed Wallace a contract for the full MLE (for 2, possibly 3 years). I’m not sold on this move, and Celtics Blog’s Jeff Clark is trying to talk himself into it. He hasn’t talked me into it yet. I’m not sure ‘Sheed will stop being bored and play hard for 20 minutes each night. I’m not wild about 6’11” guys who love to shoot the 3. That’s what we pay Ray Allen and Eddie House to do. I want a big man who will take it to the hole, create contact, draw fouls and create space for the outside shooters. IF Wallace accepts, I really hope it works. But I won’t be convinced until it does..
Fifth, the Celtics are trying to woo Grant Hill. He was productive with the Suns, and could provide some good punch off the bench so Paul Pierce doesn’t have to play 37-42 minutes a night. P Squared was absolutely exhausted in that Magic series (oh, and we win by Hedo heading north, the Magic are much weaker defensively now). On the other hand, the Celtics could start looking like the Lakers’ failed attempt to win the title with aging players like Malone and Payton.
Other rumors? Tryrone Lue. Please, he hasn’t impressed me at any stop he has made. Save the money for Big Baby, Pruitt is a cheaper guy who will play about as well. Danny is also talking about how Walker and Gliddens are competing for 1 roster spot. This doesn’t bode well for one of them, and maybe us. I’d rather have them both continue to compete and develop until one of them shows themselves as worthless as Tony Allen has. Now there is a guy we should dump. Yeah, who would want him at this point. But maybe he and Scals’ expiring contract can get a 2nd round pick in 2015, and open up a roster spot for someone who can actually play. And who knows what will happen to Lester Hudson. This week’s summer league in Orlando will be telling.
So, thus far a mixed report card for the Celtics. But keep in mind, an old Shaq does not a champion make of Cleveland. They will play the slower game that the Celtics like and King James really doesn’t. I see Phoenix Part 2 taking place in Cleveland, except there is no Amare to be a fearsome inside presence when Shaq is sucking wind.
Update: It would appear that ‘Sheed has committed to sign with the Celtics for 2 years. I really hope they are a good 2 years.