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Boston Celtics

Celtics Over the Hill, Reaching for the Moon

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The Celtics have  moved on from their attempt to sign Grant Hill and are now said to be interested in Jamario Moon.

Mark Murphy reports in the Boston Herald

“A league source said yesterday the Celtics have investigated sign-and-trade possibilities with other teams – a scenario that could theoretically work in a move for Moon, who finished last season with Miami. The Celts also have expiring contracts of varying sizes to offer.”

Here is what I originally said about Hill….

A Few Words About Grant Hill

He played (or should I say ‘not played’) for Doc Rivers in Orlando. He is versatile offensively, and could come cheaply (LLE). The problem is that he will be 37 by the time the season starts. He hasn’t been asked to play great defense, and I don’t know if he can anymore. Though I am enamored of his career, recent healthfulness (82 games) and productivity, I will let Danny decide that one, and move on to other options.

I’ve mentioned the highly athletic, former Harlem Globetrotter, Jamario Moon here already

SF: Jamario Moon – An active, long defender. He needs more discipline and would get that with the Celtics. He always defended Pierce pretty well in Toronto, and shoots the three-ball. Not nearly as clever or tough as Posey but….Posey-light? Has the length Danny likes. I like him.

After liking what I’ve seen of him in actual play against the Celtics and delving into his stats a bit I was in favor of going for him ahead of Matt Barnes (though I’d be happy with Barnes, too).

Little did I know that Danny was feeling the same thing at that time.

But I was deflated a bit by a follow up article I did with someone’s else’s view of Mr. Moon.

I talked with an NBA media veteran for some insights from someone who had seen him play a bit more than I did. He wished to remain anonymous.  Here is some of the more balanced comments from the highly cautious ( even harsh) opinion of Moon from that source from article…

What if he came to a strong team like Boston?

If he is not going to be a starter, and he is going to be a 17 minutes a game guy…just like James Posey can guard 3/4s for example…..he can guard 2/3s. Just like James (Posey) can hit the corner three when you need it, you know, Jamario…not as high a percentage, he doesn’t have the big game experience…could hit three also.

But he’s not even a 6th man. He’s more like a 7th, 8th or 9th man. He’s not the guy that is going to come off the bench who will energize your guys either way. He’s not a big steals guy. He’s not a pure shot blocker defensively.

He’s a guy who’ll come off the bench and buy time for you

And this…

In some ways that is all the team needs, if they can get him for short money. But it sounds like he would not be that good on defense on LeBron or Kobe. Would Kobe or Lebron eat him up?

They would eat him up, but what he would do is, he would keep Paul out of foul trouble. You could throw him on LeBron for 15 minutes a game and he would get some fouls. But he would make LeBron exert energy, which is what you want.

So there might be times when the Celtics can go small, let’s say when Cleveland goes small, where you could have him and Pierce on the court at the same time, and use Jamario against LeBron.

If he gets fouls, so what, at least Paul’s not getting the fouls, and you still have Paul’s offense out there. That’s what he is. He’s not the kind of guy you’re going to worry if he gets 2 quick fouls or 3 quick fouls. It doesn’t matter.

He’s not the kind of guy…the difference between him and Posey is that he’s not an end-of-game guy….. Even if the fouls aren’t bad, I think Doc would put Paul on him (LeBron) anyway, the way that Paul’s upgraded his defense…as long as Paul’s not in foul trouble and in danger of getting his 5th or 6th foul.

I must say those thoughts took me aback a bit. With Danny re-visiting Moon post-Grant Hill, I have to say that I’m feeling more confident in my own opinion of Jamario Moon. As the expression goes.. .Who do you want to believe? Me or your own lying eyes?      I think I’ll trust my own eyes a bit more , now that Danny is feeling the same way.

This has to play out, but Grant Hill rejecting the Celtics could be the best thing that could happen to the Celtics. Why? One main factor sticks out. He’s old. Make that two factors. Defense. I had huge doubts that he could defend Kobe or Lebron.

Moon is much younger and much more active on defense. The Celtics could use another young energy guy at that position who can hit the three. Jamario Moon fits that description.

If the Celtics could get Moon to sign for a market discount to gain a chance at a championship, I’d be pretty happy with that. I see potential in Moon. I see young legs. I see defensive energy. I see a long defender that the Celtics need at that position.

Thoughts on Grant Hill

With Grant Hill rejecting overtures from the Celtics and Knicks to re-sign with the Suns, it’s viewed by some as a loyalty move for Grant. There was no such loyalty when he barely played over multiple years for the Magic, got paid well, and moved on.

Many may defend his decision. I’m neither here nor there with it. But I don’t cut him any special slack either.

My own feeling is that he might have moved to the Celtics if the offer was better than the Bi-Annual Exception (a humble 2 mil.), and obvious second choice status and more limited role with the Celtics. Starting and minutes played were said to be significant contributing factors as well. Rasheed Wallace was the prime target, the Celtics sent a 6 man delegation to persuade, and the Celtics scored big on that one. Hill got Doc Rivers and a Ray Allen phone call.

He also received a better financial option ( one year at mid level if $5.8 million or 3 years at $10 million) from the Knicks. In the end, the Suns increased their own meager offer and I guess Hill has a chance for a bigger role with the indecipherable Suns. Egos do matter, even for supposed nice guys like Hill. But don’t consider it a ‘loyalty’ move.

Time to reach for the Moon. Is a full Moon better than an aging Grant Hill? I’m ready to find out.

Thomas Halzack