Call it the Endless Summer. After a quick strike for the most important piece going forward, Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics quest for improving their supporting cast has become bogged down.
If this was war, that famous word ‘quagmire’ might be appropriate. But it’s really more like Monte Hall and Let’s Make a Deal. “I’ll give you $100 if you have a small forward in your pocket. No? How about $500 for that small forward?”
But the slowdown will probably end soon. August 1st is when players can be let go. If a team doesn’t make a trade for certain unwanted players, they can release them then. That fact should expedite many deals currently stuck in idle.
Marquis Daniels will be a Celtic. But exactly how that happens is still unsettled. In addition, Glen Davis’ final destination is up in the air at the moment. Then there’s the need for a back up point guard. The behind the scenes talk must be massive. Rules must be followed. Options to be considered.
Restocking an underperforming bench
After a grueling year and even more grueling playoff series, including the longest series, in terms of overtimes played in NBA history, the Celtics learned that they needed to upgrade the bench. Injuries are a fickle thing. The season is long. The playoffs make it longer. You need depth at each position. Ask Paul Pierce. Ask Ray Allen. Ask Kendrick Perkins.
Forget energy conservation. There was a championship defense at stake. With no usable spare tires, the Celtics’ MPG was high.
In this case, Doc got the most Minutes Per Game out of his starters. But it had a deleterious effect on performance at the end. They simply ran out of gas. The horsepower was down as well. They were missing power from a cylinder named Kevin Garnett.
That he got that much of that unit was incredible. It was a gutsy performance of a very tough squad playing the hand it was dealt. No whining allowed.
Doc Rivers made it known right after his team limped, with all its might, to the ‘finished’ line….and they were completely finished at that point…..that the Celtics hadn’t done anything to improve themselves from the year before. That could not happen again.
In addition, there is the ongoing saga of Glen Davis. There has been a summer long tap dance surrounding Glen that seems to be quickening a bit. And that tap dance has entered the media world.
In addition to having a difficult time getting Indiana to agree with compensation for Daniels, Davis is a Restricted Free Agent under the Gilbert Arenas Rule. What that means is that the Celtics can match any offers and limits what Davis can be offered by other teams. If all else fails, it may be possible that he takes the one year Qualifying Offer from the Celtics to gain unfettered free agency next year.
After Celtics and Nets denials of an impending trade of Davis for Yi JianLian, here is the latest from Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald
sources with the C’s and New Jersey shot down a rumor yesterday that both teams were attempting to make such an arrangement work.
Though the Nets have not approached Davis with an offer sheet, they have made their interest known in the young power forward – interest that still could emerge in the form of a sign-and-trade. Other potential suitors, including Detroit, have shied away from Davis with the belief the Celtics will match any offer under $5 million.
You have to parse the words to understand the limitations of the denial. It seems that Yi is out of any deal. They are indeed still talking about a deal for Davis. So that means that other Nets (as discussed here) could be in play.
And this is from Fred Kerber of the New York Post…
If the Nets want to pursue Celtics restricted free agent power forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis, they may have to do so in a sign-and-trade scenario that involves a third team and helps the Nets alleviate their logjam of 15 guaranteed contracts.
Kind of what I said yesterday, but with the addition of looking for a 3rd team. Maybe the Celtics’ Danny Ainge and New Jersey’s Rod Thorn can’t agree on player compensation. Sounds similar to the Daniels hold up. Why?
The problem is believed to be Indiana’s lack of interest in guard Tony Allen, whom the Celtics offered to the Pacers. The Celtics also reportedly have attempted to include guard Gabe Pruitt and forward Bill Walker in the package.
Though in the market for another wing player, the Pacers want something the Celtics aren’t willing to offer.
Thus the need to find a 3rd team to find a player or two to make it work so that Daniels can get more money than he already said he would accept in the Celtics offer of the Bi-Annual Exception ($1.9).
Fred Kerber thinks there may be a connection…
The Celtics’ proposed sign-and-trade to land free agent Marquis Daniels from the Pacers has run into complications and could lead to the need of a three-team deal. Enter the Nets, with their legitimate interest in Davis, who averaged 15.8 points and 6.0 rebounds during the playoffs last season. The Celtics have indicated they will match any reasonable offer for Davis.
I’m not sure I see the connection between the two deals. But hey, I’m not behind the scenes. The need for a 3rd team complicates Daniels hope for more money. I also think that is it 60/40 that Davis stays a Celtic for this season. Unless another big is obtained, the Celtics need what Davis gives them.
Then there is that point guard search.
Lots of talk. Lots of rumors. It will all pan out soon enough.
The only option not happening is doing nothing. Ask Doc Rivers about that one.