Monday, July 6, 2009

Rasheed to Boston

Rasheed Wallace is taking his bald spot to Beantown next season for a deal (reportedly) in the 2 year, 12 million range. While Wallace is still, at the age of 34 (35 by the start of the season), a very good basketball player, is this really what the Celtics wanted to do with their offseason?

The Celtics had two glaring weaknesses las postseason: lack of depth, especially up front with Kevin Garnett injured; and a failure to fill the void left by James Posey, who filled a 6th man, defensive stopper role, while also consistently knocking down the 3 and enabling the Celts to play small. The Wallace signing all but closes the window on filling that Posey role: now that the Celts used their entire midlevel exception on Sheed, they have very little flexibility as to signing another wing. Unless Grant Hill signs with them for the minimum (still possible, but unlikely since both the Suns and the Knicks are reportedly offering him more money), that void will be left unfilled.

As for frontcourt depth. As a player who can play both the 4 and the 5, it would seems that the days of Brian Scalabrine getting crunch minutes are over. But are they?

Personally, I see no way that the Celtics can keep their own free agent, Glen Big Baby Davis, now that they brought Sheed. Davis emerged as an excellent mid-range shooter, a legitimate rotation (if not starting) PF, and a crunch time contributor (including a game winner in game 4 against the Orlando Magic) last postseason. In fact, one could argue that he was the Celtics best player in the Orlando series. Do you really think he would be content on returning to the Celts as their 4th big man? Not to mention the financial burden that would be his new contract (if Paul Millsap is worth 10 million per year then Davis is worth at least 5). So basically, the Celtics are trading Rasheed for Davis. While an upgrade, it's not a big one. Last season, Sheed avereged 12.1 and 7.4 on 42% shooting, in 32 minutes per game. Davis avereged 7 and 4 on 44% shooting in 21 minutes. In terms of per-minute production, that's almost the same, and this was even before Davis upgraded his play to a whole new level in the postseason.

To summarize, there were better moves out there. Whether it was filling a need just as important with a wingman (such as Grant Hill, Anthony Parker, or Josh Chilldress), or improving internally by signing a young talented player who has proven his value to the team (Davis). The Sheed signing may eventually pay off, but I think the Celtics were to fixated on a big-name veteran, which caused them to miss out on better options.

5 comments:

  1. Good post, I like your blog, it seems to have the same intentions as mine, so check mine out too (although it's all sports, next story will be NBA though).

    http://theuncoveredstory.blogspot.com/

    With regards to this blog, I think 'Sheed is a better player than Davis. He dogged it last season with Detroit so the numbers aren't reflective of his ability. Just think back to the title run with Detroit and how he was their main scoring big men. He also provides better range (the 3s) and size. I just don't like looking at Davis rebound or defend, it just doesn't look smooth. Also he tends to get suckered for foul calls and gets himself in trouble too often. And 'Sheed might have less than 5 ejections next year, which will be great for the 'Celts.

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  2. I agree that Rasheed is better than Davis, no doubt about that. However, I still think that his signing isn't worth what Boston gives up. They basically finished their offseason, unless they can pull off a major trade and/or Grant Hill signs with them for peanuts so he can contend. If I'm Boston, I'd rather have Davis, so I can a. sign a wing, and b. have a decent core for the future with Perk and Rondo. I think Celts fans are going to be in a lot of pain when Big Baby avereges 15 and 7 for a contender (Spurs?) in a few years.

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  3. Anthony M BurrolaJuly 7, 2009 at 3:07 AM

    Shameless advertising you did on Kelly Dwyer's article page. Absolutely shameless. I had to read it though. Not bad.

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  4. Did you listen to Simmons' podcast with Marc Stein and Ric Bucher? Bucher said when he was in the Celtic locker room he was surprised to see the roll of fat on 'Sheed's back. Pretty funny and telling.

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    Now you can criticize every post I make.

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