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Multiple sources are reporting that free agent forward, Marquis Daniels, has agreed to join the Celtics. The versatile 6’6″ wingman became a free-agent when the Pacers declined to pick up his $7 million option for the 2009-10 season.
Daniels could join the C’s for the $1.9 million bi-annual exception, but it is believed that both the Celtics and the Pacers would prefer to go the sign-and-trade route. If a sign-and-trade was to be worked out, the deal would most likely include Brian Scalabrine or Tony Allen, or a combination of both players.
A six-year veteran, Daniels will become the primary backup to Paul Pierce, but the forward’s versatility could make him a valuable contributor at any position he plays. Daniels averaged career highs in points and rebounds last season, averaging 13.8 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.
Daniels is an above-average ball handler for his size and could be used to bring the ball up the court. He is also very good at getting to the hole. The bulk of Daniels offense comes off the dribble. I would like to see the Celtics retain Brian Scalabrine and have the second unit go big with House, Daniels, Scal, Davis, and Wallace. This would put Daniels on the court with four spot up shooters and would make the Celtics bench a very potent offensive unit…something you couldn’t say about them a year ago.
Daniels is a good defender, and has the length and athleticism to be a great one. At 28 years old he still has a bit of upside to go along with his current game.
The reps on Daniels aren’t all positive. Daniels has a history of injuries and has never played an entire NBA season. Last year his season ended in mid-march with a wrist injury.
Larry Bird has been outwardly critical of his inconsistent play. The way I see this is that it is easy to become inconsistent on a team that has been cruising toward the lottery the way the Pacers have been the last couple years. Just ask Paul Pierce, he knows what it feels like.
Daniels is also terrible from three point range, the aforementioned presence of jump-shooters makes this barely a concern. If I had to compare him to somebody, I’d say Daniels is Trevor Ariza without a jump shot, or for those of you who remember, a young Eric Williams.
Overall, I think Daniels was far and away the second best option after Grant Hill that the Celtics could afford. His youth and athleticism make him a better fit than the other available forwards. Hi current skill set makes him an instant upgrade over either Scalabrine or Tony Allen, and he’s a player the Celtics won’t be afraid to give big minutes to when Pierce and Allen need extended rest.
If the Celtics are able to complete a sign and trade and save the bi-annaul exception to use on a point guard or another big man, this move will be a home run…even if it means getting rid of everyone’s favorite red-headed, 3pt shooting forward.