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All has been quiet on the Celtics off-season front recently. Two weeks have passed since Marquis Daniels agreed to join the C’s in some capacity, and since then…crickets. I would like to preface all of this by pointing out the fact that Danny Ainge was on vacation last week. Here are the latest rumblings.
Why the hold up? He’s agreed to sign, right? He’s agreed to join, that’s much different than agreeing to sign for the bi-annual exception. Daniels and his agent want financial security, something that Danny is willing to give them, but something that can only be facilitated in a sign and trade scenario. Larry Bird has no interest in the Celtics left-over poo poo platter of Gabe Pruitt, Tony Allen and Bill Walker. With the recent signings of Solomon Jones and Earl Watson, Bird feels Indiana’s roster is all but complete. It has been reported that Bird and Ainge are searching for a third team to come in and help facilitate the deal. Marquis Daniels will be a member of the Celtics, it just might take a while.
Another day, another Big Baby rumor. Davis’ possible home for next season changes about as much as Lindsay Lohan’s sexual orientation. Davis was almost sent to Miami for Jamario Moon, then Danny said the Celtics were close to inking him to a deal, and then he turns around and offers him to Detroit for Jason Maxiell and a first round pick.
Now, the latest and most intriguing deal has Davis going to New Jersey for Chairman Yi. If Danny could pull this off, from a marketing standpoint, it would be a coup. With Yao out for the season, Yi becomes the new face of the NBA in China. Every NBA fan in China would be tuned in to the C’s all season; they would buy Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce Jerseys, and the influx of Chinese tourism to Boston would skyrocket.
All this is an aside from the fact that Yi could still turn out to be a very good player. Garnett, Perkins and Wallace could mentor Yi on defense and toughness in a way he hasn’t been mentored yet in the league. The closest thing to a mentor Yi has had so far has been Andrew Bogut…enough said.
Players of similar size and skill set to Yi have had the same troubles with FG% and defense in their first couple years in the league. If you look at the first couple of years of the careers of Dirk Nowitzki, Hedo Turkaglu and Mehmet Okur, you’ll see that it took them three or four years to develop. Yi is just going into his 3rd season. Andrea Bargnani, who is a year further into his career than Yi, saw a huge spike in his production and efficiency last season, his 3rd season. While Davis is a more developed player than Yi right now, Yi has a much higher ceiling and a much more unique set of skills.
On top of all this, I still can’t get over the possibility of Rasheed and Yi coming in the game together, riding the team bus together, and rooming together during the season. You can’t make up the perfect formula for a sitcom, it just happens.
Reports early last week were saying that Marbury would more than likely return to the Celtics. Marbury’s decision to negotiate without a real agent, and his lackluster performance off the bench for the Celtics at the end of last season has made his options limited. Basically Marbury could’ve returned to the Cs for the vet minimum or looked over seas to Greece for a more lucrative deal. And then the sky fell in.
Last weekend Stephon hosted “Starburyathon,” a 24-hour internet broadcast of himself eating Vaseline, swimming, singing, crying, dancing, praying, and talking about aliens. The widespread opinion around the league was that this pathetic ploy to get attention may have officially closed the book on Marbury’s troubled 11-year career in the NBA.
Still, I believe Marbury may end up back on the Celtics this season. Garnett and the gang were able to keep Marbury in check last season, and with the added presence of Wallace, they should have no problem keeping him in check this season. If one thing is for sure, the Celtics are destined to be a team full of wackos and bizzaros next year, the likes of which the NBA has never seen before. Almost like a jovial, good-natured version of the Jail-Blazers, or Detroit’s Bad Boys.
Bowen was included earlier in the summer in the Richard Jefferson blockbuster. Since then, the Bucks have been trying to move his $6 million dollar contract. If they don’t find a taker by 5 p.m. Friday, they’ll be forced to buy him out for the $2 million he’s guaranteed so that they don’t have to pay his full salary. Word is that Boston would like to add the veteran guard if he’s waived. It is believed that Bowen would not be an alternative to the Daniels deal, but that the Celtics would add both players.
At 38, it is hard to imagine Bowen would be able to offer the C’s too much off the bench, but his defensive tenacity still makes him an attractive addition. Bowen and House would likely share time at backup shooting guard depending on whether the situation called for offense or defense.
I like that Danny Ainge is being patient this summer and carefully weighing his options rather than jumping into hasty deals. I also like the fact that the Celtics are trying to finalize their bench before the season starts rather than waiting for mid-season buy outs to improve the roster. If two or three of the proposed deals happen, the Celtics are bound to be a much deeper and more talented squad than last year’s bunch.