This summer, I've been like every other Boston Celtic's fan, siting back awaiting a final 2009-2010 roster. So far Danny's done well with Rasheed and others. At this point, I'm hoping for a sign and trade so the Celtics can either get rid of Tony (injury prone) Allen, or the un-athletic Scalabrine for Marquis Daniels.
If this does work out they may be able to dip back in free-agency with out necessarily destroying team chemistry. If Scal does go, signing Big Baby back will have filled up the need for power forwards.
With Kevin, Glen, and now Sheldon as a power forward rotation, things would start looking better then they already do. With Glenn hitting better outside shots (three point ones maybe soon?) it will be complete but we must sign him back at all cost.
Sheldon Williams is the new Leon Powe, now don't get me wrong I love Leon, great player, great story. But we just can't compromise our team because of his injury. I'm sad but that’s the way business goes sometimes and it's in the teams best interest to move forward.
Now getting back to Sheldon, he is listed as 6'9" and about 250 and has a nice solid frame (no homo). He is big enough and strong enough to legitimately guard big guys from the positions three down to five. Big Baby, like it or not, didn't have stellar defense and may never. Sheldon does, he just has that kind of strength and speed needed.
He may even be put on guys in the names of LeBron James...maybe. Sheldon has the same body mass and height as James so why not if he learns how to guard him. Many are saying he’s a bust for the under 10 digit stats he’s put up being a number five pick out of Duke by Atlanta in 2006.
Holding him to the lottery number he selected by I would agree with you, but as a deep bench player he’s prefect. He is a pretty solid defender, above average compared to most.
In college he leads Duke with the most blocked shots all time with 433. Then the Celtics can grab a true point guard (making Lester Hudson a back up in case of problems) making lineups look like this:
PG: Rajon Rondo/(place in point guard of your choice)/Eddie House/Lester Hudson
SG: Ray Allen/Eddie House/Tony Allen /Marquis Daniels (if needed)
SF: Paul Pierce/Marquis Daniels/J.R. Giddens or Bill Walker
PF: Kevin Garnett/Glen Davis /Sheldon Williams
C: Kendrick Perkins/Rasheed Wallace/ (Sheldon could if he has to….)
Now my friends (or enemies) this is a championship winning roster. They would have the full amount of players possible on their roster, all capable of doing something. The only problems that comes to mind when you look at this roster is free-agent-signing-ability next year, playing time, maybe age, and KG.
I’ll start with the age and get that out of the way. Here’s the list form those oldest to youngest on the roster excluding another point guard:
35 Rasheed Wallace
34 Ray Allen
33 Kevin Garnett
32 Paul Pierce
31 Eddie House
28 Marquis Daniels
27 Tony Allen
25 Sheldon Brown
24 Kendrick Perkins
24 J.R. Giddens
24 Lester Hudson
23 Rajon Rondo
23 Glenn Davis
21 Bill Walker
I see no problems with “no youth” on this Celtics club. I agree that out of the six real difference makers on the team (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins) only two are young while the rest are over 30.
But with 50 percent of the players being under 25 and 68 percent of the whole team being under 30, I don’t get why everyone jumps to concussions that this team is old.
Yes most of the players that make huge contributions are older, but with a young core of back ups like this, they will get the rest as needed and be as fresh as possible come playoff time.
Now to the problem for the Celtics season in a nutshell: Kevin Garnett.
If he does not return healthy or play with limited minutes, there will be a less potent Boston Celtics limping into to the playoffs with other jacked up contenders in the Eastern Conference by the names of the Cleveland Cavilers and the Orlando Magic. Now could the KG-less Celtics be able to get past these teams come postseason?
They could, but it would be through six to seven game stretches. The only reason there’s even a possibly is because the Celtics picked up KG insurance in Wallace. The defense would suffer from Garnett’s absence but not stagger them as it did last year with Wallace to fill those shoes.
And as for playing time, I don’t think that will be as big as a problem as some may think. The 07-08 roster's ego was a big question and they silenced that with a ring. Then again with some new comers being added to the roster, there might be some small locker room conflicts.
But even with some cracks, I don’t expect to know about them seeing how they’ve handled it before with Rondo’s attitude last season and Starbury coming from a cancer infested Knicks organization. At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure these men can put aside most of their differences for a championship ring.
The next and last problem I see is the future. At the end of the 2009-2010 season there will be big names floating around in the sea come free agency at the end of next season.
Names ranging from Chris Bosh and LeBron James, to Joe Johnson and Dwayne Wade. I don’t expect them to make a huge splash getting players of that caliber. Here are players off the team that will be free agents though.
Rajon Rondo (with qualifying offer)
J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker (team option)
I highly expect Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) to be signed right back up. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Rajon Rondo I also expect to be back, but as for the price range I have no idea. Paul Pierce has already picked up his players option August 4, 2009 http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/press071706-pierce-contract.html extending his contract to the 2010-2011 season.
The only scary contracts are those of Wallace and Garnett, both of their contracts extending until the end of the 2011-2012 season. This would make KG an aging 35 and Wallace a decaying 37 or 38. So the Celtics would have some spending ability to pick up or resign anyone really needed unlike the Los Angles Lakers.
The Lakers won’t really have to much of a hand to play with most of their players signed up till the end of the 2010-2011 season.
At the end of the day this squad looks perfect…well at least on paper. The playing part no one can prove except the Celtics themselves. I hope for a ring this season and maybe the next one. Maybe banner 18 will be hanged in the garden solidifying the Big Three's era as a sucess.