Everything is on hold till Mr. Big Game decides who he wants to take the MLE from. So lets spend some time thinking about who might fill out the roster. We have pretty sizable holes at backup point guard and center (gee, that sounds familiar, don't we say that every year?). It looks like Chad Ford has updated his Free Agent rankings. Seems like a good time to review some names:
Unrestricted Free Agent Point Guards:
5. Shaun Livingston: He has amazing talent, but will he ever recover from that horrific knee injury he suffered in 2007? With the Clippers using all of their money on Baron Davis, someone might try to roll the dice.
6. Keyon Dooling, Magic: In a market starved for point guards, Dooling may be the best guy left on the board. He can be an excellent defender, has good size for his position and is coming off a solid season. He won't break the bank, and he's not a bad backup either.
8. Carlos Arroyo, Magic: Arroyo isn't a sexy name, but the market has a shortage of point guards, and Arroyo was more than adequate as a backup in Orlando last season.
Frankly any one of these guys sound like good options to me. Especially compared to settling on Ty Lue. Of course resigning House is another attractive option. I also hear that the Bobcats are shopping Raymond Felton after drafting his replacement (Augustin) but I'm not sure what it would take to get him.
Unrestricted Free Agent Big Men:
1. Kurt Thomas, Spurs: He's 35 years old but still tough enough to help just about any title contender. The Spurs got him in a steal of a deal at the trade deadline. Look for them to try to lock him up with a three-year deal this summer.
4. Kwame Brown: The former No. 1 pick has run out of excuses. Yes, he's huge, athletic and only 25 years old. But after seven years in the league, he's yet to prove that he's anything more than a backup. Someone will pay him something, but no one expects much.
That's the list. Well, that's the list with any commentary from Chad. Here's some other notables.
Alonzo Mourning, Patrick O'Bryant, Juwan Howard, Jamaal Magloire, Michael Doleac, Francisco Elson, Primoz Brezec, Theo Ratliff, Adonal Foyle
I think Alonzo would be an interesting option. I remember Brezec having a pulse once, but haven't heard much about him since. O'Bryant seems like a bust. I have to admit I don't know much about Elson. The rest seem to be members of the "formerly overpaid big men club." Not sure what is left in the tank for any of them. The Birdman isn't mentioned but he seems the most likely to be signed by Boston.
If we sign Posey to the MLE, then we are looking to fill the rest of the roster with veteran minimums. If Posey takes the money elsewhere, the only bright side is that we can split up the MLE and use it on the best of the rest (who might not want to take the vet min). Or the Celtics might just start throwing money at some restricted free agents to see if their teams will really match. That seems unlikely, but Brand becoming a 76er seemed unlikely a week ago, so you never know.
Oh yeah, and while you are worrying about all of this, don't forget to take a step back and remember ...the Celtics are NBA Champions! (Update: ...and the Lakers are not! Too funny. )