Countdown To Camp: 7 Days To Media Day
Do the math. We have 15 players under contract. Sam Cassell's signing is coming any day now to put us up over the limit. Someone's got to go and if Darius Miles shows us he's got more than a pulse, we could be looking at some tough decisions come cut time.
Luckily training camp always shakes up a few rosters around the league. Players get hurt, players underperform or win jobs they were not expected to. Changes need to be made to make rosters work. Ainge will have the opportunity to make a minor move or two to round out the roster or at least trim it back a bit.
Looking at the early roster depth charts, it seems like we have plenty of guards and power forwards but may be thin at small forward and definitely at center (we'll go into this in more depth later). In particular we have two backup power forwards that seem to fill the same role and might have trade value on the market. At the very least you would have to think that Ainge is shopping around.
There was an unsubstantiated rumor posted on the message board last week that pretty much everyone hated because it involved losing Powe and Pruitt and gaining only a backup center (Stephen Hunter). I don't really think the rumor has any legs and I can't vouch for the source whatsoever, but you have to at least admit that on one level it makes sense.
We have very little in terms of trade assets (assuming we keep the core in tact). What we do have is Scalabrine's contract (that ends in the summer of
love LeBron's free agency), either Powe or Big Baby, and maybe Gabe Pruitt to toss in.
On the other hand, we are a Kendrick Perkins separated shoulder away from starting Patrick O'Bryant and backing him up with a circus act of small ball lineups. Sure, everyone assumes that PJ Brown is going to take 3 months hanging out with his family and sign on for the stretch run. But what if he decides that he has his ring and has made enough money and retirement is just too relaxing to give up? So trading for a backup center seems to be a very reasonable move.
However, it has to be the right guy for the right price. Keeping Powe and Baby on the same team isn't the worst thing that could happen. If nobody wins the backup job outright, then they can be platooned based on matchups, much like they were last year. Besides, if Perkins stays healthy and we traded for a backup Center then you simply create a situation where you have to platoon the new guy with O'Bryant and we might end up being thin at power forward. So you can see that the solution is never easy.
Most of the ideas I've been considering have been of the 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 variety. However, one last trade solution is to make a 1 for none trade where you essentially take the player you were going to cut and try to get some kind of value for him. Perhaps Pruitt for a 2nd rounder or Scalabrine for a guy with a shorter contract that you can cut right away.
What trade ideas would you propose for training camp? Do you think Ainge will make a move or stand pat and simply make a cut?