Countdown To Camp: 3 Days To Media Day
First of all: We're almost there folks! It was the shortest summer in recent memory and how sweet it was. Training camp starts next week. Sunburned beat reporters will be unpacking their things and settling in for a long season covering the team and we'll have a ton of new articles to link to and talk about. We'll finally start getting answers to these questions.
Here we are just days away from camp and there's been no official word of Sam Cassell putting ink to paper. So it is possible this is a moot point from the start. However, when Sam says he's coming and Ainge says he's interested, it seems like a question of "when" not "if."
We talked about the potential of a trade as well. I'm sure Danny will stay on the phone and scout other people's situations closely (for example the Blazers have several point guards and the Bulls have dozens of shooting guards, what will they be doing?). Plus we'll see if Danny has any surprise invites to camp. That would swell the number and add a little more intrigue to this question.
However, assuming Sam is signed and no trades are made, somebody is going to have to be cut. Let's look at some candidates (in the order determined by the poll to the right).
Brian Scalabrine: Everyone's favorite whipping boy because he's just such an easy target. Reasons for a possible cut are obvious. When a healthy player isn't even activated for the playoffs, he isn't part of anyone's plan going forward. However, there are a few reasons to keep him around.
For one thing his contract runs for two more years (including this one). Outright cutting him leaves that dead money on the books and takes away any ability to use his contract to match salaries in a trade. Right now his deal lines up nicely with several other deals on the team that expire in the summer of LeBron & Co.
Also, on the basketball court there is still a chance he could be counted on to play some more in the absence of James Posey. Of course you all were quick to tell me how very not worried you were about that situation yesterday.
In the end, my best guess is that he'll either be cut outright or traded with a second rounder for another guy that we can then cut with less of a cap hit.
Sam Cassell: He hasn't even signed yet and already people want him cut. Again, we've gone over this topic in detail so I won't waste too much time on it. I will, however, say that I don't know why Danny would bring him in, especially with a deal to coach after the season, if he didn't anticipate him making the team.
Gabe Pruitt: He's still just a largely unknown commodity at this point. This training camp will be huge for him. He can no longer call upon the excuse of being a rookie. He didn't play much last year, but he got a season of practice as a pro and got a little run in the D-League (where it seems that he played pretty well). If he can come in and turn heads at the point guard spot, he might push Sam Cassell into early retirement/coaching. If he's just not ready yet but still has promise, he might be in for another year at the end of the bench. If he shows us nothing, he might be packaged in a deal or outright cut. Like I said, it is a big camp for him.
Darius Miles: As discussed, this depends very heavily upon his health. We don't know if he's 90%, 85%, 75%, or 105% until he gets on the court and starts competing. We'll be waiting to see him sky for his first dunk. We'll be watching his first step to see if he looks like guy that once scored 47 points in a game or if he's just "that guy" that was in The Perfect Score a long time ago.
So, if camp ended today, who would you cut? Who do you think has the most to prove this camp? Who is your pick to surprise people and make the team and contribute despite the doubts noted above?