Marc Stein has reported that the most likely place for Marbury to land after negotiating a buyout (which still hasn't happened by the way) is Boston. See the link and important quotes here.
Here we go folks. Who's ready for a ride on the crazy train? Danny Ainge has never been afraid to think outside the box and bring in talented guys that have questionable attitudes or reputations. (See Ricky Davis, Gary Payton, Sebastian Telfair and attempts to land Allen Iverson) But is he really willing to go down this road? Stephon Marbury? Starbury? The guy that tattooed his head this offseason?
Before we judge too quickly, lets break this down into pros and cons.
Why it might make sense:
First of all, the guy is undeniably talented. He can score with anyone and can actually dish the basketball like a top point guard when he's in the right mood. Last year was his worst as a pro and he still managed almost 14 points and 4.7 assists in just 33 minutes. In his prime he was a regular 20 point, 8 assist All Star.
As the star player on a dysfunctional Knicks team he clashed with coaches and was unable to handle the pressure and blame for the team's misfortunes. That wouldn't be the case in Boston. The Celtics have a strong leadership structure in place starting with the coach and filtering down to the Hall of Fame bound players. There would be no question about Marbury's role or place on the team.
He would provide the Celtics with some much needed scoring off the bench and perhaps allow the second unit guys to focus on their roles. With a scoring threat on the court, guys like Leon Powe and Tony Allen might feel less pressure to score which could allow them to concentrate on rebounding, hustle, and defense. A penetrating guard might spread the floor a little to give Eddie House a chance to find open space on the perimeter to bomb away.
Adding Steph doesn't solve our size disadvantage, but it has the potential to make everyone on the second unit better and perhaps provide some extra rest for the starters.
Then there's the flipside.
Why it might just be too crazy:
The downside is pretty obvious. First of all, he has never been a winner. He has put up great stats on bad teams for most of his career. He's also never been known for his defense. There's no telling what he'll be like on a winning team that puts defense first and puts the utmost emphasis on team play.
By all accounts this guy is a loose cannon. He's burned bridges at every stop and clashed with teammates, coaches, media, and just about anyone you can think of.
It is hard to put a finger on it, but the guy just comes across as a little bit nutty. If you think about it, he's said and done a lot of things that would make a good deal of sense if it was coming from anyone else. He has branded and sold low cost shoes for kids that can't afford the more expensive ones. He has talked about playing overseas at the end of his career (something guys like Kobe and Pierce have also talked about). He wants to get paid his full salary because the team told him to stay home. All of these things would seem to make some sense. Yet whenever he opens his mouth (or writes in a blog) he sounds displaced from reality.
At the very least, he would be a distraction in the locker room just by his presence. Any comment or action he takes outside of ordinary would be hyper-scrutinized by the media and fans (and of course blogs). The team would have to answer a lot of questions about him instead of questions about the game or their opponents. Anything that threatens focus is a bad thing for a team looking to defend their title.
Finally, Rondo is the unquestioned starter and leader of the first unit offense. However, he's still young enough to make mistakes and have bad stretches of games. How will he react to having Starbury on the sideline eager for coach to put him in? How will House react to the team once again seeking a point guard to take his place in the rotation? These are questions that we just don't know the answer to until it happens.
So crazy it might just work?
At the end of the day, I'm not sure we have any better options. PJ Brown is apparently off the market for good. Mutombo is in Houston. Antoine Walker is just not a good idea. We have limited trade options and we can hope for Joe Smith, but that's no guarantee.
The risk is low for adding Marbury. He would be making a minimum salary, so any discord would be met with an immediate release. He's looking to turn around his reputation (though not for the first time) and would in theory be willing to accept a limited role off the bench.
There are plenty of examples of gambles like this going poorly, but there is a positive precedent as well. See Randy Moss and Corey Dillon on the Patriots. See Dennis Rodman on the Bulls. You could even trot out the Dennis Johnson case, though I don't think he was as bad in Seattle as the above mentioned players.
Given our limited options, Marbury might be the best option for giving this team a shot in the arm. Then again, it might also be a Plaxico Burress shot in the leg.