It has been over 6 weeks since we first found out that Marquis Daniels was going to become a Boston Celtic. Here are some things that have happened in those 6 weeks.
- Gabe Pruitt was waived
- Big Baby was shopped around in several sign and trade deals before settling on a reasonable contract
- Shelden Williams signed
- Leon Powe signed with the Cavs
- Starbury went from viable option, to online media pioneer, to basketcase in front of the whole world
- Quentin Richardson was traded 3 times
- I lost track of how many times we were told that the Daniels deal would be done "this week"
- CelticsBlog published 148 posts (many of which were rumors)
- I've personally mentioned that we still need a backup PG 1,534 times (conservative estimate)
So what has Danny Ainge been doing during that time? I don't have any insider information but I'm willing to guess that he wasn't playing golf the whole time. Signing Daniels for the Bi-Annual Exception was obviously not plan A. In fact, it probably wasn't plan B or C either.
Clearly Danny couldn't get a deal done with Larry. How many other teams did he call to try to get someone to take Tony Allen off his hands? I'm not terribly surprised that other teams were not excited about giving a big contract to Big Baby and giving up value for him in return. I am, however, legitimately surprised that we couldn't send Tony and a 2nd rounder and some cash to a team to give them the privilege of cutting Tony or using him as an expiring contract in another trade.
Ainge apparently wanted to free up a roster spot for another player. With Daniels promised, he had the luxury of waiting to see if any reasonable deals came along. Was he only looking to lowball other teams looking to dump salary? Was he hoping to expand the deal into a bigger trade; perhaps with our other expiring deals and/or one of the sophomores (Billy and JR)?
So even though it is a relief to finally get this deal finalized, I find it hard to be excited about the fact that Danny wasn't able to accomplish whatever goals he had in holding off.
With that said, there's not much to worry about. At least we haven't made a bad trade or signing. Allen Iverson is not walking through that door. We still have the upside potential of the sophomores. We still have almost $6M in expiring, expendable deals (Scal and Tony) to offer up to some cash-strapped team at the deadline. We still have flexibility.
That flexibility could be key this season. If we have another injury to one of our key pieces, we'll have the assets to make a move that might put a wedge in that rapidly closing window we've heard so much about.
So with this piece put into place, the attention shifts to where it belongs, on the backup point guard position (oops, I guess that was reference number 1,535). Seriously though, this team (on paper) is stacked. We have the luxury of debating day after day about the final 2 or 3 rosters spots. There are no regret contracts. There are no cancers. There are no guys worried more about their contracts than about winning. The owners are not pinching pennies and forcing bad moves to pay off bad business debts.
In short, we are on the short list of legit title contenders.
So maybe Danny didn't achieve plan A or plan B or plan C. Maybe that's just because the man has an alphabet of plans every day. I can live with that.
Also see: Tom Halzack on Conn Post