Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, and it is no secret the Celtics are borderline desperate for a big man. With Kendrick Perkins out until around Christmas, and Rasheed Wallace retiring, the Celtics are left without anybody really capable of playing significant minutes at the Center position.
Glen Davis has proven that he can come off the bench and provide a necessary spark for this team, but his 6-9 289lb frame isn't quite going to cut it over the long haul. That leads the Celtics with a major void going into the regular season.
Some names that have popped up recently are Brad Miller, Shaquille O'Neal, and even Ben Wallace. With the current financial situation of the Celtics, Brendan Hayward and David Lee will undoubedtly cost too much, which leaves the Celtics with not many great options at this current time. Cue the latest report on the Celtics meeting with former No. 1 pick Kwame Brown.
"We’re checking out a lot of possibilities - it’s still very early in the process," Danny Ainge said today of what is certain to be a broad casting call for big men, including Shaquille O’Neal.
Ainge said he has not set up a meeting, to this point, with O’Neal.
The 6-11 Brown spent the last two seasons with the Pistons, and in strictly a backup (13.8 minutes per game) role averaged more rebounds (3.7) than points (3.3) last season. But his value as a shot blocker (0.6 career average) may be what the Celtics are looking at now.
Brown, of, course, is better known as one of the greatest draft disappointments of all time. Michael Jordan selected him for Washington with the first pick of the 2001 draft, and as the first high school player to ever go with the No. 1 pick, Brown never came close to living up to his draft pedigree.
"He lives pretty close to (the Orlando Summer League), so he’s going to drive down to meet with Danny and Doc," said agent Mark Bartelstein. "They want to get to know him a little bit."
I think I speak for most Celtics fans when I say that Kwame Brown isn't exactly what we had in mind when talking about filling out the roster. Shaquille O'Neal, however, is intriguing. There are pros and cons to having Shaq lace them up for the C's, but I would be all for it.
First of all, taking a look at the available free agent Centers this offseason could make you cringe. There just simply isn't a lot of talent available to the Celtics (Kwame Brown?). Shaq is a proven winner, and there's no doubt he wants another ring after watching Kobe Bryant win his fifth. While he is obviously not close to the dominating player he once was in this league, he can still get the job done and fill in nicely for Perkins at least while he is rehabbing and working his way back. For the most part, Shaq and Perkins have a similiar inside game. I don't see how Shaq woule slow up the Celtics much more than Perkins would. And it would be a short term deal, something that would be necessary for the Celtics.
As far as Brown goes, I really hope the Celtics don't expect him to have a much bigger role than Shelden Williams or Brian Scalabrine did last season. If that is the case, and Ainge can get Brown for cheap, then we really can't complain too much.