Kevin Garnett is a long 7ft. Glen Davis is 6ft 9 with a short wing span. Kevin Garnett averages 9 rebounds in 30 min. Baby averages 5 in the same time. KG's diet involves a steady supply of alley oops and dunks. Baby's diet inludes a steady supply of pancakes. KG is a shot blocker. Davis is too often on the other side of that equation. KG can shut down any player from even getting a glimpse at the basket, while long shooters such as Dirk, Odom and Gasol make a living out of shooting over undersized guys like Davis.
But despite this Baby is an invaluable player and someone trusted by Doc. His strengths are vastly different. He is a fantastic position defender evidenced by the staggering amount of charges he's taken. He hustles for loose balls, comes up with steals, has great touch around the basket and can hold his ground against stronger players. He has decent range and can knock down free throws. He also thrives in the big moments and always seems to play bigger than his size and salary.
However, despite his strengths, Baby is not some one who can simply fill in for KG. We lose rebounding and length when our second unit gets on the floor. Baby's strength is that he can come off the bench to create match up problems against certain teams both with the starting unit and with the bench unit as seen fit by Doc. But we desperately need a steady backup for KG who doesn't let opposing forwards shoot over them, and can clean the glass for the second unit.
Enter Troy Murphy. Troy Murphy is not our third string power forward or our second string center. His primary role is as a back up power forward for KG. He doesn't need to be a great rebounder, he just has to take down the easy rebounds with his length in our second unit and not allow the likes of Odom, Bass and Gibson to steal offensive rebounds against our second unit and shoot over Baby. He has the flexibility to play the 5 but that will rarely be his role.
Does this mean Baby is redundant? No. In fact Baby can now play the minutes where he has the favorable match ups without being sacrificed against the taller shooters. Baby can play the 4 or 5 with the starters and the second unit ensuring he has plenty of good minutes. Troy Murphy gives us exactly what our power forward position loses when KG leaves the floor, and frees up Baby to concentrate his minutes on more favorable matchups.
Troy Murphy is not insurance. He is not someone we pick up in order to deny the Heat another big. He is a critical piece in completing our depth in the 4 spot and he would improve both KG and Baby's production while improving our second unit overall in rebounding and scoring.
Between Luke and Baby we have had enough of undersized power forwards being a liability in our second unit. Powe and Posey were effective because their athleticism allowed them to run and defend 3's in addition to playing the 4. This is covered by the addition of Green and I would be quite surprised if we spend money on getting back Powe except perhaps as a final insurance. Our top priorities are signing Murphy and getting a back up 2 who can defend and stretch the floor whether it is Hamiltion, Parker, Butler or Kapono.