Nobody could have foreseen the scary episode when Marquis Daniels fell to the floor on Sunday. On the other hand, based on his injury history it can't come as a huge surprise that Daniels is going to miss another stretch of time. As Jimmy expertly put yesterday, basketball pales in comparison to Quis' health. But the team still has to play basketball games and I'm not sure they can wait around for 1 to 2 months for the chance that Daniels might return to the court.
The first goal is to get a better estimate of how long he will be out and any indication of how effective he might be at that time. Next, we have to see what else is out there.
Celtics coach Doc River said the team may not have any other choice but to consider a roster move. "I think what we have to do really is wait and see with the Marquis situation, how long that will be," Rivers said. "If that’s long then we have to do something. We have to get another ‘3’ let’s just be serious."
Even before Sunday, the team was very thin at the small forward position. It was Paul Pierce, Marquis, and ...Doc gets creative. I think in the immediate future Doc will continue to play with 3 guard sets and long minutes for Pierce and Allen, but obviously that isn't a great long term solution.
Getting Delonte West back will also help, but once again, he's not a 3 and asking him to defend taller players isn't a good way to ease him back from injury. We can ask Von Wafer, Luke Harangody, and Avery Bradley to step up, but none of them are 3's and would either be out of position or filling in for someone who's out of position. We have the luxury of having versatile players, but everything seems to run much more efficiently when people are playing their natural roles.
So that leaves us looking outside the organization for help.
Of course, there are problems with the Rip Hamilton idea. Trading for him would seem very, very unlikely since he makes over $12M per in the next 2 years and I can't imagine Ainge taking on salary beyond next season for anyone that he can't picture running alongside Rondo for the next 5 - 10 years or so. He could get bought out after the trade deadline but he also started playing again this week (likely to be showcased) so we'll have to wait and see on that. Oh, and by the way, Rip doesn't really help us at the three (specifically). So if we are going to go with more guards, we might as well just roll with Von and insert West when he's available.
Teyshaun Prince would be a much better fit and has an expiring deal, but he also makes over $11M this year and matching that salary would problematic at best. Nate Robinson and Jermaine O'Neal match salary-wise, but both are signed through next year and Dumars would want something more in return for adding an extra year of salary and they already have a gunner guard (Gordon) and gimpy center (Wallace).
Could we pry Shane Battier away from Houston? They have an over-supply of forwards and he would seem to be redundant there, but he's also an expiring contract (another reason he'd be attractive here) and I'd think the Rockets could get better than Nate, salary filler (Luke?) and a pick for him - which is about all I could imagine we'd be able to offer.
I'm sure there are other trade targets out there to consider, but I'm not sure we have the assets to bring back a difference maker. Still, I'm willing to admit that I haven't thought of everything. There could be a deal out there.
Another option would be to add a free agent. We don't yet know which veterans will be cut around or after the deadline but there's always the D-League. One name to watch is DeShawn Sims, who just made the D-League All Star team for the Maine Red Claws (coached by Danny's son Austin).
Sims, who played for the Celtics' summer league squad after going undrafted out of Michigan, is averaging 18.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 appearances (24 starts) for Maine. Sims began the year with PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, but returned stateside and was swooped up by the Claws in the available player pool.
He might not be ready for playoff rotation minutes, but he could eat up some minutes in these regular season games as the season slogs along. Of course the issue there would be creating a roster spot for him. That would mean cutting someone or making a trade that opens up a spot.
Got any other ideas? Share them here.