BOSTON MA - JANUARY 10: Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball after he knocked it away from Patrick Patterson of he Houston Rockets on January 10 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Please welcome new CelticsBlog author Ryan Desmarais to the site. You can see some more of his writing on the blog State of the Celtics. - Jeff
If you had asked Celtics fans prior to April 17 about whether or not they would like to see Glen Davis return to Boston next season, the majority of them wouldn't have thought twice about saying yes.
The Large Infant had been a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for a good chunk of the season, became a charge-taking fiend and, as always, was the guy out there with three future Hall of Famers and an All-Star point guard whenever the game was on the line. Davis, a former second-round draft pick, had transformed himself into one of the main contributors on a championship-contending team. It looked like he had finally found his role after complaining before the season that he didn't exactly know what his job on the team would be.
Had the season ended after the regular season, Davis would have saved himself the embarrassment of his postseason performance and everything that followed it. He wouldn't have been able to evaporate into thin air against the New York Knicks. He wouldn't have been able to take untimely shots and get overshadowed by the thin bench of the Miami Heat. He wouldn't have been able to immediately complain to the media about wanting a starting role in the locker room following a disheartening and gut-wrenching loss that ended Boston's season much earlier than anyone on the team had expected.Then came Monday's revelation from Big Baby that he wasn't mentally prepared for this past postseason, he doesn't listen to Doc Rivers and that he wants Glen Davis to be Glen Davis wherever he is next year. In a nutshell, he pulled a LeBron and made it extremely easy to get out of his current situation in the hopes of something better for himself personally. Davis is seemingly sabotaging his chances of returning to Boston with every word he utters.
On the surface, it seems easy for the Celtics to hand Davis some lovely parting gifts before kicking him to the curb. But it isn't that simple. See, the Celtics' bigs currently consist of Jermaine O'Neal and Kevin Garnett. Two aging guys who are each a misstep away from a lengthy stay on the trainer's table. They need healthy, young, big bodies and the chances of them getting more than one of those reliable bodies from free agency for anything more than the league minimum is slim to none. Sure, the Celtics could get rid of Big Baby. Who takes his spot? Troy Murphy?
While Davis is barely considered a big in terms of height, he uses his size effectively in order to play in the paint. He can be effective in the post on offense and can defend opposing bigs in the paint. Even more importantly, he knows the Celtics' system. He knows the defensive rotations, he knows his role in the offense (even if he says he doesn't) and he knows that the Celtics are desperate for big men. He's a great role player for a team that's looking for role players and Danny Ainge is in the "beggars can't be choosers" mode, especially with the impending lockout.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Davis views himself as more than a role player and he's going to get offers from other teams that can give him starting jobs. Everyone knows what kind of player he can be when he plays within his defined role. Ainge knows that as well and it's up to him to decide whether he wants to go after him or let him walk. At this point, the Celtics don't have any choice but to seriously consider bringing him back and see what other teams are throwing at him.
So the Celtics have a decision to make. Should they let Davis walk and take their chances at free agency or try to bring him back to keep some sense of stability and know that they have one less hole to fill?