Now and Later

The Celtics have lost four in a row. Hardly news to anyone. If I have seen one encouraging sign, it is that Doc has started to give more floor time to the second unit as a unit rather than as individual subs for the starters. It appears the first step in recognizing the two teams in one that I wrote about the other day. It may have been the plan all along, but the trust level wasn't there. Before when the second unit played, Doc would have either Garnett or Pierce with them, presumably to create stability. Instead, it seemed to stifle their flow and possibly retarded their ability to create an identity for themselves and develop a style that works for them, even if it is not "the way we have always done it."

This could be a crossroad. As several have said, we have a great roster on paper, but have seen a lot of square pegs so far. Perhaps this will be the subtle shift that makes the "paper" translate to the floor. We will probably continue to lose some games. I could live with that if the trend is positive. So, there is the case for standing pat at least for the next few weeks.

Another scenario that is popular right now is get a big man to win now. Fair enough, but there just really isn't a single game changing big available right now. Still another that is popping up again is the "blow it up." With nine new faces on the team, isn't that essentially what has already happened?

What we know we want is to win not only now, but also in the future. We know we need more rebounding, some shot blocking wouldn't hurt, and strong play at the rim and in the paint is a must. Sounds like I just made the case for a big center, but it does not have to be, especially if the future is small ball. And we still need an additional true point guard.

Jeff Green was brought in to be the centerpiece of that eventual small ball attack. I think Danny saw in him a LeBron type player and to some extent, it is true. But Jeff is better suited as a complimentary piece to a really uptempo style rather than the centerpiece of that style. If he were to be traded to the right system, we will probably be scratching our heads next year wondering why he didn't do "all that" for us.

All the old maxims tell us things such as you have to give up something to get something and a trade has to make sense for both sides. So consider these items: Denver is still missing that one piece to put them in the elite. They also have Wilson Chandler who lost his rotational spot while injured and they have a 3rd center who has also fallen from the rotation. Also they could use a proven back up at SG. Toronto is counting on Valanciunas to be their center of the future, but he is hurt and the back up is Aaron Gray. Plus they have a conflict at the point where they brought in Kyle Lowry so that they could move Jose Calderon's expiring contract. They also have our injury bug from last year and have been linked to interest in Chandler.

So here is a plan; Green and Barbosa go to Denver. Based on averages, we lose 14.7 points and 4.1 rebounds, but I would expect both player's numbers to explode in the different system. In exchange Chandler and Mozgov go to Toronto along with Brandon Bass (we lose another 8.1 points and 5.3 rebounds). This would shore up the Raptor's front court. We would get Kenneth Faried from Denver (12.2 points, 10.2 rebounds with 4.1 of those offensive, and infectious energy who can play either forward spot), Jose Calderon (10 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists) and Ed Davis (8.2 points and 6 rebounds) from Toronto. The net result is we gain 7.6 points and 9.5 rebounds, two forwards that do all their scoring at the rim and in the paint, an additional point guard that has proven he can run an offense, and cap flexibility (with the expiring contract) to play in the free agent pool this summer. (Guaranteed salary for next year would drop from 71M to 49.5M. The probable free agent "class" is strong on guards as well as PF, including Josh Smith. See it here:

Certainly this is not the only combination that could work, yet it is calculated to cause the least upheaval to a team already struggling for identity. Nor does it pin all our hopes on just one large contract big man last rumored to maybe be available. I also concede that two of the names, to the best of my knowledge have not been linked to any rumors. But I also think it is the kind of deal that could work as it conceivably helps all the parties involved. At least for us, it would help both now and later.

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