I knew there was something missing from this season: speculation about roster moves! We've all been so happy with how things have gone, it hadn't even really occurred to us that we might still have work to do on the roster. Oh sure there have been grumbles here and there about needing a backup big man and perhaps a point guard, but at 20-2, there's not a lot that you could put into the "urgent need" category.
With that said, only a short sighted GM would pack up for the year and let it ride till the offseason. Danny may be a lot of things, but short sighted is not one of them. So is this release of Brandon Wallace a sign that the team will use its "roster flexibility" in the next few months? Or is it simply a matter of a young player not fitting into the team's plans in the next year and an attempt to save a few bucks? Nobody but Ainge can be sure, but rampant speculation is always fun, so let's try some of that.
First of all, let me point out that the bench has been a hugely pleasant surprise. I intend to write more about this later, but what we are getting out of Posey, House, Tony Allen, and especially Big Baby is much more than I would have hoped for at the beginning of the year.
However, that isn't to say there isn't room for more depth. The team now has two roster spots open. They can only dress 12 and Gabe Pruitt has already done two tours in Utah. Leon Powe is our very own human victory cigar and Scot Pollard gives us 5 minutes every 3rd game due to injuries and general lack of effectiveness.
Here are some options if we go with a free agent.
If I were sending a wish list to the North Pole, it would start with a solid big man to back up Perkins and let KG stay away from defending the bruiser 5's in the league. Some name players available to help out at the 5 include Dale Davis and old friend Vitaly Potapenko. Some have speculated that Olowokandi won't be back because he wasn't a Garnett favorite in Minnesota. I don't know much about his game, but with his size and youth I'm not sure why Jackie Butler is still unemployed.
After that you get into the power forward options. These are less ideal because they don't do much to keep KG out of the paint. Then again, beyond Glen Davis, the other options at the 4 seem to be using Posey or Scalabrine in small lineups. So it wouldn't be bad to get another player in that rotation.
There is a lot of speculation that we still have an eye on PJ Brown, but I'm sure he has his eye on one last payday. You see, he could still be included in a sign-and-trade (perhaps by Chicago) to match salaries for a team looking to land a big name player at the deadline. He could net somewhere in the $6-9 million range just by extending his summer vacation well past the New Year. Even then he might be bought out and go to the team of his choice. If that happens or he doesn't mind taking the vet minimum, there are still other teams that would stand in line to secure his services for the rest of this year, including Detroit. He's probably the biggest name available, but that also makes him a pretty long shot.
There's a little speculation that we might go after Chris Webber. I don't really see it. I know he'd be a nice passer/scorer from the high post, but I don't think he's going to give us much with his age and injuries factored in.
Moving over to the point guard slot, there's always a chance the team could end the House/Tony Allen at backup point experiment and bring in a guy that can run an NBA offense. I think we've been down the Gary Payton road before and there may be too much history there for an amicable reunion. I don't see Earl Boykins as a legit option. He's too short, thinks he's a shooter, and has a reputation of being a little difficult. I think a prerequisite for any player to be considered is knowing their role and not trying to do too much. That might be why they passed on Brevin Knight as well. I don't really know why we never made a play for Beno Udrih as a backup point but clearly Danny wasn't interested for some reason.
I really can't imagine the team going for a shooting guard or small forward, but you never can say never with Danny boy. I would think that the acquisition of James Posey makes looking into Ruben Patterson a moot point. However, you can't convince Justin Poulin from Celtics Stuff Live that the team won't find a way to coax Reggie Miller out of retirement for a stretch run and one more shot at the playoffs. I am skeptical, but I admit we can't rule it completely out.
Just once I'd like to see them sign someone from overseas that actually sticks with the team (Batista just didn't play enough defense I guess). Maybe our friend Fabio can give us a list of names of guys that would be available at the right price.
My best guess is that the team will toy with the PJ Brown thing as long as they can but ultimately will sign a big man or two that we haven't even thought of yet. Don't forget that other teams will be looking to cut players by Dec. 20 to save some cash.
Now, what happens if the team pursues a trade? Perhaps a 1-for-2 or player and picks for a couple of players? That is a whole other Pandora's box. If I have time I'll look into some options, but for now feel free to discuss below.