Gotta love Scott Souza. All last offseason he kept us going with stories and articles when nobody else was writing. He tracked down Sean Grande and asked him some questions. I always perk my ears up a little when guys like Grande and Gorman (Sunday's guest on CSL) talk about the team's potential moves because they are technically employed by the team and may have some insight or access to inside info. With that said, it is probably reading too much into things to take everything they say (in particular their opinions) as "coming from the Celtics camp." So read into this what you like. It isn't exactly ground-breaking stuff, but it comes from Grande, so I'm all ears.
While he works for the team as its announcer, Grande has never been shy about sharing his opinions regarding its successes and its shortcomings. To its credit, he says, ownership has never tried to censor him or his occasionally sharp-tongued sarcasm.
Though he has said he was intrigued with the prospect of China's potential boom-or-bust 7-footer Yi Jianlian like many others, Grande mostly sided with the "not another draft pick" crowd and is cautiously optimistic about recent and future deals.
"It's still hard for me to imagine that this roster is the roster going to Europe (during the upcoming preseason)," he said. "So it's tough to evaluate in July. But you have to look at it and say that there has been a significant improvement and that there are legitimate assets there where you are still in the game to make another big move."
That move, Grande said, should involve getting another veteran point guard. While he said he is a "big (Rajon) Rondo guy," his studying of the league tells him that experienced point guards mean victories in the NBA.
"You look at the one year recently when this team was over .500 and made the playoffs," he determined, "and that's the year you had an experienced starting point guard (Gary Payton). My theory is that having a veteran point guard is to the NBA what having a great short game is to golf."
He added that much of the expected improvement for next year will come from players who were on last year's roster.
"Everyone talks about Ray Allen," he said. "But, to me, having a healthy Paul Pierce and Tony Allen are the two most significant pieces for this team. If you consider that last year this team was a .500 team, and borderline playoff team when healthy, then that's a better place to start right there."
I find it curious that there is no mention of the need for a backup center. Not just from Grande, but I haven't heard much about it from Danny or Doc. Either the team really is couting on Ratliff (unlikely), the team is content to play smallball with Jefferson at the 5 (hopefully not), or perhaps it is just seen as less of a priority than getting that veteran point. I guess we could always pick someone up in training camp that doesn't make someone else's roster, but thats obviously not the idea plan.
Back to the veteran point guard issue, it seems like most of the free agent points are off the market or not in the C's plans, so I'm sure the team is thinking trade. I would toss out some names to dicsuss, but they are just going to be the same ones we've been over time and time again. Chances are, the guy we actually do get will be totally out of left field. And the waiting continues.