We're not done.
That's the mantra the Celtics brass keeps putting out there. Yet, as each day unfolds, more and more available free agents put their name on the dotted line for another team. I'm not sure if Danny even had his hat in the ring for any of the bigger fish, unless one considers Joe Smith a Sockeye sal-mon. Ohh, but remember folks, We're Not Done. They said so.
But uh, what if we are done? [gulp]
I peeked at Sports Illustrated's list of the ten best remaining free agents and wondered if the Celtics stood a chance at snagging any of them and if each would fill a need. For those that haven't read the piece, here they are, as ordered by SI:
1. Anderson Varejao 6'10 PF Restricted
He's big. He's Brazilian. He looks like Sideshow Bob. He plays solid defense and doesn't need the ball to impact a game. He's perfect for the Celtics, but comes at too high a price, I'm sure. Cleveland also holds all the power in trying to sign him. I don't think Varejao is truly valuable enough to make a run at in a sign and trade, either. He's offensively limited and might ultimately end up a hairier and more talented version of Scalabrine. That said, he's still probably one of the better fits of the available players.
2. Mickeal Pietrus 6'6 SG/SF Restricted
INTERIOR: GENERAL MANAGER'S OFFICE
[AINGE dials a rotary telephone]
AINGE: Hey Don, it's Danny again. Hey, we've got this great player, you might have heard his name -- Gerald Green? Yes, the Slam Dunk Champion Gerald Green! The very same! Did you know he can also shoot the three? Wow, I think he'd be really great in you guys' up and down system. I bet you can really use another wonderfully athletic player that loves to get up and down the floor and throw down nasty jams -- while also being a capable trailer for the spot up bomb. You'll absolutely love him, I promise! [pause] What do I want? Well, you know I just thought we might do size for size, and you've got that Pietrus kid still to sign, I was thinking we could do an offense for defense kind of thing and maybe throw in a... [click] Hello? Hello? Donnie? Don? Oh, dadgummitshuckswillickersgollymcgee!
[AINGE flips through a tattered Rolodex, landing on the tab marked 'Mc']
3. Chris Webber 6'10 PF Unrestricted
There was a time when I would have drunk a full glass of hemlock before contemplating Chris Webber in Celtic green. Now, I'm not so sure. I thought he was Done (with a capital D) before signing with Detroit. I don't know whether it was because he was energized by playing with a contender, but ole C-Webb put up some impressive numbers before the tank read 'E' in April. Detroit played Webber waaaay too many minutes, too; he'd be fine for about 20 minutes a night at age 34. Think before turning up your nose in disgust, please. He fills the Celtics' need for big man depth. He's an excellent passer and would be the perfect high post cog in the offense. He's a veteran and has played in many big games (no timeout jokes). I don't see anything wrong with throwing a 2 year deal his way. It's a risk that he might not stay committed to a non contending team, and he's of course a horrible defender -- but that lot has already been cast. We're going to win games this season by outscoring people with the Three Headed Monster, contrary to what Doc says. I'd really make a run at him. Outbid Mark Cuban. Yeah, I can't believe I'm saying it, either.
4. Andray Blatche 6'10 PF Restricted
I don't get the fascination with this kid. He hasn't done a thing in this league and yet he's the fourth best free agent remaining? Sure, sure, extrapolate his stats out over 48 minutes and you get blah blah blah... Doing the same thing to Perkins makes him look like Moses Malone, too.
5. Matt Barnes 6'7 SF Unrestricted
I get the sneaking suspicion that the Celts are after this guy. He's that athletic "power 3" that seems to fascinate ole Danny boy to no end; the knee-jerk signing of Brandon Wallace certainly proved that infatuation. Barnes isn't likely to leave the friendly confines of Nellieball, and any team that gets him out of Golden State is likely to have overpaid for the privilege. Barnes is a decent player, but one with a very fixed value. I'm utterly terrified we're going to throw a 4 year 35 million dollar deal his way. Let's hope that he's tired of bouncing around (five teams in five seasons) and agrees to a hometown discount.
6. Ruben Patterson 6'5 SG Unrestricted
Great stats last season. A rugged defender. Certifiably insane and a divisive presence in the locker room. Also the same size as just about every other player on the Celtics. Just the type of guy Doc wants around all his impressionable youngsters! Whatever he's asking for, let's triple it. [vomit]
7. Charlie Bell 6'3 PG Restricted
I would be working overtime to land this guy, but I doubt he wants a role as a backup PG after starting 64 games last year. No, he's not a true veteran point guard, but Bell would be a good fit for the team and slide in nicely to the "shooting point" role once filled by Delonte West. I think that role is more valuable to the Celtics this year than it ever has been, due to the amount of potential double-teaming the big three will face. What's the right price for Charlie? 3 years, 13 million, and a case of Wonka bars ought to do it.
8. Sasha Pavlovic 6'7 SF/SG Restricted
Cleveland should throw a bunch of money at Pavlovic and Varejao so that they'll be doomed to mediocrity for the next 4 years. Wouldn't that be a fantastic result after their fluke trip to the Finals? I just don't understand Pavlovic's value, especially in light of his playoff ineptitude. He's a one dimensional player and would be totally redundant on the Celtics. I'll even go one step further: I wouldn't even trade Gerald Green for him straight up. That should tell you a lot, because after Gerald's summer league stinkbomb, I'm ready to deal him for an alarm clock and a lube job at Meineke.
9. Ime Udoka 6'5 SG Unrestricted
I have to confess that I don't know much about Udoka, nor can I recall seeing him play. He seems to have some consideration around the league as a solid wing defender, but the Celtics already have Tony Allen for that purpose. Please get healthy, Tony. Whether you know it or not, the season might depend on it.
Wait, what's that sound? Is that a rotary phone?
10. Earl Boykins 5'nothing PG Unrestricted
I'll say this about the little bugger -- he does put up points in a hurry. But is that what the Celtics need? He's not really a shooter and he's likely to command a fairly hefty price. Some team (probably the Knicks, a hunch) will give him a fat contract and carte blanche to hoist up a lot of shots. There's just not enough basketball left to satisfy this little guy's mean appetite for attempts here in Boston.
Brevin Knight's name is still being bandied about, as is Juan Carlos Navarro's. I don't know much outside of Weiss' article on Navarro. Brevin Knight is a known quantity but most feel his reputation will prevent him ever from landing here. History has shown that if anything, Ainge has always erred on the side of good character.
In my earlier massive breakdown of the team, I didn't feel that the Celtics were doing to do anything beyond the Allen deal despite their proclamations. So far, I've been right. I didn't want to be, but there it is. Reviewing the list from S.I. made me question whether or not the Celtics had the a) interest or b) ability to sign/sign and trade for any of the leftover scraps. Sadly, my answer is still a resounding no. The restricted free agents all require sign and trade, and outside of Chris Webber, there isn't anyone particularly attractive on the unrestricted list. I think that Webber being the only available guy speaks to the sadness of the situation.
What about a regular trade? During the summer, they are rare birds. Usually teams stand pat going in to training camp and then play out the first half of the season before getting their trade juices flowing again in February. So uhhh... uhhh...
I think we're done.