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Daily Babble: Unsure of What Brent Barry Would Be Worth In Green

As has been noted on several occasions in this space over the past week, Brent Barry is a solid player who certainly deserves the chance to go after another championship ring this season.   It was nice to see him gain his reprieve from Seattle without so much as playing a game for the Sonics.

Whether or not Barry would make sense as a member of the Celtics, however, remains very much up for debate.

The Boston Globe reports that said debate is becoming more pertinent by the day:

The Spurs, however, would have to wait 30 days before they are eligible re-sign Barry. Boston is expected to inquire about Barry.

ESPN analyst and ex-NBA player Jon Barry, Brent’s brother, believes his sibling will give the Celtics serious consideration.

Four months into the season and seven months after the Garnett trade, the feeling of having skilled veterans actually want to come to Boston because they think it gives them the best chance to win hasn't gotten old.

But as has been seen on other occasions earlier this season (no regrets here about not acquiring Damon Stoudamire), interest from players around the league and open roster space doesn't necessitate making a move simply for the sake of doing so.

Truth be told, I'm not sure how to label a possible Barry acquisition. 

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From reading threads in the forums, it certainly appears that there exists at least one school of thought around this particular Celtics community whose members would happily embrace the addition of Brent Barry to the green and white.   Barry is a class guy who would fit well into this team's chemistry and provide a versatile skill set.  The 6-foot-7 guard is a very solid shooter who plays well within the team concept.  He can also handle the ball well enough to moonlight at the point for stretches as well.  He is a heady player who would be a nice piece to have off the bench.

Fair enough.  The idea of Barry as a Celtic is without a doubt intriguing, and it makes some sense for the reasons stated above.

But it seems only just to also wonder how much Barry will bring to this team that it doesn't already have, and how well he will fill the needs that clearly remain for this group.

Yes, the 36-year-old guard can both shoot the ball and handle it as well.  But the Celtics already have players who fill this role.  Eddie House is the resident shooter who backs up Rajon Rondo at the point.  Tony Allen shouldn't be handling the ball, but playing at the off-guard spot, he can provide an important defensive presence, and he virtually always brings an energy spark of sorts.  Plenty of players on this team like to shoot the ball from the outside.  House can shoot it.  Though not as hot as he was earlier in the season, James Posey can stretch the floor a bit.  Ray Allen is on this team primarily for his shooting touch, which he has yet to truly find with consistency this season.  Paul Pierce throws up his share from beyond the arc, too. 

Yes, at 40.7 percent for his career from deep, Barry represents something of an upgrade in the shooting department from many of the purported shooters the team already has, and the fact that he is shooting 43 percent from downtown this season backs that up.  He can certainly handle the ball better than TA can, and it is possible that he could do a better job than House in that regard.

But just how significant the magnitude of the upgrades Barry would provide remains in question.  And so does whether or not this team needs another shooter and 'moonlight point guard' all that much.

The Celtics' two major roster needs have been clear for quite some time now.  This team needs a true point guard to back up Rajon Rondo, and it needs big man help.  Addressing the former would almost assuredly require an acquisition of a player not currently involved with the Celts.  It is possible that the second could be at least partially dealt with by reapportioning minutes of the big men currently on the roster, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to find some external help there either.  The team has plenty of folks who consider themselves shooters, and though they could all be shooting a bit better, they aren't killing this team (of course, Ray could do with avoiding any more games like the one he had on Friday, but Barry wouldn't be brought in to take Ray's spot regardless).  The aforementioned vacancies are the needs, plain and simple.

Much of a nice player as he is, Brent Barry fills neither of those needs.  The big man issue is self-explanatory.  As far as the point is concerned, he runs into the same problem as do the likes of an Eddie House as far as being a combo guard with some point guard skills.  Barry doesn't represent any truer of a point than House does, as he likely wouldn't be penetrating or handling pressure all that much more effectively than House does, and he isn't that accustomed to having to run offenses for extended stretches.  Yes, he played a little bit of the point back in his Seattle days, but he is nearly without a doubt a shooting guard in this league.  As has been asserted in this space before, the Celts' need in the back-court is a true point guard along the lines of Sam Cassell or Tyronn Lue.  Another tweener doesn't solve that opening; rather, he merely clogs the rotation further.

What this all means is that, as was stated right at the beginning this morning, I'm not sure where to stand on this matter.  I don't have the magic answer as to whether or not it makes sense for the beloved Celtics to make a push for Brent Barry.  He provides a classy veteran presence with a still-working skill set, and if he were to become a part of this team, it would be very easy to embrace him as fans.  If players such as Cassell and Lue (and other possible point guard solutions) end up off the table completely, it certainly wouldn't hurt to bring Barry in for insurance.

But by the same token, there comes a point in a team's quest for a championship when filling needs becomes of far greater consequence than simply grabbing players who can make marginal upgrades at roster spots at which the team isn't spectacular but isn't in need either.

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Here's guessing that most of the readership here will be in support of a Barry acquisition for the Celts.  But putting words in your mouths (or perhaps more accurately, your fingers) isn't for me to do.  So instead I'll await the thoughts and responses of all readers with open eyes and an open mind.

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