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Answering Mail

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Before the holiday I opened up the mailbox to field questions.  If you want to submit more questions, feel free and maybe it will inspire me to write an article or two.  Here are my humble responses to your inquiries:

Jamie Carver: I feel good about our team, but I have to wonder, what ever happened to Danny's summer claim that "now that we're champions, everyone wants to sign with our team..."

Well, he never said that he wanted to sign them.  There were a number of free agents (Maggette, Finley, Lue, and of course Posey) that expressed interest in Boston but ultimately got better offers elsewhere.  Money talks.  Danny simply valued cap flexibility and continuity (Allen & House) more important than spending on those particular free agents. 

With that said, I agree that we didn't get nearly the impact out of the free agent market that I was hoping for.  So now we have to go back to rooting for a player or two to be named later via this nebulous "cap flexibility."  Hopefully we'll look back and see that it was a wise business move that didn't cost us a chance at repeating.  Hopefully.

Johnson: Are the champs [trying to prove] that they can make "treasures" from "trashes"? They drafted a rookie, they signed a player from Golden State and now, they're planning to sign Miles. Or are they [trying to prove that] a champ's "team chemistry" [can make up for lack of individuals' lack of character?]

A little bit of both I'm sure.  Ainge has never shied away from character risks (see Gary Payton, Ricky Davis, etc. or rather, just read any Peter May article for a more complete listing).  If a player has talent but has been let go because of character issues, that means they can be had for less than their on-court value.  Ainge loves bargains, so he rolls the dice.  If it doesn't work out, he cuts bait and tries again.

The character of the defending Champs very much has the potential to squash any malcontents before they become a distraction.  Even the biggest knuckleheads will see that this team is about more than one person.  When the best players are sacrificing, everyone sacrifices.

My only (minor) worry is the number of questionable heads in the mix.  There's a quote that I don't quite remember so I'll butcher it in a paraphrase: "Any team can have one knucklehead.  But don't have two because they'll breed."  In other words, on their own, they might be harmless on a team like this.  You just hope that they don't get into trouble together.

Eeyore III: If you had to trade either Powe or Baby, who would you keep, and why? To get one of them enough PT, do you think trading one or the other is a good idea?

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I think right now I would keep Powe and deal Big Baby.  Here's why: I think you can get more value based on the name recognition of Big Baby Davis.  The perception is that he has lottery talent but fell based on an off year and weight issues.  He's proven he can play in this league and he's answered much of the weight issue thus far.  Other teams would pay more for that upside than they would Leon Powe, who at best projects as a solid bench player.

I honestly don't know how much better Big Baby can get and I'd rather hold onto the safer bet on this team that will need solid role players over the next couple years.

Rob: This could be a good thing or bad thing. What are the chances Scal will become a consistent bench player for us this year. Or does the signing of DMiles kind of put him back in his jeans and blazer at the end of the bench?

I don't think you can count out seeing Scal playing rotation minutes this year.  Darius isn't a sure thing by any measure.  Don't forget that Scal even started a few games in KG's absence last year.  We know what to expect with Scal at this point, and sometimes that is preferable to playing a guy (like a rookie) that could be better or much worse on any given night.

GreenLove: Why didn't Danny let the rookies participate in Summer League? Is it possible that he didn't want other teams to know what he had? Or maybe just to keep the fans from clamoring for more minutes for bench player X. I love that CSN recently acquired rights to Summer League broadcasts and now we don't do them anymore. Or maybe he just didn't think it was that valuable. I'd think it would at least have the value of showcasing our assets to other teams. Was it so we could see some people before the rest of the league got to? Whatever it is, it was a little weird.

I was sad to see them not participate in the summer leagues but I always thought it was more of a scheduling issue than anything else.  The team was obviously going to be working deep into the playoffs and you have to set these things up early.  The coaching staff would have been working through the playoffs, NBA draft, and the initial free agency period.  They might have just needed the time off.  The team didn't even know how many young players it would have at camp.  As it turns out, I'm not sure we would have even seen JR Giddens play.

There were some advantages to seeing the guys in their own camp.  Ainge said: "Sometimes you go to summer league you have five guys on a court at a time with 12-man rosters.  With the combinations here, we get to see more of everybody, and I thought that was a big advantage."

44thrilla: Rank, from most likely to least likely, the chances these teams will win a championship: 08 Red Sox, 08-09 Patriots, 08-09 Celtics. 

I'm no expert on the other teams in town, so be easy on me.  I think the Pats will overcome concerns on defense over the course of the year.  They won't go undefeated, but a Super Bowl win is their only focus this year.  I say they get it.  Next I'd put the Celtics.  As dominant as they were in the regular season, some rust showed up early in the playoffs and losing Posey won't help.  Of course I'd still make them the favorites in the NBA.  I'd put the Sox last because they no longer have Manny and I'm still a little worried about Beckett.  What?  No Bruins talk?  Nah, didn't think so.

Mike T. Hello Jeffrey, Can you believe that last season we: 1. Traded for Kevin Garnett, and 2. Put together the greatest one season turnaround in league history and then, 3. WON THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 22 YEARS OF PAINFUL TURMOIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

You know, I have nothing to add to that.