Since a lot of people (okay, me) were bummed that the Celts missed out on Joe Smith, this story may make you feel better about landing Mikki Moore. Steve Bulpett reports:
Smith pretty much confirmed last night that, while the Celts would have been an intriguing option, it would have been difficult not to return to the Cavaliers, with whom he had his heart broken by the C’s in the playoffs.
"That would have been a tough decision for anybody," Smith said before the Celtics beat the Cavs, 105-94. "I mean, that’s picking between two of the top teams in the league and trying to figure out which one you’re the best fit on. It’s a tough decision.
"But, yeah, it would have been real hard (to pick the C’s over Cleveland), especially if things would work out where we would have to face each other again (in the postseason). That would have definitely been hard, because I developed some friendships on this team. We did some good things last year and took these guys to a Game 7. It would have been real difficult for me to put on the green jersey and then have to face these guys in the playoffs." . . .
With the C’s needing size, they needed a commitment. Kevin Garnett called Smith to check in and take his temperature, but Smith wasn’t tipping his hand.
Asked if he suspected that Smith’s agent might have had a hand in directing his client back to Cleveland, Rivers said, "Yeah, with all of the dragging that was going on. And then we thought, ‘What the hell is going on.’ "
When Moore wanted in, the Celts told him he was their guy.
"I couldn’t make a decision before I got free," Smith said.
We'll never truly know if Smith would have come here, but it sounds like it was enough in doubt to make pursuing Moore the right option.