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The Big Vet Minimum

Look at the backyards on those two.
Look at the backyards on those two.

Man, I go away for a few days and this is what happens in my absence?  I love it.

I'm all for this move.  Not because I have any dreams of Shaq being the Shaq of old.  Rather, I fully expect him to be an old Shaq.  This is all about value and the best you were going to get with the vet minimum would be a guy like Shaquille O'Neal.  It's a no brainer really.  Or should I say, a slam dunk?  The Celtics get the best backup center left on the market and keep the option of trading Rasheed Wallace.

There are downsides and you have to go into this with eyes wide open.  The guy is slowing down and was never fleet afoot to begin with.  His defensive issues with the pick and roll have been well documented on this site over the last few days (great coverage by the staff by the way, don't you think?).  There are stats that say that he made the Cavs offense worse when he was on the floor.  His ego and personality trump even the recently departed Sheed.  If Doc had trouble getting through last year, good luck adding a guy that struggles with injuries and motivation to a team that ...struggles with injuries and motivation.

But the worst that could happen is that he gets hurt and never helps us any more than Patrick O'Bryant did.  (OK, I'm sure we could all come up with worse things that could happen, but I'm talking "within reason" here.)  If he doesn't work out, he's cost us only the vet minimum, which from a business standpoint should be more than made up in jersey sales alone.

I know many will wonder how we could bring in a former Laker like Shaq, but I hardly think of him that way anymore.  He's taken on a superstar hired-gun persona that makes him tough to get too emotionally charged about.  He reminds me a little of Roger Clemens in that way.  You know, sans performance enhancing substances, unless you count diet shakes.

Also, lets get past this debate right away.  The other O'Neal is the opening night starter.  Look no further than their paychecks to see who is valued more.  And I fully expect Kendrick to be the starter when he's back to 100% (or close enough to it).  If everything goes well, we'll go from having big concerns about big man depth to eventually having one of the largest rotations ever.

He's going to make a lot of headlines and generate a lot of interest for a lot of different reasons, but for me the rebounds alone will make it worth the pittance he's going to be paid (in NBA terms).  It was a big weakness for us last year and he can't help but help in that regard.

With that said, I must admit that as a blogger it is exciting to have such a personality on the Celtics.  Think of the post titles we'll get to use all season long.  Think of the tweets and quotes.  Think of the offseason entertainment options (who wants to have a chat night for his Shaq Vs show?!).  It is going to be an entertaining season to say the least.  

The Celtics kick off the season playing Shaq's old team (and some guys named LeBosh and Chris Bron, ...I think, ...will be involved as well) and with some a great deal of luck we'll end the season defeating another one of Shaq's old teams to earn Banner 18.

Say one thing for Danny, he's about as subtle as a sledgehammer and as timid as a tornado.  I like it.

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