With the NBA draft fast approaching, I haven’t been able to control my urges to spend hours of valuable work-time researching potential moves for the Celtics.
After exploring scores of trade ideas, free agent signings and potential draft picks – some plausible, others not so much – I have settled on one of the most unlikely scenarios in the history of sport and am now fully endorsing the following plan of action, which I am calling (for multiple reasons) “Operation Dumbo Drop”.
What if Danny Ainge could convince Kevin McHale to give us back the first round pick we sent to Minnesota in the KG trade for Tony Allen and some cash? (Stop laughing. This is Kevin McHale we’re talking about. He’s, A) One of the most inept GM’s in the NBA next to Chris Wallace, and B) Not at all afraid to help his former team out a bit, as evidenced during the Summer of 2007).
Kevin’s got picks coming out the wazzu this year (the ‘Wolves have three picks in the first round; 6th, 20th and 28th ) and will likely not have the roster space to sign all those rookies. So why wouldn’t he want to turn one of his picks (which will be an untested question-mark looking for a 3-4 year deal) into a one-year rental of a proven defender who also happens to have… (That’s right Johnny!!! Tell him what he’s won!!!)… an expiring contract in the most anticipated free-agent market in NBA History, (cue movie-phone guy voice) “The Summer of 2010!!”?
So now with Kevin’s 20th or 28th pick, Danny takes Tyler Hansboro (a steal that late who I'm convinced might even slip to the early second round).
With Bill Walker (who showed flashes of greatness in his limited PT last season and who I feel could mature quite quickly if given a larger role) and Hansboro, you get two young, energetic swingmen who can drive to the basket and have decent developing mid-range jumpers (not to mention that Hansboro could potentially develop a passable enough 3-point stroke - say high-20s to low 30s 3pt percentage - to be a threat to score from anywhere on the floor).
Those two, along with Starbury (who you then resign at a discount rate since his stock is low and he wants to stay in Boston and try to win a ring) could provide enough minutes to rest Ray and Paul to keep them fresh for another long championship run.
Now here’s where it gets good…..
Maybe - and this is a stretch (as if the rest of this plan isn’t?) - but maybe due to his above average play in the playoffs and McHale's fetish for White Goofy Power Forwards (the T-wolves are currently carrying an all-star list of WGPFs - Mark Madsen, Brain Cardinal and Kevin Love), maybe Kevin gives Danny the pick for Tony Allen and (this gives me great pleasure to say, even though I've grown to love him as an individual) "Brian Scalabrine's Expiring Contract".
Think about it. And stop asking what I’m on.
This move would give Kevin an additional $5.7 million (Allen and Scal’s combined salaries) coming off the books for “The Summer of 2010” to go after somebody for Big Al to play with, and it would give the Celtics roughly $5.7 million they could use to lockup Big Baby and resign Eddie House.
(NOTE: I’m not sure where the rest of this money is coming from, because $5.7 mil is not enough to resign both Eddie and Baby. Just roll with it though. Sam Cassell, Patrick O’Bryant and Leon Powe’s salaries coming off the books should help; Danny will find a way to make the rest work.)
So, at this point Doc would have an eight-man rotation of Rondo, Ray, Paul, KG, Perk, House, Starbury, and Baby, with Hansboro and Bill Walker coming off the bench and J.R. Giddens keeping the seats warm as an 11th man.
Use a mid-level exception to sign another veteran big (or at least a cheap role playing one) - potentially the looking to make a comeback and “in the best shape of his career” Antoine Walker, Mara-Juwan-a Howard, Marcin Gortat or Anderson Varejao - and you're set to raise Banner 18 in June of 2010, right?
(I mean, this secenario really isn't that unrealistic, right?)
(Stop staring at me like that.)
(I’m not crazy.)