It is well known that Doc needs time trusting his bench players, in particular his young ones. It is hard to imagine how he would change his modus operandi in the middle of the season. And we all know Jeff Green had big shoes to fill and they were not meant to be his this year. The lack of confidence in the bench (anybody can think about better WTHHT candidates than Murphy, Arroyo and Pavlovic?) led to excessive minutes for the Big 4. Remember, Ray Allen played 40 minutes per night at almost 36 years of age. No matter how fit you are and how good your conditioning is if your coach is going to treat you as if you were 20.
In other words: we need legs, length and scoring from the bench. These words also refer to Al Thornton, DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford.
How the Celtics could get them:
It would be relatively easy to try and sign these players since they all become free agents in July. It is still to be confirmed whether we will be able to use our current weapons in order to sign them, that is the LLE, MLE and the veteran minimum contracts. Under the current CBA, we could realistically use some of them to sign the aforementioned players.
Thornton -unrestricted free agent from the Warriors- could be signed for quite cheap. Yes, even for the veteran minimum. Thanks to the Clippers history of madness, Thornton has already played for three teams in his young career. A promising forward out of Florida State, he found his talent being driven to the poor LA team and there he was selected to the All Rookie Team in 2008. After a promising stay with the Clippers he was traded to Washington in a three team deal that sent Drew Gooden and Sebastian Telfair to LA land. Yes, Bassy and Big Beard Gooden. Yes, you are right, the Clippers just gave away Thornton. And so did the Wizards later as they waived them immediately after the trade. He is a young player that has a lot to prove yet and he is at a crucial stage of his career. If he doesn't sign for the right team, he could very well end up as a bust, playing for some German team in the 2013 playoffs. I believe he can be had for the minimum, at a one year deal to prove his value
Crawford would demand the full MLE and he honestly deserves more. Whether he wants to sign for a contender and get a ring or rather he prefers to sign for big dollars in lottery team remains to be determined. But it seems Crawford and the Celtics are a match made in heaven. Let's see, Jamal can score the ball when he wants to. That's what he does, and he does it very well. He has scorched us in the last couple years. He comes off the bench and instantly scores over you. He is fearless, athletic and provides that offensive spark so needed from the bench. He would make Ray's minutes go to normal numbers and could be lethal alongside Rajon Rondo. Let's rephrase this whole thing: you want points from the bench, you have to try and sign Jamal Crawford. As simple as that.
Jordan is a restricted free agent. That could be a problem in 99% of the cases but we are talking about a Los Angeles Clippers player here. Anything is possible in this case. Do you think Sterling would throw big bucks for anybody? Wait, let me try it again: do you think he would spend money for anyone that has talent? The answer is not so clear now. I guess we would have our chances then. I don't know how much money would we be able to offer Jordan, in particular with the new CBA so this is the most enigmatic case of the three. Getting Jordan would make us bigger, longer and more athletic. He is a player that can block, rebound and dunk at will. He would flourish in Boston with good coaching and with a group of veterans that can teach him. Also, Rondo would feed him with assists that would turn into beastly dunks for the NBA highlights reel. If we have a chance to get Jordan we should try hard to do so. He is young, he has a heathy pair of knees and a full potential to develop. And most importantly, his fate is determined by a dysfunctional organisation.
The new CBA and the minds of Sterling and Crawford may not be very reliable at this point. It is all up in the air.
So, what do you think? Should the Celtics sign these players?
Some videos for you:
p.s. hat tip to JR for the picture Pablo Pérez 6/01/2011 05:34:00 AM Tweet