For true Celtics fans,  Leon Powe needs no introduction.  He was an important part of the Celtics and a key player as the Celtics won Banner 17.

Some of the highlights we can look at in Leon's time with the Celtics include a breakout performance Miami against the struggling pre-LeBron Heat, as he scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Celtics beat the Heat 117–87.

His most memorable performance with the Celtics came in Game 2 of the 2008 Finals against the Lakers. Leon scored 21 points, which included several dunks and 13 free throw attempts in only 15 minutes of play as the Celtics beat the Lakers 108–102. Afterwards, Phil Jackson mispronounced Powe's name in the press conference but you can bet he knew the player who just led the Celtics to a key playoff victory.

Powe also came up big in 2009 as the Celtics sought to defend their title. He started in place of Kevin Garnett, who was injured, and scored a career-high 30 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked a career-high 5 shots as the Celtics beat the Grizzlies 102-92.

How the Celtics Could Get Him

Leon will be a free agent again this season after playing for the Cavaliers and the Grizzlies after leaving the Celtics. He has played for the vet minimum for the past 3 seasons and would sign on with the Celtics if offered a vet minimum contract for the coming season. All Danny has to do is make the offer. After Powe was waived by the Cavs he was asked about whether he would consider a return to Boston and he had this to say:
“I’ll be happy wherever I end up, but Boston is always holding a special place in my heart, the fans were so good to me, everybody up there was so nice, and it would be a great thing to return back to the Celtics if I could.”


Leon is a tough competitor and gives 110% for the team. He never complained about playing time or his role on the team but did everything that was asked of him. Whether he played 5 minutes or 25 minutes, you knew that you would get everything he had every minute on the court.

Few players in the league have the heart that Leon Powe has. In the 2009 playoffs, the Celtics were short handed with KG out and he was playing with a knee strain because he knew the team needed him. In game 2, against the Bulls, Leon tore the ACL and meniscus in his left knee. Rather than crumpling to the floor as most players would have, Leon continued to play another 3 minutes after the injury before being taken out of the game. I want players with heart like that.

Leon is a tough competitor. He has an uncanny knack for grabbing rebounds and plays well around the basket. He plays tough defense and already knows the system. He fights for loose balls and brings energy to the team whenever he is on the court. He knows the Celtics system and would be great for team chemistry. The Celtics need bigs and they could do a lot worse than bringing back Powe.

With just 6 players under contract going into training camp, and no cap room to spare, the Celtics need to fill out their roster wisely. They will make an offer for Jeff Green and sign one or two rookies, but they need to find talented players who will fit into Doc's system that will give maximum return for minimum cost. Leon fits that description to a tee.

With a short training camp and little time to get used to the system, it makes sense to bring in players who already know the system, especially players like Leon who will fill a big need on the team.


The only con to signing Leon would be his knees. Although he has been mostly healthy for the past couple years, there is always the chance that his oft-repaired knees will give out on him again. His first ACL tear was in an AAU tournament in his junior year in high school. He came back to play his senior year on his reconstructed knee and was named a Parade All American, a McDonalds All American and a top 10 prospect for college recruiters.

After his freshman season in college, he still had severe pain in his reconstructed knee and he had surgery for a bone graft to relieve that pain. His knee didn't respond and they operated again and reconstructed the knee for a second time, his third major surgery on the same knee in the span of 2 years. A lesser person would have given up. But Powe persevered and went through rehab once again and he returned to Cal and became a dominant force, averaging 20.5 point per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, becoming only the 6th player ever to lead the conference in both categories and was named a second team All American.

Then, he tore the ACL once again in the 2009 playoffs with the Celtics but once again he worked hard and rehabbed and came back to play. When the Celtics played the Grizzlies last season, they had no answer for Leon as he scored 13 points on 5-6 shooting in just 17 minutes of play. But the worry always exists that his oft torn ACL might once again be a problem and that may be the only reason for hesitating on bringing him back.

At one time Red was quoted as saying that if he had to choose between character and talent, he would take character every time. When it comes to character, Leon is at the top of the league. I vote to give him another chance.

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FLCeltsFan 11/28/2011 09:16:00 PM Edit
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12 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe so on that extra chance..i like the character dynamic because it does take that to be a Celtic. Leon Powe sounds possible..

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'd love foe Leon to come back!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    the celtics better sign powe bc w/ his knee problems hell play 4 the vet minimum n the really dont have the luxury of weighing the cons. they need players period.

  4. tb727 says:

    Phil Jackson = Pompous Ass

  5. kwaszar says:

    Leon and Posey, bring 'em home!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would absolutely love to get Leon back. He was great for us, and I believe that he would have been even greater if it weren't for his knees. He has so much passion and grit, he's the definition of a team player, and he knows the system. He would fill so many voids for us.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. JR says:

    Powe was worth a roster spot when Danny let him go and he's worth one now. Plus with the abbreviated camo, it would help to have at least one player off the bench who know the system.

  9. I pray that they bring Powe back for all the same reasons you said

    I mean how much more comforting would it be to see Powe back in Boston colors, logging minutes as a backup big man off the bench instead of guys like Krstic or Murphy

  10. Jenda says:

    Cool article. but the pic of KG with visible hairline sucking on Leon's ear is stronger.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I honestly believe that if we really want to have a true shot at this; bring back the following:
    Delonte West, when healthy he showed vs Miami that he was a threat;
    Big Baby, we all know he wants a larger role but how he ended his season i doubt another team will offer him the money he desires. toughen up davis
    Von Wafer, Lets face it I actually liked wafers game, he has had his up and downs but I really admire his heart, he always played his best and lets not forget that game against Miami when he stepped up and we won.
    Troy Murphy, I pick him because he never had a fair share in the end of the season but I truly believe this guy can play in set spots which rondo can set him in.
    Leon Powe this guy doesnt need an introduction he has heart and a short season in unpredictable on his knees but ill take heart and effort over anything.
    Allen Iverson, Now this is the biggest gamble any GM can gamble on, If Iverson is truly committed in coming off the bench and really putting his Ego aside I honestly think he can be that spark off the bench. but before considering signing put him on probation if he doesnt commit or gives u trouble pull him off the books..
    Jeff Green; This guy can really help us he just has to get comfortable around and im sure the Big 3 will let him know to be himself
    Marquis Daniels; dont think about the injury; honestly this guy gave it his best with us, at the start of the season we were the best of the best.
    With all that being said If we really want to have a a succesful season bring in players who already know the system. Also if u can bring in other free agents that can help all the power..!!

  12. ROFL Jenda! I love that picture!

    Anonymous - I fully agree. With shortened training camp and season, we need guys who already know the system. I think back to Danny's experiments with Cassell, Marbury, et all that he brings in late in the season and who can't seem to get the system down and can't contribute because of it and it's pretty obvious that having players who already know the system are going to be a big bonus this season.

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