Just what in the name of Odin's shaggy beard was Danny Ainge thinking? Let's see: The Boston Celtics are led by a 6'6" All-Star perimeter player. So what does Ainge do? He deals the 5th pick in the draft for a 6'5" All-Star perimeter player. Ray Allen is basically just an older, lamer version of Paul Pierce who, in case you didn't know, is already a Celtic. And he's coming off surgery on both ankles. And he's got three years and $52 million left on his contract. Assuming the C's keep him, he and Pierce are going to account for between $30 and $40 million in cap space over the next three seasons, which drastically limits their ability to add other quality players.
This isn't going to work. It won't. It can't. Allen and Pierce are both quality players, All-Stars even. But they play the same position and do the exact same types of things (mostly firing it up from the outside). Does anybody remember how the 2002-03 Wizards teamed Jerry Stackhouse (a mad bomber) with an aging Michael Jordan (whose creaky knees had transformed him into a fall-away jump shooter)? That didn't work either, unless you consider 37 wins and an early vacation "working." Then again, after a 24-win season that featured an 18-game losing streak, 37 wins would be a pretty significant upswing.
Speaking of moves that made me want to whack my head with something hard, how 'bout those Knicks, huh? On paper, it looks like a great move: they essentially dumped Steve Francis and his bloated contract (two years, $33 million) for a legitimate 20/10 guy. Zach Randolph was, without a doubt, one of the best low post players in the West. But the Knicks already had one of the best low post players in the East. Do Randolph and Eddy Curry really complement each other? Of the Knicks many needs, "second inside scorer" was not among them. Plus, they're not exactly making cap room: Zach has four years and over $60 million left on his current contract.
Let me break this down for you: The Celtics and Knicks, two of the worst teams in the league, both brokered deals that brought them more of what they already had, and at a very high price. I don't get it. Am I the only one who doesn't get it? Did I forget everything I ever knew about basketball overnight? Can anyone explain these moves to me?
And lastly, I have to address my Bullies. They drafted Joakim Noah, supposedly a "steal," with the 9th pick. Again, on the surface it was a great move. Noah's a high-energy player with boundless energy and enthusiasm. He's also a character guy and a proven winner. What he is not is anything remotely resembling what the Bulls actually needed, which was (primarily) a low post scorer and (secondarily) a big guard/small forward who can penetrate and create his own shot. Noah is not a scorer. He can't score inside, nor can he shoot from the outside. Most of the 12 PPG he scored in his Junior season at Florida came on layups and tip-ins. You know, last summer, the Bulls spent $60 million on a guy who could rebound, bang bodies, had a winning history, and couldn't score in an empty gym full of five-foot hoops. His name is Ben Wallace, and he already does all the things Noah is predicted to do.
Seriously, my head hurts.
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