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Don’t We Already Have Dahntay Jones?

 

Stephen A. Smith was making all sorts of news Monday on the Twitter, including one post predicting–nay, PROCLAIMING!–the C’s are targeting Dahntay Jones in free agency. (Hat tip: CelticsBlog).

To which I immediately responded: We already have Dahntay Jones. His name is Tony Allen. The main differences between them are that a) Jones is two inches taller and a slightly better athlete; b) he shoots more jumpers even though he’s almost as bad at making them; c) he’s a bit–a bit–less turnover prone; and d) he has a solid record of violence against Kobe Bryant. (I keed, I keed!)

I know what you’re thinking: We need a back-up to Paul Pierce, and Tony Allen has proven incapable of playing that role consistently. And perhaps those two inches make Jones a more credible small forward defensively than Tony Allen. You might be right. There’s just nothing (well, almost nothing) in Jones’s brief NBA record to suggest that. He’s played the huge majority of his minutes at shooting guard, not small forward, according to 82games.com stats from his ’09 campaign with Denver and his ’07 season with Memphis. (Jones played limited minutes in just 25 games with the Kings in 2008, so I’m tossing out those numbers. You can view them here if you want). Our fellow TrueHoop Networker Jeremy Wagner of the Nugs blog Roundball Mining Company confirms Jones rarely guarded small forwards and generally didn’t have the best things to say about Dahntay’s overall ability.

Of course, Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony gobbled up the bulk of the minutes at the three spot for Memphis and Denver. But even so: When his coaches put Jones in the game, they played him at the two spot. 

Let’s compare Tony Allen and Jones by their numbers from last season:

                                                            Tony Allen                                  Dahntay Jones

PER                                                         12.9                                               9.0

FG%                                                        48.2%                                           45.8%

% of FGAs that were Js                            39%                                             50%

FG% on Jumpers                                     28.2%                                          39.8%

Turnover Rate                                         18.8%                                          14.5%

DRB Rate                                                 10.7%                                           8.7%

FTAs/36 minutes                                     4.4                                                3.8

Three-pointers                                       6-27                                               11-17

Offensive Rating                                      98                                                   105

Defensive Rating                                    100                                                  110

One note: Last year was a bit of an aberration for Tony Allen in terms of his jump-shooting. In 2008, half his field goal attempts were jumpers, and he made 41 percent of them; the year before that, about 45 percent of his attempts were jumpers, and his effective FG% on those shots was about 37 percent. 

Those hit rates aren’t great, but TA isn’t as godawful on jump shots as he was last season.  Jones, on the other hand, has been pretty consistent as a shooter, making just below 40 percent of his jump shot attempts in each of last four season. He did attack the rim more with Denver; before last season, about 60 percent of his field goal attempts were jumpers, according to 82games. (See here, here and here).

Another note: That 110 defensive rating is probably not fair to Jones. He’s a better defensive player than that, and D-Rating is about 80 percent dependent on team performance. (Then again, Denver was a top-10 defensive team this season, and Jones’s teams have fared a bit worse defensively with him on the floor in three of his last four seasons, according to those 82games links above). 

A deeper look at Jones’s individual defense via Basketball Prospectus shows Jones guarded some really, really great players and managed to hold them about two percent below their normal productivity levels–a not insignificant accomplishment.

In any case, it’s hard from these numbers to see the point in spending any money to bring Jones here–not with the budget as tight as it is. He has the potential to be a more valuable player than TA on both ends, and he could grow into a useful back-up for Pierce. But I’m not comfortable spending any of the team’s mid-level exception on an unproven player who duplicates the (limited) skills of someone already sitting on Boston’s bench. 

I could maybe–maybe–see spending the team’s bi-annual exception (about $2 million) on Jones, but that would mean the C’s could not use it the following season, and I’m not sure Jones is worth even giving up that opportunity. 

A bit of a pro-Jones counter argument, after the jump.

There is one main reason you might take a look at Jones: It’s not going to be easy to find an ideal back-up for Pierce on the free agent market. Most of the available small forwards are either out of our price range (Odom, Ariza, Artest, Marion), questionable defenders (Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Kyle Korver), unproven/not very good players (Walter Herrmann, Ike Diogu, Ime Udoka, Stephen Graham, Darius Miles, Justin Reed) or restricted free agents likely to re-sign with their current teams (Jamario Moon, Marvin Williams).

It’s just not going to be that easy to find a 6’6”-6’8” guy who can play defense, attack the rim and hit open jump shots. Of the players likely to be available in the C’s price range, Hill fits the job description most closely. 

(Note: One guy not listed there is Josh Childress, because no one seems to know what in the hell is going on with him).

So, sure, go ahead and kick the tires on Dahntay Jones. But the moment he asks for more than the bi-annual exception, run away.

  • csm99

    This is the time to trade Rondo we have Lester Hudson we resign house keep Gabe. So trade rondo and get a back up for Paul or a big man like Turkoglu or a big center Boston has to make a move now. Not Jones he's nothing but another Tony Allen shit we should have kept Gerald Green. At least he could score not get injured ever 3 seconds.

  • J.Rod

    celtics should stick with rondo, and not resigning marbury and moore, resign big baby and look for hedo turkoglu or boozer. they need dominant bigger man or someone that can backup pierce playing like him or better just like hedo turkoglu would do. i mean how else will they match-up with 3 seven footer men cavs ? or how will they put on a 3 point party on cavs just like the magic did, with eddie house and allen being watch already. C's are a great team, they should focus on what they need to beat cavs, lakers kind of teams. good big men type of teams

  • boston

    the celts sould definately stick with Rondo, he put up the best numbers for a pg in the playoffs since Magic. get rid of mikki moore cuz he is a waste of time hes to soft even softer than gasol 2 years ago. also get rid of tony allen and gabe pruitt and even jr giddens and go after turk or a big man(someone 6'10" and up)

  • Steve

    Anyone think that with Minnesota's suddenly crowded PG position and rumors Ricky Rubio won't be happy there and may go back to Spain that Boston may make a call about an RR for RR swap? If everything they say about Rubio is true then he would probably be a good fit in Boston. Not sure about what other pieces would have to move to make it work but I think if McHale were still in charge we could have this done soon.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    No way the C's trade Rondo for an 18-year-old PG with the intent of turning over the reins to the team to Rubio. Rondo is not getting traded, if only because they ust can't replace him at PG.

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  • KY Celts fan

    I'm not sure why I hear so much talk about wanting to trade Rondo. He is the only player to breakout of this year's playoffs, and we've seen time and time again that the team can't play without him. You think Hudson can replace Rondo? Or House? No way. I'd like to have Turkoglu, but I think he is another one we can't afford.

  • Jeff

    Turkoglu is out of the question we need money to sign Powe and we need to empty the bench because they aren't helping us any. Moore was a waste. Walker, and Pruitt aren't proving themselves, and Big Baby is definitley going to get a better offer. Scalabrine let's face it we love him but he's not that good. House can make the three but that is all he can do he can't get to the hoop like we need. I would hand the team over to Rubio. He is a team player has the same skills as Rondo too with the passing and just like him he can't shoot. But I will bet you he won't show up late for playoff games. And he will actually listen to Doc unlike Rondo who was calling his OWN plays when Doc was telling him to do another play he is just going to hurt us off in the long run. Unless he can turn himself around because he reminds me of a young Pierce and i'd love to keep him we can't if he will be this way trade for Rubio or go through with the Memphis trade. Either way we need to clear the bench try for Ariza or Odom or Rasheed Wallace (just for height i know he's old) Turkoglu is to much money. So get rid of Moore, Scal, House, Tony Allen, Rondo (if he can't improve his attitude and apologize to Ainge), Big Baby we should trade or we will get NOTHING for him, Pruitt, and Walker. Keep Maurbury for back up purposes because i think once he actually gets going because he didn't play in over a year he will actually have confidence in his shot and will actually score. Go after those free agents, sign Powe leave Perk alone because he will play Howard better than any other center in the league (except for the Lakers and that is only because Bynum is so tall if not Howar would run him over), and save money for PIERCE AND ALLEN who are free agents in 2010 or we can get rid of Allen and try for Wade if we have the cap space which we will with these moves. Or go with the Memphis trade.

    PG- Rondo/Maurbury or Rubio/Maurbury or Conley/Maurbury

    SG- Allen/Gay or Allen/Ariza

    SF-Pierce/Gay or Pierce/Ariza or Pierce/Odom

    PF-KG/Powe or KG/Wallace

    C-Perk/KG or Perk/Walace or Perk/KG

    And all these guys i named for the bench have PERFORMED IN THE POSTSEASON! then if we do this in 2010

    PG-Rondo/ Maurbury or Rubio/Maurbury or Conley/Maurbury

    SG- Allen/Gay or Allen/ Ariza or Wade/Gay or Ariza

    SF- Pierce/ Gay or Pierce/Ariza or Pierce/Odom

    PF-KG/Odom or KG/Wallace or KG/Powe

    C-Perk/Wallace Perk/KG Perk/Odom or Perk/Powe This is a good lineup for championships to come

  • http://celticshub.com Daron

    Look here all these trade talks are worthless boston need to focus on signing big baby and house back don't sign powe back the knee injury is to risky sign matt barnes and rasheed this is the time when KG call sheed and tell him sign with boston to help win another ring cause one ain't good enough if that happen boston will be in good shape you keep your core bench players in house and davis and you get your back up foward and big man to go alone then you start trading try to trade tony allen bill walker and scal to the nets for rafer alston

    Starters

    PG-Rondo.

    SG-Allen

    SF-Pierce

    PF-Garnett

    C-Perkins

    Bench

    PG-Alston

    SG-House

    SF-Barnes

    Pf-Davis

    C-Rasheed

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  • josh

    I never thought I'd say this, but … trade Rondo. Get a decent bach-up for Pierce. I've seen Pruitt play, and I think with more playing time he'd be just as good as Rondo … but with a better outside shot. I'm sure Danny has something up his sleeve. He is a basketball genius! Oh, and by the way, there must be a way we can get McHale back in the organization.

  • http://celticshub.com jenny

    all I can say is what is anyone thinking about! allen and rondo leaving the celts it makes me think about never watching basketball again! please don't do this

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