The Celtics made the absolutely correct decision to offer Stephon Marbury only the veteran’s minimum, and Marbury, perhaps believing this is 2002 or something, turned the offer down immediately and will try his luck on the open market, according to Spears.
Good luck, Steph. I was honestly stunned by the percentage of voters over at CelticsBlog (85 percent last time I checked) that wanted Stephon Marbury back here next season. In fairness, the CB poll didn’t specify a salary, so perhaps those Steph supporters assumed the C’s would sign him for the minimum. There is no other explanation for such support.
Steph had one memorable playoff performance (Game 5 against Orlando, when he kept the team within striking distance for an improbable comeback) and was otherwise…well, let’s just say not very good. He couldn’t shoot, he often wouldn’t shoot, he could no longer finish around the rim and he rarely drew fouls. He was turnover prone, shaky as always on defense and a shell of whatever it is he once was. Just look at the numbers. That is not the statistical profile of a useful NBA player.
The veteran’s minimum was made for guys like Steph–aging players who might reclaim a bit of their old glory if about 100 things break the right way. With the C’s on the verge of tying up their full mid-level on Rasheed Wallace, there was no other play here. Goodbye, Steph.
Now the question becomes: Who plays back-up point guard? The C’s are apparently looking at Magic cast-off Tyronn Lue (a vet’s minimum guy, for sure), and I have a couple of other ideas I’ll share with you later this weekend.
• The Mavericks are about to blow their entire mid-level exception for five years on a center who barely got off the bench during the playoffs. I understand they are about to lose Brandon Bass, that Marcin Gortat is young and promising, and that the Mavs need big guys who can do something offensively, but, my god, this seems like a ton of money.
• The Mavs are also making a play for Brian Robb’s favorite under-the-radar back-up swing man, Quinton Ross, according to Eddie Sefko.
• As I’m sure you know by now, the Lakers and Rockets essentially traded athletic, defensive-minded small forwards, with the Lakers preferring the insane, selfish and older player over the sane, unselfish and younger player. Obviously, Ron Artest is a far more proven commodity, especially offensively, than Trevor Ariza, and Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant probably carry the gravitas to stop Ron Ron from jacking crazy 22-footers off the dribble. And we’re about to see if Trevor Ariza is a really talented offensive player or the lucky recipient of open threes out of the Triangle. (As Hollinger pointed out in his chat yesterday, Ariza’s PER and per-minute numbers have always been very good, which is promising for Houston).
• A bunch of teams made inquiries about Big Baby, according to Gary Tanguay. Those teams include the Knicks, Grizzlies, Spurs and Pistons. Of all of those teams, I really only see the rationale for the Pistons signing him. They need some bulk without ‘Sheed (and perhaps McDyess), but I have no clue why the Knicks or Grizzlies (after acquiring Zach Randolph) would have any interest in him. The Spurs, I suppose, could use a power forward if they fail to land ‘Sheed. In any case, I still think Baby will be back here at a reasonable price.