Browse Archives by:

Anthony Parker: A Ball-Handler?

Over the weekend, I briefly outlined how disastrous the Celtics luxury tax situation would be if they sign one full mid-level free agent (check), another FA (likely a back-up wing) with the bi-annual exception and manage to re-sign Big Baby–and that hasn’t even accounted for the back-up point guard position. In short: The team is looking at paying $100 million in salary and luxury tax. Ouch. 

One way to save a small amount of money would be to fill the back-up point guard position without signing a player other than the group outlined above. A combination of two things could make that happen: 1) Gabe Pruitt or Lester Hudson develops into someone capable of handling the ball for five or ten minutes a game, and 2) The wing player we sign has the ability to play some spot duty point guard. 

Which brings me to Anthony Parker, a 6’6” (or 6’7”, depending on which listing you trust) shooting guard well into the the down slope of his career arc and a player who could be had for the bi-annual exception. There are obvious downsides to Parker, and we’ll get to those in a second. 

But one possible point in his favor: Could be a lead ball-handler for short spurts? Raps coach Jay Triano started Parker at PG in four games last season when Jose Calderon was injured and Triano grew fed up with the ineptitude/inexperience/general badness of Roko Ukic and Will Solomon. I went through the substitution flows from those games on Popcorn Machine and found that Parker was on the floor without another ball-handler for 96:27, meaning he acted as the sole PG during that span–the equivalent of two full games. Here are his numbers from that span:

FGs: 18-of-32

Assists: 18

Turnovers: 11

Plus/Minus: -16

The Raptors lost all four of those games, but all four were against playoff-caliber teams (San Antonio, Atlanta, Detroit and Phoenix with Stoudemire), and, with apologies to our large readership in Toronto, the Raptors of 2008-09 could generally be expected to lose to playoff-caliber teams. (Also in fairness: 82games.com has the Raps at +27 overall in the minutes Parker played at PG this season, but that likely includes accumulations of very short stretches outside of this four-game sample size when he was the sole lead dog). 

Still, Parker’s stats aren’t disastrous. The 18/11 assist/turnover ratio (or 1.63 assists per TO, if you prefer) wouldn’t have ranked him in the NBA’s top 50 and is significantly lower than Parker’s overall ratio of 2.32 assists per turnover ratio, which ranked 32nd in the NBA last season, according to ESPN. (His overall turnover rate of 12.2 percent is very good, and he recorded his highest assist rate since his rookie year last season, thanks in part to the increased time he saw at PG, according to Basketball Reference). 

But it’s not as if Parker fell apart when given lead guard duties. It’s tempting to think of Parker as a guy who could back up Paul Pierce for 12-15 minutes per game and take over the ball-handling for just a few minutes each night as Pruitt and/or Hudson develop. That would save the team the added expense of signing someone like Tyronn Lue or Anthony Carter for the vet’s minimum, an expense that would add up to more than $2 million with the luxury tax. 

Of course, stalking Mila Kunis and laying money on a 6 1/2 point underdog are also tempting, but that doesn’t mean they are good ideas. Let’s be pessimistic (always my speciality) after the jump.

As Kevin Pelton wrote last week (and the stats at Basketball Prospectus show), Parker is not the defensive ace he once was. The numbers say he’s strictly average at this point, and our friends at Raptors Republic, the Toronto-themed blog in the TrueHoop Network, told me Parker has slipped as a man-to-man defender but remains useful as a team defender/helper. (They also characterized Parker as a “good” ball-handler for five or 10 minutes per game, but say Triano really stretched him by asking for any more than that).

Certainly, most quick point guards would blow by him, and the PGs who faced Toronto in this four game stretch combined to score 71 points on 27-of-56 shooting. The one guy who didn’t score a lot (Steve Nash) absolutely shredded the Raps defense for 18 assists. (I was at that game). 

In theory, the Celtics could try Eddie House against point guards and allow Parker to guard twos, but we all know how that’s going to turn out. Doc could also make sure Parker is only asked to play PG against the other team’s back-up point guard, and then only for  a few minutes in each game–or even more sparingly if the pups progress more quickly than anticipated. 

It’s not a perfect solution. But Parker’s overall versatility is a factor the team should consider when evaluating whether to use the bi-annual exception on him. He’s a dependable 40-plus percent three-point shooter, a careful ball-handler and a decent decision-maker on both ends who is not going to hurt your team and will occasionally make a big shot or a momentum-swinging defensive play. He’d be a good addition to the bench–for the right price.

  • Richard

    I’ll go for it…. I like the size benefit… And if we get to keep BBD… that would be the overall plus!

  • http://facebook.com James

    i like parker as the back up 2, but idk about him bein a back up point or 3 :/

  • ben

    The league pays for the vet minimun. So it would only cost about 1 mill. due to the luxury tax

  • http://Aol.com Matthew

    I don’t want to hear anything else about any other player except…”This just in.. The celtics just inked BBD to a new contract.” after that then talk to me about Parker, hill, or any one attempting to play pg on the backup status. With out BBD we will still be as shallow with our bigs as a kiddie pool in the sahara during the longest wait for rain in the dead of summer! Ever! Bigs in the east are like water…you can’t do jack with out them! The east is gettig bigger tougher deeper and more competitive. BBD kg sheed perk and if we keep the big redhead…is a solid line of bigs to chuck at everyteam. (seceretly powe will get signed once he is healthy to a piddely contract.)

  • Tom

    Why would you want a guy that would only force up bad shots/prayers and never passes. He is like a taller version of Ben Gordon.

no prescription xenical bupropion tab zithromax 500 mg pfizer viagra on line buy deltasone online cipro in south africa purchase viagra without a prescription levitra website orlistat price discount cialis online cialis online us paxil lexapro cheap cialis in uk canadian propecia buy cipro in usa cheap viagra no prescription generic levitra canada viagra tab generic levitra mastercard natural alternative to paroxetine buying viagra from india purchase discount cialis buy prednisone online without a prescription lowest cost levitra best and cheapest viagra pills cialis pricing nolvadex price no prescription how to order cialis online celebrex price where to buy cialis cheap non prescription generic cialis top selling herbal viagra cialis discount overnight viagra sales in uk alternative paxil genuine cialis online viagra online stores online rx diflucan buy cheap generic viagra zithromax dosing how much is accutane cialis com purchase cytotec online azithromycin cheapest cheapest viagra online online pharmacies uk amoxicillin canada diflucan buy daily cialis online accutane oklahoma viagra cheap canada viagra discount sales purchase viagra in uk buy amoxicillin online xenical pharmacy ordering levitra buying viagra online legal cheap authentic viagra one day shipping amoxil side effects viagra how to buy cialis online best best price celebrex generic cialis lowest price buy cialis in canada us cialis propecia mexico online prescription viagra azithromycin purchase online cheap cialis online without a persciption cialis order on line dose amoxicillin levitra canadian cialis canada 5mg celebrex cost australia azithromycin 500 mg viagra online sale buy levitra in europe wellbutrin online pharmacy viagra canada pharmacies order nolvadex viagra professional pfizer cymbalta australia for sale buy online purchase viagra flagyl buy generic cymbalta 20mg wellbutrin online prescription cialis online american internet viagra pharmacy buy cipro online cheap viagra pill viagra approved viagra buy usa side effects for zithromax viagra 25 mg canadian pharmacy cheap generic viagra cipro generic 100mg of paxil real cialis pharmacies herbal alternative to lasix order viagra in canada cipro xr bayer discount clomid levitra online sales cheap levitra prescription cialis brand approved cialis cheap viagra discount generic viagra professional viagra pfizer 50 mg female viagra europe furosemide 40mg tab