Post-game Reactions

UPDATE (1:31): This list just got a little more relevent, because Yahoo! is reporting Grant Hill has re-signed with Phoenix. Hill apparently believes Steve Nash is about to sign an extension and feels “comfortable” with the direction the Suns are going. Personally, I’m not shedding any tears over this. The C’s could get nearly equal production from a few guys on this list, if not the steadiness and smarts Hill brings. 

The Celtics have to find a capable back-up to Paul Pierce. Tony Allen has failed in chance after chance to seize the role, and there is no evidence that J.R. Giddens or Bill Walker will be able to assume it reliably this season. Paul Pierce is 31, played his most minutes since 2006 last season and looked exhausted at times in the playoffs. The Celtics have to rest him more next season. It’s easy now, in July, to think that, hey, the regular season isn’t really that important, so why not see if Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens can gave us 15 minutes per night?

But that’s not how the NBA works–not when teams are going to be fighting hard for playoff seeding. 

With that in mind, here are some wing types that remain out there and possibly could be had for the biannual exception–which is the best Boston can offer outside of a complex sign-and-trade. (This means, by the way, that any restricted free agent whose team has tendered him a qualifying offer is now out of our reach. So goodbye Hakim Warrick and Jamario Moon). Consider this your “in case Grant Hill actually makes the ridiculous decision to sign with the Knicks” list: 

In no particular order:

Matt Barnes: At 6’7”, Barnes has the size, range, handle and quickness to be a serviceable Pierce back-up. I once joked to a Suns fan that every time I flipped to a Phoenix game, it seemed like Barnes was hitting three-pointers. His response: “You must not watch many Suns games.” His shooting is overrated (career 32 percent from deep), but he could fit well here provided he plays within his limitations.

Rodney Carney: Had a solid January and March for the T’Wolves, but otherwise has shown little advancement in his three years in the NBA. His offense is limited, and his rebounding is awful, but he’s been a capable defender of both shooting guards and small forwards. As Kevin Arnovitz at Clipperblog points out, his on/off court numbers–if you believe such things are relevant–were positive last season. An intriguing project.

Marquis Daniels: A bit under-sized for a true wing at 6’5”, Daniels never lived up to the mid-level type deal he signed with the Mavs after 2004. He lacks three-point range, and his jump shot is shaky. But he generally works hard and, like Carney, his on/off defensive numbers were solid last season in Indiana. He also played more at small forward than at shooting guard, so he has experience playing the three spot. 

Desmond Mason: Mason is coming off a lost season with the Thunder, but he has carved out a role for himself as a solid defender of both shooting guards and small forwards. His offensive game–and shooting range–appear to be eroding, but, like all the players on this list, he could fit well in Boston if asked to do only a few things. Mason is also 31 years old, which seems impossible. God, I’m old.

Keith Bogans: Bogans is an interesting player. By one measure, he’s a terrible shooter; his career FG% is under 40 percent. But he’s a 35 percent three-point shooter, which means he can be a useful offensive player on the right team and in the right system. At 6’5”, can he guard wing players effectively? 

Ime Udoka: The least experienced of all of these players, even though, at nearly 32, he’s the oldest. He played 75 games for Portland in 2007 and shot 41 percent from deep, but he’s spent the last two seasons buried on the fringe of Gregg Popovich’s rotation in San Antonio. He’s a solid athlete who can defend well, but his offensive game is limited.

Joey Graham: I cannot evaluate Joey Graham rationally. I have deep connections to the city of Toronto, so I’ve attended several Raptors games over the last two seasons, and Joey Graham has played astonishingly well in almost all of them. He can jump out of the building, his dunks are ferocious, he’s a solid athlete and capable defender, and whenever I watch, he adds a mid-range jump shot on top of it all. The guy is like a junior varsity combo of Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone when I’m in the building. 

The numbers show the profile of a below average NBA player. At 6’7”, he’s built almost like a power forward, and his offensive game does not extend any further then Big Baby’s. But he played almost all of his minutes at small forward last season, so he’s familiar with the role. 

So, there’s the list. Uninspiring, for sure. But there are useful players here. Who do you like? And who have I missed?

The following two tabs change content below.

Zach Lowe

Latest posts by Zach Lowe (see all)

Share →
  • John A

    I like Mason and Barnes.
    How about Stackhouse if he gets bought out? Great offensive player but getting older and hard time staying healthy.

  • Forgot about Stack. I’d have to research his health situation a little more, though. Good call.

  • Carlos M

    I would like it to be Barnes. He’s young, athletic and has a good attitude. But if not, Grant Hill, older but has played good basketball the past few seasons.

  • Pingback: Links For Your Pleasure | Air Alamo | A San Antonio Spurs Blog()

  • nick

    if anything we need a backup pg unless were planning on rondo playin all 48 min wich may be possible from wat ive seen from him…how about a guy like tyronn lue or brevin knight

  • Cullen

    I dont care how far it takes us into the luxury tax, lets steal lamar odam from the lakers! it would screw over the lakers and put us over the top

  • George

    Why not consider Klezia? Too much $$? Or is it because he is restricted? Regardless of the possibility, I think he'd be great coming off the bench for the Paul.

  • @Cullen: We can't get Odom without a sign-and-trade (he's far out of our price range), and I can't see the bad guys helping us out.

    @George: I believe Kleiza has been tendered a qualifying offer.

    @Nick: More and more, I'm convinced the C's are going to bank on someone internally filling the back-up PG role.

    @SEan: I actually think Ainge made the right call letting Posey go–and I love Posey. He wasn't the same player last year, though,, granted, he wasn't playing on the same team.

  • don't like LO thought. you'd have 2 have alot of starbust and joints for him. lest we forget he was busted with the clippers. no one over 25 years of age buys starburst unless he's whacked on kush. the lakers can have him. like james posey scenario if it could be worked out.

  • Pingback: Today’s Celtics Links 7/10 at New England Sports 24/7()

  • Michael

    Barnes. What do you think is reasonable salary expectation? If we're looking for someone with Big Baby skill set, then we might as well sign Baby. Barnes is best value, and I'm hoping we can add him and Baby, and be done with it. I mean, Posey shot his share of bricks too! As for PG, we just do what we did last year and pick someone up on a buyout in March. By then, Pruitt will be fine and adding a vet just becomes insurance.

  • Zach, excellent article. If nothing else, this gets me down about the current FA wings. None of these guys are solid starters for a .500 team. It just goes to show how important players like Hill can be, even at this point in his career.

  • mallz

    I dunno but by how grant hill sounds he might want money more than a ring. sheed needs most of the bigs off the bench minutes, than powe when hes healthy, i think they ll pick him up. if hill bails on them they should sign n trade glen davis to hornets for RASUAL BUTLER, ya his age is high but hes a step down skill wise in what they wanted in hill. number 2 pick would be barnes. but pierces spot is known for pick n roll wit a big. barnes is more of a spot up banger on O

  • bobby

    as a wolves fan, i’d say that carney is worth a flyer. he is a strong defender, gets out on the break well, and is capable of ferocious finishes that would ignite the Garden crowd for minutes on end. he’s also a good and improving shooter from the corner three area. i was personally astonished at a) how good he played for the wolves last year when he was given run and b) that David Kahn did not re-sign him. shows a lack of tape watching.

  • Is it just me or Do I like Barnes more than Grant Hill?? HIll is more than capable, but he’s also old and injury prone…outside of the miraculous traniners that the Suns employ.

    Barnes, to me, is quicker, has better range, and more length to defend.

  • Andrew

    Is there any way that the C’s could put together a sign-and-trade deal for Travis Outlaw, sending Big Baby to Portland, which is shopping for a backup power forward? No idea whether the numbers would work.

  • None of those guys excite me very much. Barnes might be the “best” of the bunch, but he’s a combustible hothead who doesn’t seem to take direction very well. Putting him on a team with Rasheed Wallace sounds to me like the NBA version of vinegar and baking soda. Still, he can play some D, and gets hot from 3pt land from time to time.

    Even so, Udoka might be the most appropriate for the Celtics. His offensive limitations shouldn’t be much of a negative with ‘Sheed, House, and hopefully Glen Davis on the bench with him, and he’s a good enough defender to allow Pierce to get plenty of rest during the regular season.

    Personally, I’m hoping for Hill if we’re going to sign a FA, although I don’t see why we should rule out the possibility of packaging Veal’s expiring contract with some young guys for another bench player.

  • Arvin

    Zach and the rest,

    Props to you guys for showing so much interest in July for the Celtics 8th or 9th best man. Seriously, I like it. My vote goes to Barnes just for his athleticism. My question is: can he become a shutdown defensive player? Loved Posey, but he has already deteriorated. Agree with Michael, let's sign Barnes, Big Baby and give Powe a 5 year 7.5 million dollar deal. Low risk, high reward!

  • JE33

    I think we screwed the pooch when we didnt trade Tony in the Garnett Deal instead of Ryan Gomes, which at the time would have been possible. How i wish we had him back..SOUNDS CRAZY.. but would could problably get Posey back for Tonys, and Scals expiring contracts because of the SALARY CAP situation next year.. Hornets are gonna be looking to dump salary..Matt Barnes sound s like the best fit and I saw an article that said he problably wouldn't be back in Pheonix..

  • Coach Smiley

    What about Bruce Bowen? Hits the 3 Ball and is a nice on-ball defender.

  • Cory

    HELLO….MARQUIS DANIELS is a more than servicable player. The Celtics dont realize the aura they carry by signing a semi young forward like Daniels he gonna work hard to earn his minutes. Lets jus plz not wait til trading deadline cuz we see how that worked out last year wit mikki moore and starbury

  • What about Bruce Bowen, nice on ball defender and can stretch the defense.

  • Cory

    even joey graham. there are good players to be had. lets offer a long term contract

  • Tom

    Is it me or is everyone on that list a poor shooter? A really poor shooter!

    Worst case scenrio, we pick up Barnes for the minimum (I think he will go for slightly more) and give an extra $1M to Marbury?

    Man, it’s not pretty at the moment

  • JE33

    We've been saying that Matt Barnes is problably the best fit for awhile..It doesnt seem like he is on Dannys wish list.Zach can you shed some light on this? Also seeing as how the extra year of contract that we lost Posey over is done and gone what would you think of trading Scal and Tony to New Orleans for Posey assuming they would consider it..I think they would knowing that the Cap could be anywhere from 50 to 54 million. Proof reading before posting is a good idea !

  • Sean

    How about the C’s trade for James Posey? Seriously. The Hornets are trying to cut costs, so how about we trade them Scal, TA, Giddens, and a pick? He’s a better defender and shooter than Hill, and he’s five years younger and he’s less prone to injury. Plus, he knows the system and it seemed like he enjoyed playing with the Big Three, which must count for something.

  • Buckets

    I wouldn't mind seeing Joey Graham with us for cheap. The guy has a body that can check a guy like LeBron and we only need him to play 10- 15 min. a game for us. Hopefully Big Baby stays and someway we bring back Powe, loved the way he played but very unfortunate he got hit with the injury. I also like Barnes too.

  • anon

    why isn't there already an offer out to Barnes… if the 1.9 mil can be offered (and that's as high as the celts can go) it should be done asap. As people keep getting signed more and more teams are going to start looking at Barnes. Already saw some posts about the Magic considering him, Portland, Cavs could make a run and of course the Suns are still an option (even the Nuggests have been mentioned). He's the best wing player out there right now and best of all, he plays defense!

  • Kaveh


    You bastard. Don't put any ridiculous ideas into the celtic front office's head! Without Odom, my Lakers are doomed. Seriously, i'm getting a little worried that we haven' signed him yet.

  • Arvin

    Love the idea of stealing Odom from those soft Lakers (OK, they are the champs for now), but we don't have the capo space. I don't think Bowen has much left in the tank. He can't guard LeBron. We gotta see something from Danny on Barnes, Big Baby and lastly Powe in the next week . . . or trade Scal and TA and let's steal Odom!

  • Chris

    in basketball especially NBA, the 2 most important positions are PG and Center. The Celtics right now have the worst PG core. Rondo is solid but cant shoot, and Eddie House can shoot but cant dribble. They need a backup PG BAD. some of the names out there will not be glamerous but Brevin Knight, Travis Deiner, Ronnie Price (I like this guy), Chris Quinn, someone like that will have to do. As far as the small forward situation, and those names I just saw, I like either Barnes or Daniels to fill that role but the money might not be there.

  • Papa Irish

    if we are going to sign someone thats only 6'5 why not go with von wafer, nevermind he doesnt fit what are team needs (neither do any of those guys on the list with the exception of barnes) and that he can't guard small forwards so he probably cant back pierce

    his offensive game is far superior to anyone on that list AND tony giddens and bills combined

    im hoping for a S&T or a trade involving expiring contracts that would hopefully land us nocioni, posey, or maggette or jackson from Golden state; its possible both those guys have long deals on a team in transition, plus the owner is trying to sell the team and they have a gluttony of wings

  • Sean

    @Zach True, he may not be the same player, but I think he would honestly be a better fit than any of the other players available. Sure his contract stinks, but if the C's are going all in then why not retrieve a guy who was instrumental in getting the team over the top?

    As for the PG situation: there has to be some veteran point guard out there who would sign with the team for a chance at a ring. Bobby Jackson, Ty Lue, Lindsey Hunter, Knight, etc. should all be given a look, despite their respective ages. I think the C's past interest in signing guys like Cassell or Marbury has shown that a pass-first,defensive-minded point guard would be a better fit for the team than a shoot-first, defensively-challenged player.

  • Brian

    I think they should re-sign Big Baby for cheap, and allow Pruitt to be the backup PG, and hope that Giddens and/or Bill Walker can play 10 minutes of quality ball a night to back up Pierce. Giddens and Walker are both ridiculous athletes who should be able to contribute, they just need to know their role and execute. The question is, can they?

  • b funk

    barnes is probably the best guy out there–why danny didn't offer him the minimum last year is beyond comprehension. graham's numbers seem pretty similar to tony allen–he's a slightly better rebounder and has fewer turnovers; obviously he offers more size and length on defense–whether or not that means he's worth a roster spot is debatable.

    barnes is nice because he can hit a few 3's; the celtics didn't have enough guys last year who could hit a 3 pointer; when you are using scal to stretch the defense, you know you have a problem. with wallace and barnes, the celtics' offense becomes more potent.

  • Jeff

    Why worry about scoring from this player?Whoever plays here will be on the floor with House, Wallace, maybe Ray Allen, maybe Rondo (maybe Pruitt?). I 'd want the best defender and a guy who can finish on the break, and won't want to put up many jump shots. Maybe a slasher like TA once was, because he's playing in a unit that will spread the floor. From the list? Barnes, Graham or Udoka.

  • Pingback: Jamario Moon and Sign-and-Trades | Celtics Hub()

  • i would go with Matt Barnes, remember he came from golden state abd those golden state player can shoot the ball.

  • Tank

    The guy I like the most in the "unrestricted" list of free agents is not even on that list. Rashad McCants. McCants is a better prospect because if you sign him to a decent contract he actually has the potential to play more and more minutes as the seasons go on – rather than just being a solution for this year. He can play both the 2 & 3, he plays decent D and his offense ability is so far ahead of the others it's not funny.

  • Pingback: Trying to find a sign and trade with Indy » Boston Celtics Basketball – Celtics news, rumors and analysis – CelticsHub.com()