The Grant Hill pursuit has come and gone as Zach Lowe blogged on yesterday, and the C’s options at the wing position have suddenly narrowed. In response, The Boston Herald reported this morning that Jamario Moon has caught the C’s eye and would fill a natural role on the team as an athletic backup swingman. The Celtics are limited to what they can offer the 29 year old restricted free agent since they spent their entire mid level exemption on Rasheed Wallace last week.
That leaves Boston with only a 1.9 million/year league level exemption that they can offer a restricted free agent such as Moon, a offer sheet the Heat would surely match. Thus the C’s have handcuffed themselves a bit here in attempting to fill the void on the rest of their bench, albeit for a worthy cause in Wallace. Danny must now however get creative in filling the remainder of the holes on the 2nd unit, while trying to rid the team of some of deadwood (paging Tony Allen) they have on their bench.
Theortically a sign and trade deal could work to acquire Moon, however as I wrote about a few weeks back, there really isn’t any pieces of interest on the C’s bench they would be willing to part with. The Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine’s of the world aren’t going to net you a valuable player like Moon unless the C’s take back a bad contract, something that may be tough for Wyc Grousbeck and company to take on given the current economic situation and how much the C’s all ready have tied up in contracts this year.
One way the C’s could get around this is by packaging Big Baby in a sign and trade deal for Jamario Moon, as the two likely will command similar salaries that could match up well in a swap. I don’t doubt Ainge’s desire to bring back Big Baby next year though to finish shoring up the C’s front line. Danny has likely placed a reasonable number that he would want to bring back Big Baby at, and given how the market has played out thus far, it’s looking more and more likely the C’s will be able to bring back Davis at that number, which is likely to be in the 3-4 million dollar range per year.
So if we don’t want to trade Davis, I see little chance of the C’s being able to acquire Moon in a deal unless Danny to make some kind of sweetheart deal with Pat Riley in Miami. That will leave Boston attempting to find the best fit for the team at the backup small forward with someone from Zach’s list.
Jerry Stackhouse may be one additional name that Boston could explore after he was bought on by the Grizzlies yesterday. Stackhouse may be on the way down but would be a vital source of offense off the C’s bench as his career finishes up. Like Wallace, he could desire to win a ring before he hangs it up so two million may be enough to get Stackhouse in green. It’s an avenue Ainge should at least investigate.
One thing is certain though that while the Celtics acquired their top target in free agency, there is still a lot of work to be done.