Two interesting tidbits from the Herald today:
1) The Celtics are pursuing sign-and-trade deals in the wake of losing out on Grant Hill;
2) The team is interested in signing Jamario Moon.
Let’s start with Moon. Yesterday, I crossed Moon off the list of players the C’s could sign for the bi-annual exception (about $2 million), because Miami has already tendered him a qualifying offer. It turns out I was premature. According to Sham Sports (generally one of the most reliable sources for salary information), the Heat’s qualifying offer for Moon had to be about $1 million. But the Heat’s offer was actually less than that, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The Heat’s offer is only about 25 percent guaranteed, meaning Moon is only guaranteed something around $200,000 or $250,000 if he signs the deal.
So the Celtics can actually offer Moon more with their bi-annual exception. Of course, the Heat could match any offer Boston makes for Moon, which would then necessitate a sign-and-trade.
How good is Moon? He’s actually a better jump-shooter than I thought. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve attended several Raptors games in the last two seasons, and the crowd audibly groans (sometimes) when Moon loads up for a 20-footer. Certainly, Moon’s hot spot data (available below) shows he takes more long two-point jumpers than I’d like, but he makes them at a decent clip. His effective FG% on jumpers is around 47 percent, which is solid, and he’s a capable three-point shooter (35 percent).
His net plus/minus values from his 132 games (see here and here) with the Raptors are outstanding, but they took a turn to the negative during his short stint with the Heat last season. Really, both sample sizes are probably too small to draw much from, but I think the truth lies somewhere closer to him being a productive player. His adjusted plus/minus numbers (which adjust for the quality of teammates and opponents) rank him as one of the more productive players in the league for last season and the last two seasons combined. (Note: His minute totals are low enough to qualify him for the bottom chart on each of those pages–the one that has no minimum playing time requirement. In other words, small sample size).
The adjusted plus/minus data show most of Moon’s value comes from his defense, but, unlike Tony Allen, he’s not an offensive liability that allows an opponent to almost play 5-on-4.
As for general sign-and-trade arrangements, Brian Robb covered that ground earlier today. But I think the expiring deals of Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine may have gotten a little more valuable last week with the release of the league memo predicting a sharp drop in the salary cap number for 2010-11 (to around $53 million and possibly as low as $50 million). Teams looking to pursue max contracts suddenly have a few million dollars less cap space than they anticipated, so taking on $5 million or so in expiring deals is a big deal. I think Boston could get somebody useful in a sign-and-trade.