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AP: Hopefully they've worked out their differences

AP: Hopefully they've worked out their differences

I just finished reading the two articles on Stephon Marbury headlining ESPN’s NBA page.  If this were any other offseason, or any other day for that matter, I would simply dismiss the articles as telling us something we already know: Marbury’s UStream shattered any thoughts that his “all about me” attitude was gone, and it was a terrible PR move. However, as most of us found out today, it looks like Gabe Pruitt’s shot at the Celtics’ back up point guard job is over.  Couple that with the injury and inexperience of Lester Hudson and the Celtics might be looking to add not one, but two back up point guards to the roster.

If the Celtics don’t extend a contract to Hudson, they most likely will be looking for two established veteran point guards (meaning no Mike Taylor, Bobby Brown, Sean Singletary, Zabian Dowdell types).  Brian Robb listed off some very interesting names in his previous post and loosely divided them into two categories:  scorer and distributor.  After taking a closer look at their production over the past few seasons, I decided to put them into categories of my own.

Old and Short:

Brevin Knight, 33, 5’10″; Jacque Vaughn, 34, 6’1″; Chucky Atkins, 35, 5’11″; Tyronn Lue, 32, 6’0″; Anthony Carter, 34, 6’1″; Bobby Jackson, 36, 6’1″
The NBA is a “What Have You Done For Me Lately” league and for a lot of these guys, the response is not a whole lot.  Guys like Knight, Vaughn, Atkins, and Lue haven’t had a solid season as the primary back up point guard in a few seasons.  Their similarities suggest they’d be better suited forming a bridge club rather than being back up point guards in this league.  Knight used to be a fast, scoring point guard but with his numbers drastically falling over the last three seasons, at 33, he might not be much of anything anymore.  During Vaughn’s first two seasons with the Spurs, he put up solid back up point guard numbers, but he only played in 30 games last season.  Like Vaughn, Atkins only played in about 30 games last season and the last time he played with the Celtics, he wasn’t happy about it (to be fair, the Celtics were awful in 2003-2004).  With Lue, the story is the same: his numbers have dropped significantly over the last two seasons and he’s only averaged 46 games played.

With the guys specifically mentioned by Brian, the news gets better.  Carter has been by far the most productive player in this list of people.  Last season, while being a defensive ace, he also averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 assists in 78 games (all of those being higher than his career averages).  While Jackson’s numbers have dropped the past two seasons, the numbers show that he can still score.

Risky:

Stephon Marbury, 32, 6’2″; Jamaal Tinsley, 31, 6’3″

Both Marbury and Tinsley didn’t really play last season, are in their 30s, and have had character issues in the past.  Those three reasons should make any team run and hide.  The problem is both were also at one time really really good players.  Tinsley ran the Pacers team that was so competitive in the earlier part of this decade and Celtics’ fans are well aware of Marbury’s body of work.  As long as their numbers are recorded, GMs will give them consideration.

Old, but with Decent Size:

Kevin Ollie, 37, 6’4″; Jason Hart, 31, 6’3″

Like I wrote before, this is a “What Have You Done For Me Lately” league and with these two guys follow suit with those that I mentioned before.   In their primes, these guys were more than serviceable back up point guards but as it stands right now, they haven’t contributed much in the last three seasons.  Still, at 31 and only 8 years in the league, Hart still might have something left in the tank.  Whether that’s Regular Unleaded or Super Unleaded remains to be seen.  Ollie is just old, too old.  I personally think he’s done as he approaches Sam Cassell status, but we’ll see.  A lot of people like him, but the Celtics need an everyday back up point guard and Ollie averaged only 48 games for the past three seasons.

In His Prime (but prime is a relative term):

Royal Ivey, 28, 6’3″
Ivey keeps getting contracts in the NBA without any real discernable talent and ability to play at this level.  It’s hard for me to write that, as I feel GMs must know something I don’t, but as I look over his numbers, he doesn’t score a lot, he doesn’t dish a lot, and his opponents play pretty well against him.

Conclusion:

Sign Anthony Carter right now! Please!  He’s near perfect for the Celtics.  The one knock against Carter joining the Celtics is his height.  He and Eddie House would probably make up the shortest back up back court in the league, but honestly, it doesn’t matter given Carter’s ability to guard taller people.  In terms of signing another back up point guard, I think the Celtics should choose between Jackson, Marbury, and Tinsley.  While the risk is there that Jackson will show his age and that Marbury and Tinsley might effect the locker room, as the potential third string point guard, the risk is minimal.  I don’t think Marbury or Tinsley would accept a third string point guard, considering Marbury still thinks he’s a starter in this league, but if the Celtics could entice them with the idea of a championship and the potential to get some minutes at either guard position in the hopes of ressurecting their careers, it might just be enough.

Whether Marbury’s antics are real or theatre, at a one year contract is still not too much of a risk, with the one caveat that the Celtics have signed Anthony Carter and could “banish” him as soon as he steps out of line.

I’ve given the numbers and analysis, and now I want to hear from you out there in the blogosphere.  Have I missed anything or anyone?  Out of these guys or anything other player the Celtics could theoretically get, who would you want?

Notes:

  • I know Chucky Atkins is still under contract but there’s a rumor that after his recent trade to Minnesota, he’ll be bought out or still on the trade block.
  • Keep in mind that the veteran minimum is based on how long players have been in the league and the Celtics can only offer so much money.  A copy of a veteran minimum chart can be found here.
  • The number of roster spots is up in the air considering the ramifications of the sign-and-trade for Marquis Daniels and the potential signing of Bruce Bowen.
  • http://politicaldeathmatch.org Harrison_Bergeron

    Jason Williams is trying to come back. He's not too old, he can shoot, and dish. Might be worth at least taking a look at. Particularly for a "third string" PG.

    Other than that, I guess Carter probably is our best option at this point. Tinsley might not be too bad, if he's matured at all. After Marbury's recent public meltdown, I don't want him anywhere near the locker room or the court. He needs professional help in a bad way.

  • Brendan Jackson

    Great point Harrison. I forgot about Jason Williams. I read about his potential return last week and I should have included him in the pseudo- third string PG conversation. If we need an offensive minded PG who wants to sit back, resurrect his career and win another ring, the Celts should consider him and he should consider the Celts. He takes bad shots, but he's won a ring so how can you argue with that?

  • Jay

    Marbury not only shouldn't play in the NBA again, he should be deported, I'm not kidding at all. He's a special kind of crazy that belongs in like… Mexico or something.

    To be honest, I'm surprised the team is giving up on Pruitt, he's had good showings in exhibitions, and not much of a chance to really prove he's capable. I was pulling for him, but oh well.

    That being said, Carter is without a doubt our best option.

  • robert eguchi

    carter is the perfect fit. Rondo plays alot of minutes so the need for a third string point guard isnt that big of a concern. marbury needs to go play in cananda because of his broke jumpshot and inability to make plays. our biggest concern is resigning glen davis

  • http://politicaldeathmatch.org Harrison_Bergeron

    "He takes bad shots, but he’s won a ring so how can you argue with that?"

    My only concerns with him would be health and conditioning. He does take some bad shots, but he hits plenty of them as well. Imaging the spacing you'd get with him, House, PP, 'Sheed, and KG on the floor at the same time. Who do you double off of then? Either KG and PP are going to have the luxury of toasting single-man defense, or House, 'Sheed, and JWill are going to get open shot after open shot.

    Ideally, I'd like to have both him and Carter available, and play them as the situation dictates. Carter can play D, score some, and dish some, but when teams are leaving Rondo wide open because he can't hit a J I think it would be nice to be able to sub in a PG who can shoot the lights out AND make incredible passes. Williams, if healthy, would be that guy.

  • csm99

    sign Nate Robinson.

  • reg35

    You have left off CJ Watson, who is available (restricted FA) and only about 19 times better than anyone else you mentioned.

  • reg35

    He's 25 years old & averaged 21, 5 & 7 over the last five games for GS including a 38, 7 & 9 game and a 20, 7 & 12 game. Those are a month's worth of stats for no-neck Anthony Carter.

  • trashandsend

    a thought about marbury: his radio antics are irrelevant–plenty of capable players act and speak foolishly in public. what matters are his ability to play and, secondarily, locker-room vibes. the latter, based on last year, were no problem. but can he still play? we simply don't know, but there were glimmers of near excellence and times when, for tactical reasons, Doc pulled him before he could estatlish a rhythm. if he can establish a reliably strong rhythm and play D more consistently, he'd be better than Carter. If not, he won't be worth signing.

    how can one tell? I suspect Doc and Danny, having overseen practices as well as games, will make the right call here.

  • Jay

    They already offered him the veteran minimum too, don't forget, which he immediately turned down and said he'd rather play in europe if it came down to it.

    What makes anyone think he's going to take it now, and your insane if you think the celtics will pay him anymore.

  • Pasard

    C's might be signing Bruce Bowen? Did I read that right? Hmmm. Both interesting and intriguing. I thought Carter was older than Jackson. Now, advantage most definitely Carter. Don't matter if he had one confrontation with Ray Allen. Jordan and Glen Rice where good friends and almost got into it. That's the competitive nature of the game. If they do remember the potential skirmish, they would/should laugh it off.

  • JMoose77

    Bruce Bowen is a dirty player and as a Celtic fan i don't want him on our team..Maybe I'm being short sited, but still I hated him in San Antonio, and I am not interested in seeing him in Celtic green..Now if this was a couple years ago the story would be different, i still didnt like him, but at that point he brought alot more to the table..I don't think he has much left in the tank..

  • Clawlin

    One thing many people do not put into context is that Anthony Carter is a legitimate, backup point guard. Putting a starting point guard as a backup can have random results, take tinsley, who could flourish, fail, or refuse to play. 2 bad options against 1, and the odds of him flourishing are even slimmer when we realize how long its been since hes played, and that he is now playing in a new system. Carter is a backup, who is NOT past his prime, as his last season as backup to none other than chauncey billups, he had assist and scoring averages better than his career averages. Plus, its nice to have another lock down defender to shut out offensive minded PGs, like Tony Parker and Steve Nash. If Carter gets picked up by someone else, Jason Williams will be a good pickup, although a year off might affect his game. To the thought of picking up Marbury, please, watch his livestream and tell me hes sane enough to play. Try.

  • Sweeney

    Personally, I like Ollie. People always want him to be more than he is. He hasn't seen much time over the past years, IMO largely due to GM's wanting him to fill a scorers role that isn't his game. So if he can come in and run a 2nd team that has proven and more than willing shooters…I am all in.

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  • http://espn.com jonathan lugo

    well is up the gm's but if they need the fans advise i personally i think they should keep stephon marbury because last year he didn't play for the whole season and with a little more practice he'll be the perfect back up point guard and him and kevin garnett are the perfect couple!!!!

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