Post-game Reactions

act_gabe_pruittJuly 31st was a busy day concerning roster moves and rumors surrounding current, past and potential future Celtic players. Let’s take a look at the days’ happenings and try to make sense of it all.

Move #1: Gabe Pruitt will not have his contract option picked up and  thus will be waived by the Celtics this evening
The Boston Herald broke the news that most people expected late this afternoon that the Celtics will be letting go the 2nd year guard out of USC. Here’s a blurb from the Herald story:

The Celtics had until tomorrow to pick up the option on the final year of his contract worth approximately $900,000, but declined. Pruitt, a highly skilled point guard from USC, never managed to crack Doc Rivers’ rotation – in part because the C’s coach often questioned Pruitt’s aggressiveness.

Pruitt also upset members of management in February when he was arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles the night after the team signed Stephon Marbury as a back-up point guard. But Pruitt impressed coaches with a relatively strong performance in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month.

CH’s Take: The Gabe Pruitt era never really got off the ground in Boston and he was  a victim of a crowded roster in this case more than anything else. The guy showed brief flashes in green but his missteps (DUI arrest) and lack of floor time and consistency made this likely an easy decision to make for the Celtics brass. The lack of a non-guaranteed contract surely came into play as well with the move.

With Pruitt gone, the Celtics roster situation is starting to come into focus a bit more, although there will be many more moves to be made before all is sad and done. Let’s take a look at how the team’s depth chart looks after this move:

PG: Rondo/veteran FA/Hudson?
SG: Allen/House/Tony Allen
SF: Pierce/Daniels/Walker/Giddens
PF: Garnett/Scalabrine
C: Perkins/Wallace

That makes 12 roster spots out (13 if you include Lester Hudson, but he is no sure thing to make the team) taken up so far. The team as composed has two glaring needs, one being a backup PG and a second in the form of another big man. Big Baby is the odds on favorite to come back and claim a backup PF spot but the point guard position right now is obviously very up in the air.

With the lack of roster space and the uncertainty surrounding whether Gabe Pruitt could be a regular contributor as a backup point off the bench this year for the team, the move is understandable. Ainge in all likelihood would be bringing in a veteran PG, with or without Pruitt on the roster to mesh with an upgraded bench. Given that, there was no need to waste 900k on the slim chance that Pruitt would beat out the veteran PG for the backup spot off the bench when they had limited roster spots to play with as is.

For now, the team’s focus will be picking the right point guard to bring in to work with the revamped bench. I discussed some potential options earlier this week as did fellow columnist Brendan Jackson. It will be interesting to see who the team has on its radar with a variety of options out there.

Move #2: The Milwaukee Bucks waive Bruce Bowen

Once again this was a move that was expected to be made since it had been well documented how there would be two million dollars in savings for the Bucks if the small forward was waived before August 1st. Our friends over at Celticsblog have touched upon rumors regarding a return to Boston by the defensive specialist but it’s evident a couple things would have to happen before that would be a possibility.

First, the Celtics would need to clear some more roster space and glut at the SF position. With the acquisition of Daniels, the depth chart at the position is fairly deep with the multi-talented Daniels, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens rounding up the bench for the 3 spot.

The addition of Bruce Bowen would only seem to make sense if the crowd at the position would be broken up. That could be done in two ways.

1) The trading of Walker and/or Giddens
2) The shifting of Marquis Daniels to be the primary backup PG

The 2nd option is the more intriguing but unlikely option to me. Daniels has shown the capability to play point throughout his career, but his time at the spot has been limited the past couple seasons in Indiana. With a lackluster guard market out there, it will be intriguing to see if Doc Rivers would want Daniels to perform some duties at the 1 with the bench if the team were to acquire Bowen. I would love to hear what everyone else thinks on this one.

Some thoughts on the Leon rumors after the jump.

Rounding up the Celtics news of the day, word has come in from Brian Windhurst and ESPN’s David Aldridge that many teams’ pursuit of Leon Powe is heating up. At this point, the Cavs look like the favorities with the Magic, Mavericks and Lakers also showing interest for the former Celtic whose recovery is reportedly ahead of schedule.

I can’t be surprised by any of these developments and in fact it is sickening to think of Leon suiting up for one of those said teams against the Celtics come playoff time. Powe has shown his playoff prowess before and I can’t help but have the gut feeling that the guy will come back and hurt us down the line in a big series if he signs with an enemy.

I know it’s a business and the Celtics had limited roster spots, but having Leon as an ace up the team’s sleeve come the All-Star break would have been a tremendous asset. Instead, having to worry about one of our rivals holding that card has to be discouraging to all Celtics fans out there.

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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • PJ

    Daniels can play both guard positions. Walker and (especially) Giddens are end of the bench guys — they don't really contribute to a glut at any position. The C's could still use a physical, defensive-minded small forward, Bowen or otherwise.

  • mugi

    I also hate the thought of powe playing for another team. he was a beast during the title run. I'm not sure about the bowen move(i haven't seen him play in a while).

    is there a chance for the Cs to sign sun yue or mike taylor? just a random thought.

  • Marc

    The Celtics should sign an experienced point guard like Bobby Jackson to back up Rondo. Jackson gives them a point guard who can handle the ball well, shoot, pass and defend. As for free agent point guards left he's the best. I hope you read this Danny.

  • str|ps

    what about jason williams? steady distributor and has the experience(playoff) as well…daniels taking backup pg role sounds good too

  • icee cold

    j-will is goin to the knicks, which is a great fit for him. I always thought that if he would have played for d'antoni in his prime he would be just about as good as nash.

    i think bobby jackson is great but I also think he's not an ideal fit. he's more of a scorer than distributer and with wallace, daniels, and house we don't really need scoring. I'd rather have anthony carter, tyronn lue, or possibly marbury. I also think the Daniels thing could work out, then him and eddie can switch assignments on D.

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  • Buckets

    The Pruitt move was good because we don't need him, I'm not too sure about Bowen because of the glut of SF we have and I HATE how we didn't tender Powe early in the off season… HATE IT!

  • Craig

    Celtics should NOT pursue Bowen. He is a shell of his former self that played on all those championship Spurs teams. I have followed the Spurs for years and there is a reason why his minutes and numbers declined big time down the stretch last year. Never before had he gotten as many DNP-coach's decision as he did last year. He simply could not keep up with the opposing team's SF like he had in past years

  • i really don't think leon pow should be trade it because he is a big factor on our team with him and garnett together theres no stoping us at all, if we get rid off him it would hurt us a lot just remember we got a ring with the guy and he show a lot of talent, if i was doc rivers i would think about it!!!!

  • bolvbball

    First,B.Bowen is 38yrs.old…and the Spurs would have kept him if he had any good milage left.The Spurs are not anybody's fools when it comes to determining talent,and if they think its over then its over for Bowen.Im not sure if Danny knows what the heck he is doing always when it comes to wasting bench space for a couple of seasons with a project(s)that never pan out.Pruitt should have never stayed this long.I wish Danny Ainge would stop falling in love with suspects and find some decent prospects.

  • juancinco

    one name i saw that didn't come up was jamaal tinsley, the guy can still play, miami won't meet with him, so thats one less suitor we have to worry about. if i want anyone backing up rondo out of free agency it would be tinsley, or maybe bobby jackson. But i do like daniels at the point too, it'd take handling pressure off eddie so he can worry more about being the shooter he is. the bowen idea i can see but don't really like. I know danny's trying to put together one last run at a title before we have no choice but to start a rebuilding phase, but we need young players who can play and stay a while with the team, like we got with daniels, the guy's on the right side of 30 and he can play. But adding a 38-year old to the mix isn't the right option. its bad enough we got wallace as old as he is, despite the play he still has left in him.

  • DC

    Walker and/or Giddens? Are they still on the team? Bowen would be an ideal backup for Pierce and Ray Allen in the playoffs, especially to aggressively defend LeBron and Kobe for 8 to 10 minutes — we are not going to get by Cleveland and LA if we cannot do this for 48 mintues. The C's had that with Posey in 2008. Bowen is a proven defender (All-NBA many times), and can still hit an occasion three. And he has been on several championships. If the C's can afford him, they should pick him up and drop Walker and/or Giddens, who have done absolutely nothing yet in their careers. The time is now with Garnett, Ray, and Pierce and Wallace in their latter years.

  • mallz

    celtics need to really finish off a good offseason. they should trade glen davis. gain back leon powe. sign bobby jackson. BUT JACKSON HOUSE N DANIELS IN THE BACK is solid!! just flat out short.or if glen davis goes to nets try grab alston n yi. BRUCE BOWEN would be a weakness with his age n predictable spot up shootin, thaTS with eddie house gunnin like allen. too much jump shots. if they can trade davis for rasual butler or travis outlaw. we nice even with scal out there

  • Pete

    First off, it's a shame to let Leon walk without a fight. I can't imagine deciding to pay Big Baby twice as much, or more, than Leon Powe. When they were both healthy, few would confidently say Davis was better at all, so why look to watch an offer around the mid level when a completely worthy, if not better, option is out there.

    Well, that ship seems to have sailed for some odd reason, so let's hope we bring back Big Baby. As for SF, a strong defensive presence off the bench would be spectacular, and I wouldn't call it crowded since Walker and Giddens wouldn't be on the active 12 man roster, but is Bruce Bowen the answer?

    I don't know who said he had a lot of DNP's last year, but the man played 80 games for San Antonio and his minute by minute averages are pretty much right on par with the rest of his tenure in San Antonio. That's not to say he hasn't lost a step or 2, the man is 38 after all and Pop either stopped liking him or stopped having faith. Either way, at the right price I think Bruce Bowen is always a guy who can fit nicely into a winning rotation, and I think with the lack of quality defensive centers at the present, there are many times that the Celts would be smart to play small against.

    But the real answer: see what he has left and see what he'll cost. That's really what it comes down to.

  • Green17

    How could you let Powe go? He's an animal that is going to come back and haunt us if on a different team. Wasn't he the 2nd leading offensive rebounder…..in the league!….before he went down? He didn't even start!!!! Don't do it Ainge…don't do it!

    Powe in a Laker or Cav uni? (throwing up in mouth)

    Also, please forward this to Celtic brass.

  • Jonathan

    I don't know why you keep JR Giddens and Bill Walker (a couple of projects) and let Leon Powe leave (a real NBA player). it has to be money. Not sure I agree with this one.

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