The final hours of a Friday evening in August became surprisingly eventful for Celtics fans as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the news that Big Baby was closing in on a 2 year deal with the team. Here are the highlights of the report that contained a couple other interesting Celtic tidbits:
The deal is expected to be signed early next week.
Davis tried to get several teams to offer him the mid-level exception, but a depressed financial market made it hard for that to happen. A handful of teams – including Detroit, New Orleans and New Jersey – discussed sign-and-trade scenarios with the Celtics, but Boston general manager Danny Ainge never wanted to lose him.
Boston no longer has interest in re-signing guard Stephon Marbury.
Let’s take a look at these items of interest one by one, starting with the Baby deal:
It appears that the Celtics’ patience has paid off quite well with Big Baby here. The money for free agents had been drying up more by the day, and with this realization in mind, Davis looks to ready to swallow his pride and return to the Celtics at a reasonable price, likely 2 to 3 million dollars per year.
While the C’s played their cards to perfection here by letting the market dictate Baby’s price, you have to feel a little bit for Glen Davis in this situation in failing to get his targeted payday and long term deal. If Big Baby hit the market in earlier years, he could have fielded some long term big money offers that would have given him security as well as potentially a starting job in the league.
The restricted free agent tag, a down market combined with the reduced salary cap proved to be Davis’ undoing in talks as Wojnarowski noted. Boston just had too many chips stacked in their favor during these negotiations, making this a fight that Big Baby’s agent wasn’t going to win given his lack of options.
There was of course the sign and trade possibilities, but Danny Ainge wasn’t going to make one of those deals, unless he received ample compensation for the young power forward, an unlikely scenario in this market with the C’s trying to win another championship now.
With no sign and trade imminent and a bear market, Davis could have come back and signed his one year qualifying offer with the C’s and try to go back on the market next year. The problem with this scenario is that Davis still would have been a restricted free agent next year if he took the qualifying deal.
That possibility would likely have left Big Baby in a similar situation to now for next year, with limited offers due to a reduced salary cap during unstable economy times. Also teams next offseason will be looking to spend their big money on the unrestricted stud free agents, not guys like Glen Davis. The Celtics would once again be negotiating from a position of strength, leaving Davis unlikely to get the big deal he is targeting.
Taking all of those circumstances into consideration, the two year deal seems like a smart move for the former LSU star. Those terms of the potential deal have not been disclosed, it’s certain that the power forward will receive a considerable raise from his $711,517 salary last year.
In addition, when the new deal expires Glen will be an unrestricted free agent and only 25 years old. Thus Big Baby will be young enough to land a more attractive long term deal at that juncture, while improving his overall play and resume in the meantime, by playing with a revamped Celtics bench that will include Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels for at least a year.
The pressure and attention will be off Baby playing with established NBA veterans like those two and that will allow the undersized power forward to excel in his role backing up Kevin Garnett the next two years.
Clearly, a 2 year deal not the ideal situation for the 2nd year player coming off a run in the playoffs where he averaged over 15 points a game, but given the circumstances it’s the best he could do. My question for everyone out there is if you agree with this analysis? Do you think Baby is smart for taking this deal or should he have held out for more money or a longer deal?
Thoughts and questions about the potential the end of the Stephon Marbury era in Boston, after the jump
The Yahoo Sports report also had a quick tidbit that will surely make Zach Lowe pleased, noting that the C’s no longer have interested in bringing back Stephon Marbury.
Personally, I was in the camp that was for bringing back Starbury at the beginning of this offseason on the cheap. I was curious to see what the guy could do with the team after a full training camp with the squad and given the fact the market for free agent point guards was not all that appealing, it seemed worth the risk.
Marbury however has challenged the notion that no publicity is bad publicity with his live webcam antics during the past month. It can’t be known for sure whether these broadcasts were the straw that broke the camel’s back in the team’s interest in bringing back the point guard, there is no doubt that they could not have helped out Marbury’s cause.
For now, we must watch and wait to see how the rest of the point guard dominoes fall as a somewhat intriguing group of players remain out there between Jason Williams, Jamal Tinsley, Bobby Jackson, and Anthony Carter who is a favorite of Zach Lowe and myself amongst the notable names.
Given those names, and some lesser ones who would you want the C’s to bring in for the veteran’s minimum, now that Marbury is no longer a possibility?
To round things up, Shelden Williams was also officially signed by the Celtics yesterday to a veteran’s minimum deal. Celtics.com announced the official press release late yesterday.
The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has signed free agent center/forward Shelden Williams to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Williams, a 6’9″, 250 lbs center/forward, was originally drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. The former Duke Blue Devil has posted career averages of 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game. After being acquired by the Minnesota Timberwolves from the Sacramento Kings on February 19, 2009, he appeared in 15 games for his new team and averaged 4.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game.
For full analysis of Williams from Celtics Hub’s Zach Lowe check out his report from last week on the former Duke star.