Some notes before all of us hit the road for the long weekend:
• Ray Allen got Boston’s first phone call at the 12:01 a.m. mark yesterday. Here’s Doc in the Globe:
“The first call, we called Ray. We sat around and we have these names on the list and we said, ‘Hey guys, our most important guy is Ray. We gotta get Ray back.’ And we already talked to Paul because we could. Ray is a vital part to our basketball team, huge.’’
“I think because [Rajon] Rondo, Kevin [Garnett], and Paul get so much pub, I don’t think people really appreciate and understand how important Ray is and what he does even when he is not shooting, his presence on the floor,’’ Rivers said.
This is sort of what I was getting at in this piece, where I explore the fact that Ray Allen’s plus/minus numbers have been absolutely off the charts over the last three (and especially the last two) seasons—a trend that even lasts when Ray plays alongside four bench guys.
• And what’s up with Sheed these days?
The Herald reports that Sheed still hasn’t filed his retirement papers. That’s a good thing for the C’s, since Sheed’s contract remains on the team’s cap until he files retirement papers, meaning the team can use it as a trade chip in the next week.
• The Celtics will have a ton of competition for any of the mid-level type players they are seeking. Just about every team worth its salt is going to contact Mike Miller and see if he can be had on the cheap. The Lakers are interested and have their mid-level to use. The Wizards have contacted Miller, as well as some other wing types the C’s reportedly have an interest in, such as Rasual Butler (late of the Clips).
The Pistons have contacted Brendan Haywood, who figures to be among the hottest properties on the market—so hot that I remain skeptical he can be had for the mid-level exception. Detroit has also contacted Ben Wallace, who remains an intriguing option for Boston, though there have been no reports Boston has any interest in Big Ben.
You can bet this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The list of decent available big men is short, and this likely won’t turn out to be a situation in which Ainge can wait until late July and ink a contributor.