Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the Celtics lacking any kind of center depth on the NBA roster and limited resources to fill the void, Danny Ainge undoubtedly will be looking under every rock for potential candidates.
Brad Miller and Shaq are just a few of the names that have been thrown around and The Boston Herald reports that you can add one more to that list, in the form of the immortal Kwame Brown, who will be meeting with the team down in Orlando:
“Kwame lives pretty close to (the Orlando Summer League), so he’s going to drive down to meet with Danny and Doc,” said agent Mark Bartelstein. “They want to get to know him a little bit.”
“We’re checking out a lot of possibilities – it’s still very early in the process,” Danny Ainge said today of what is certain to be a broad casting call for big men, including Shaquille O’Neal.
Ainge said he has not set up a meeting, to this point, with O’Neal.
The Celtics’ desire to meet with another of Bartelstein’s clients – veteran center Brad Miller – is on hold while the rest of the market waits for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to make decisions.
“A lot with Brad will come into play when all of that happens,” said Bartelstein, who confirmed that a team with a lot more money to spend than the Celtics – Houston – has significant interest in Miller.
Let’s try to rationalize this development, shall we?
First off, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this is just a meeting. They likely won’t be offering him a contract for any more than the veteran’s minimum if at all, even if they do like him, down the road. So before you get miffed at Danny, just keep him mind that he has to look at every possibility in this juncture, especially given that his depth chart for healthy players training camp right now at the center position consists of Semi Erden….and well that’s it. Save the outrage.
Now for the more important part. Could Kwame help the Celtics in any meaningful capacity, if they were to take a chance on one of the biggests busts ever taken with the 1st pick of the NBA Draft.
Brown has been hounded by questionable behavior both on and off the court throughout his career, so needless to say the C’s would do their homework on this guy if they give him a chance.
As far as Brown’s game goes, he does do a couple things well: Rebounding and defense. Brown’s rebounding rate has improved dramatically in the best couple years on both sides of the floor in Detroit, where’s he coming off of a 2 year/8 million dollar deal. These skills make him a possible younger, and more athletic compliment as a potential 5th big off the bench for the C’s. However, there are flaws and they are plentiful within Kwame’s game. Here’s John Hollinger’s scouting report on him from last year:
Brown is a terrible offensive player, but he has some value on D. He’s a good pick-and-roll defender, and physical enough to defend big centers on the block. His rate of blocks deteriorated last season, and he commits a foul every 7.2 minutes. This makes it difficult to keep him on the floor for extended minutes, in the odd event a team would want to, but he’s still a quality post defender.
Offensively, Brown has terrible hands and still tries to do things too fast. He’s a poor shooter who has failed to improve since entering the league, and an even worse foul shooter. Coaches become blinded by his size and try to use him as a post weapon, but he’s ineffective in this role because of his poor offensive instincts, bad footwork, worse hands and iffy shooting.
The offense is even worse than Hollinger described. 3.3 points a game. 34% free throw shooting. A complete liability on that end. Still, he’s a big body (6-11) and can bang down low if he tries (a big if), at least on the defensive end. Defense and rebounding is usually what the C’s are looking for out of their bigs anyway, so it’s possible Brown could fit the bill.
I guess the question it boils down to here, is whether Brown is worth a chance, in a kind of a Shelden Williams mold. As an overrated lottery pick, he could take a chance to earn a role with a winner for short money, proving his worth and help resurrect his career. Will it happen? As we saw with Shelden, the odds would be stacked against him.
However, Williams, despite his shortcomings in the playoffs, did provide some decent minutes in the early stages of last year’s regular season in the absence of Big Baby. Is it too crazy to think the C’s could get something similar out of Brown for the first couple months of this season, if Doc and company can get through to him?
Again, this is just a lot of likely meaningless speculation right now. If Doc and Danny don’t get a good vibe from Kwame in this meeting, they’ll take a pass. Still both sides potentially see attractive possibilities with each other. For Kwame, it’s a chance at an opportunity to earn minutes with an NBA contender. For the C’s, it’s a cheap big with size, and strong defensive and rebounding abilities.
Whether both sides see it that way remains to be seen, but with the lack of younger candidates on the market in the C’s price range, it’s probably worth kicking the tires on a guy like Kwame, despite the baggage he could bring.