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Hornets Interested in Marquis Daniels?

 

That’s the word from the exquisitely named New Orleans Times-Picayune:

[Hornets GM Jeff] Bower has inquired about Boston Celtics free agent Marquis Daniels’ availability, according to Daniels’ agent Mark Bartelstein.

Daniels is an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year, $2 million deal with the Celtics last summer.

When the Heat signed two of the three best wing players in the NBA, I was sure the Celtics were going to use their Bird Rights to re-sign Tony Allen. I would have bet money on it.

I was about as wrong as could be. Boston didn’t just let TA walk; they sent TA a message that he wasn’t even worth $3.3 million, a small (by NBA standards) raise on his 2010 salary. 

You don’t do something like that unless you’ve got another plan to fill the wing behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. You don’t turn away the easy solution unless you’re confident you can pull off something a bit trickier. 

I don’t know what that trickier plan is, though I’ll speculate a bit tomorrow. But I’ve wondered if perhaps the C’s are interested in bringing back Marquis Daniels.

I know that sounds crazy given TA’s fantastic defense in the playoffs and the fact that he clearly leapt past Daniels in the rotation. But still: Daniels has the potential to be a useful and consistent two-way player. Tony Allen usually helps you on defense, but he remains an offensive liability whose non-existent jumper makes it very difficult to play him alongside Rajon Rondo against smart defensive teams. 

For all TA’s progress, the C’s still scored 7 fewer points per 100 possessions in the playoffs with TA on the floor versus with him on the bench, according to Basketball Value. The same thing happened in the regular season, when Boston scored about 4.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with TA on the floor.  Those are big, damaging numbers, and they are the reason Tony Allen barely got on the floor in Game 7 of the Finals, even as Boston’s offense collapsed and the starters got tired. 

Rondo and TA were so good together defensively that they could create the occasional offensive spurt by forcing turnovers and getting out in transition. (Go back and watch the key run in Game 4 of the Cleveland series for a good example). But overall, TA is an unreliable offensive player who creates unique problems for a team whose star point guard still can’t shoot jump shots. 

Daniels had a disastrous year in Boston, but before he got injured in December, he looked like he might thrive in the back-up wing role TA had never been able to seize. He can initiate the offensive off the dribble, hit mid-range shots and finish off of cuts to the rim. He is fairly careful with the ball, and he makes up for average athleticism on defense with sound positioning and a knack for staying on the floor when his opponent pump fakes (an underrated skill). 

Might it be a realistic option to bring Daniels back? The C’s don’t have full Bird Rights on the Grand Marquis, but they have a limited version of Bird Rights that (if I’m reading this correctly) allows the team to sign Daniels for up to $2.4 million next season even though Boston is already over the cap. 

Would you sign Daniels for that money? And would New Orleans (or any other team) really offer any more than that?

  • s8anicfalcon

    We obviously don’t know what Danny has planned after letting TA walk, but re-signing Marquis could be a viable option to fill the back-up wing spot that is currently unoccupied. It really seems the trade options for a wing (using Sheed’s contract) are dwindling day by day, so why not give Daniels another shot? As mentioned in this post, Daniels has an obviously superior offensive game compared to TA and has the length and athleticism to stay in front of most 2′s (and smaller 3′s). I really thought the Marquis signing would pay huge dividends last off-season (remember he took a huge pay cut after Indiana didn’t tender him?), but after his injury he really never had a chance to supplant TA when he returned healthy. Given the FA options @ the wing right now, Marquis seems like a decent bargain/risk (or risk/bargain) for the 2.3 mil Zach mentioned above. The back-up wing spot is our most pressing need right now, so if Danny doesn’t have something in the works via trade for Sheed’s contract right now, Marquis seems to be a pretty good Plan B after letting TA walk.

  • Jay P

    I would absolutely pay him that, but I’ll be surprised if the Hornets, or another team, don’t offer more.

    The guy was a starter in Indiana, and although the games were meaningless, he put up solid numbers. The early part of the season, before the injury, he was solid, very solid. For some reason I can’t understand that injury completely took him out of the season, he came back and just never found his groove with the team.

    I don’t know how it happened, but I still think Daniels is, and can be, a great player. If we could get him for 2.4mil for 2 years, I’d thrilled, give him a chance to prove himself and be that guy we all though he would coming in.

  • I love Green

    Sure, go for it.

  • Zain

    @Green

    Tough day? You don’t seem too enthusiastic.

    I’m not sure what other options Danny has, there wasn’t much news today. I’m hoping Forsberg knows a few things going on, as his mailbag on espn boston is in a few days.

  • http://celticshub b.h.beck

    I don’t know-once he was healthy ( Daniels) he didn’t play.There had to be a reason.Is he better now than he was last year after he recovered?

  • Zain

    Media kept reporting that Doc lost faith in him so he was jettisoned to the end of the bench

  • I love Green

    @Zain- Just don’t like replacing TA with Marquis who seems lost sometimes out there. And I can’t see us getting back to the finals without a defensive monster like Tony.

  • cos

    2 items…

    1) are we really trying to talk ourselves into Daniels. One thing that needs to be mentioned, last year was not the first time in Daniels career he was out for extended time with injury. Check out his history. He’s injured just as often as TA. And with me-amigo’s on the wing in Miami, we definitely need an above average defender who can gaurd the 2,3. That was TA. Now???

    2) every team is doing sign-trades, and I’m not sure how it works with regard to the salary cap, but is there any word on the TA move being done as a sign and trade? If not, any reason why?

  • I love Green

    And a rumor going on now is the T-Wolves trading Sessions to the Blazers for Rudy and draft picks.

    Danny must be in a deep sleep right now.

  • I love Green

    Al Jefferson is heading to Utah.

  • Zain

    I feel like this is a related question. We all know of ‘super star’ treatment in the league, fouls in favor, fouls not called..you only need to look as far as Kobe throwing a punch at Rondo in the 1st Q of game 7 only for the ref to not make any call it to get what I mean.

    Can we expect the ’3 kings’ to be on the floor for great periods of time? How much super star treatment will they get now that they’re together? Maybe the league expects them to be more in foul trouble?

    Just throwing it out there…I mean, if we rarely see Wade and Bron on the court at the same time, besides the 1st and 4th Q, well maybe we don’t need to be super worried. Wishful thinking?

  • http://. D-block

    I think its worth a shot. He’s a good player that got a bad break this past season. Why not?

  • Jonathan

    I am no stats wizard, but how many layups did TA miss in the 2010 playoffs? Was it all of them? If he shot 100% from within 10 feet, would the C’s have lost? The D in LeBron and Kobe was great, but can’t he just dunk it? He was eye level with the rim for cripes sakes… dunk it! The C’s may have been champions in 2010. Also, why is no one complaining about the ridiculous disparity in FTA? I am sorry to wait so long to complain… it was just too painful.

  • James

    Celtics need to make a move soon. For a big man agian. or a SG for a backup on Ray or a SF for Paul. If not celtics are reallyyyyy gunna miss TA. IM tellin you. Just watch.If we dont get anyone.

    And of course out of all the season that we need Tony he goes.
    P.s wouldnt you think Tony would have help out playin D on those players down in Maimi

  • Jonathan

    What if he made all his layups!!??

    For all TA’s progress, the C’s still scored 7 fewer points per 100 possessions in the playoffs with TA on the floor versus with him on the bench, according to Basketball Value. The same thing happened in the regular season, when Boston scored about 4.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with TA on the floor.

  • James

    I Would love to see Big Al back in boston!!!

  • James

    Yeah that is True but TA is a big D player for us

  • Shooter

    KP out till Jan-early February……..not good and even when he comes back, will he suffer the same fate that was handed to KG.Will he return to form?

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    don’t need him….quis is not good enough to crack the playoff rotation.

  • lakershater13

    Hornets interested in daniels could be the best news we have heard for a while. Well if we actually get josh howard that would be sweet too. The hornets are trying to sell the team. They want to get under the cap as much as possible. So maybe they will take daniels and sheeds contract and do a sign and trade with aaron grey and james posey. I also like julian wright but he is cheap so im sure the hornets wont part with a 23 year old with a huge upside. Anyone remember aaron grey always playing great off the bench against us when he was with the bulls. Solid 7 footer who could give us quality minutes off the bench. I dont see daniels being signed by the hornets. Im sure the hornets like the idea of shedding a little money off the books and getting daniels. Remember they had talked about trading the best pg in the league just for cap relief. Im sure they could work out a trade with us to ditch posey and get daniels.

  • lakershater13

    Here is an idea. Daniels, Big Baby, and Sheed for… Julian Wright and David West. Maybe we toss in a first rounder to sweeten the deal. Gives us a young wing with a lot of potential and a solid scoring big off the bench. West would fit into ainges 2 year plan. This would save the hornets a little over 5 mil. That would put them 2 mil under the tax line.

    Hornets take on a little over 11 mil. We take on a little over 10 mil. Trade works with the hornets trade exceptions. They have a bunch of those.

  • Shooter

    Here are 2 possible/workable trades:
    1.Boston gets: Jeff Foster
    Indiana gets Sheed

    2.Boston gets Shane Battier
    Houston gets Sheed.

    Foster def helps us out on the boards and is in the final year of his contract.
    Battier….well what can i say,he’s a defensive stopper point blank,he’s James Posey in his prime.He knows what it takes to get to the top.

  • Shooter

    Ww could sweeten the Battier deal by adding a draft pick.

  • Tristan

    lets try a sign trade like this:
    (i know its a pipedream)

    Boston give up:
    Sheed and Daniels

    Hornets give up:
    Thornton and Posey

    Now that would be awesome, but I cant see the Hornets giving up Thornton

  • lakershater13

    @shooter

    I dont like foster this late in his career.

    Battier would put us in the finals easily. He is bigger and you could argue he is actually a better defender than TA. Plus he knows how to put the ball in the basket, makes all the right passes, and can defend bigger wings like josh smith and joe johnson.

    Let us not forget that during the regular season we got killed by atlanta 4 times. We could not match the size and athleticism. A guy like posey, battier, brewer or josh howard(if he gets his explosiveness back coming off the injury) these guys give us a chance against atlanta because we would have a big athletic wing. TA against marvin william, joe johnson, and josh smith just didnt do the trick. TA also did nothing to make those guys play defence.

  • Shooter

    @lakershater….why not,the only concern would be his health but there are no quality bigs left on the market.It will be a 1 year rental with Foster and whose going to back up JO with Perk out,i hope it’s not Harangody.

  • lakershater13

    @shooter

    Foster played in only 16 games last year after he went out with a back injury. So we trade sheed who is going to retire with a back injury for another guy with a back injury?

    I dont think ownership would want to keep 6 mil on the books just so they can pay out 12 mil for a back up center with a bad back that isnt half as good as sheed.

  • lakershater13

    I would rather see the celtics sign patrick o’bryant again than get foster.

  • German Dude

    Finally someone is bringing up Battier. He would be a perfect fit, great D, can play the 4, hits 3s and brings the right mentality. Houston already has Ariza and Budinger (I’d take either of those guys, too) at his position, so he might be expendable.

    On TA, they probably thought pairing him with Rondo just doesn’t work. Defence is about effort and you can teach positioning to a very high degree. But if you can’t shoot, then you simply can’t shoot. I still wanted to see him back.

  • Shooter

    Foster healthy is better than Sheed healthy at this point of their careers.If you don’t want Foster, fine, but there’s no doubt he’s a better rebounder than Sheed,something we desperately need.Foster is a beast on the boards, he could single handedly improve our +/- numbers in that area.
    I will say his health is a big issue but he will be back for training camp in Indiana.

  • Shooter

    You would rather get O’Bryant…….lol,really,to each his own i guess.

  • Ray Leighton

    Battier as a Celtic would be awesome, but there is no way that Houston would be stupid enough to make that trade — why would they do it?

    As for Big Al Jefferson — good luck to him, but if he comes back to the Celtics, I will just assume that Danny really has lost his mind; Al Jefferson has been consistently ranked as one of the worst defensive players in the league — worse than Sheed when Sheed didn’t feel like playing. I don’t think my voice could stand that much yelling again watching Al (try to) play defense. He was awful.

    Marquis & TA — Zach, I was thinking about this when you submitted the column — I have to agree that Danny must be thinking about keeping Marquis, because he basically let TA go with no obvious options to fall back on. I would have been OK keeping both of them. I really couldn’t figure out what happened to Marquis’ offense after he came back from the injury, but he looked great before the injury and was a big part of 23-5 at the start of the season. He’s a tough defender, doesn’t get faked out easily, and early on, he seemed to have that ability of being in the right place at the right time for cutting, rebounds etc. Maybe he just lost confidence when he came back.

    In any event, with Matt Williams getting $30 million plus over five years, Kyle Korver getting $15 million over three etc., it seems hard to believe that Danny thinks that he is going to get someone better than TA for less than the $10 million over three that would have kept TA with the Cs. With all that money out there, I think we have little chance of landing Brewer or Bell or anyone else like that. And right now, the only playing chip we have is Sheed’s contract.

    What frightens me most about this is that this situation resembles the summer of 2008 — we lose Posey and Danny did absolutely nothing to replace him, and we spent the whole year exhausted and crippled by injuries because we had no bench. And this coming year, our bench is…. who exactly? Shrek and ???? some rookies?

  • mike

    battier would be a steal…there’s still some guys out there at moment….bringing quist back isn’t that bad of an option, he gives you a vet to soak up minutes during the year, then at trade time, Dainge uses sheed’s deal to get a wing….

  • Shooter

    Why Houston would do it,possibly because they have enough wing players on that roster to consider it.
    They’re deep enough as it is with K-Mart,Ariza and Budinger.I don’t think there’s enough minutes to go around.
    Budinger has improved in leaps and bounds,he’s younger, he has upside and he’s cheaper than Battier.I think he can easily replace Battier especially under Adelman.
    But,Houston would probably want more for him anyway.A draft pick maybe.

  • smblack

    I agree Battier would be perfect to backup PP and Rudy gives us that athleticism,energy and perimeter shooting off the bench to backup Ray. Bringing daniels back is not where we want to be going…..thats not forward thinking and doesnt give us a chance to win. The window of opportunity is closing and we need to get pieces that can help us now and in the transition period in 2 years. Al will be in a culture geared to defense and i think that would encourage him to work on being a better team/individual defender and his addition will be a big plus to the C’s.

  • Sophomore

    If we could get Battier for a draft pick and cash, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Question is whether Houston could find somebody who’d offer them more, or if they’re flush enough to hold onto Battier and want to maintain depth.

  • steve

    Are we overlooking the potential in last years late season pick ups and our two draft picks. Lafayette and Gaffney have looked good in summer league. Gaffney is that 6’7″ wing that can play D and hit shots. Lafayette shows promise at PG. Harangody has looked good but obviously isn’t going to shut any one down on D. And Bradley has the potential to play the PG and SG and give guys minutes starting this season. I don’t think the Celtics will have any problem filling out the roster, I just hope Doc will use the whole bench more this season to develop them and trust them.

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    Shane Battier is a big favorite in Houston.

    The combination of Ariza and Battier are almost perfect for the Rockets at SF. The two have differing yet complimentary styles.

    They’d sooner give up Budinger than Battier. They still think with a healthy Yao and a re-signing of Scola, they can make a serious run for the conference finals.

    Battier would be a big piece of that plan for next year.

  • Rod

    Personally, I was shocked that Daniels fell out of the rotation. Obviously, Allen was far more adept at playing team defense than Daniels, which is why Allen was much favored. However, Daniels went through an entire playoffs on the bench – he will not make that mistake again, and I believe it came down to orientation to the Celtic defensive system, and surely Allen has had more exposure to that. I believe Daniels offensive ability, particularly his mid range game, is good for +/- 10 pts per night. In fact, if I recall correctly, he played good D on LeBron.

  • Ross in Maine

    I agree with Zach, and tip my hat to the genius of Danny Ainge. The ONLY way this team lets TA go is if they have an impressive deal in the cooker right now. Once things unfold, I’m sure we’ll be OK. Has anyone heard an update on the dealings it bring Eddie House back? Perhaps the unfolding deal includes getting big Al and Eddie through the door …

  • Jay P

    @Steve

    It’s possible their looking to go in that direction. But you need a proven guy for that back up swing spot. Gaffney may develop, and he is a great defender, so he has promise. Harangody can definitely score, and is a smart player, he’ll learn to play defense. Bradley will get some minutes I think and give himself a chance, but if they sign Nate, I don’t know what his role will be really. That is a very small lineup if they play Nate/Bradley 1 and 2.

    But bottom line, is you need to pick someone up to give reliable rest minutes to Paul. And as much as I hope Gaffney comes around, you can’t count on that yet.

  • Nattydread

    I just wish he would cut those braids. same thing with Mike Moore. How painful was that to watch?!

    Then again, maybe we could trade him to the Liberty for cap space.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @shooter @Iakershater13: i like the thinking. battier, west, wright would all be great fits if they could be done.

    brewer is pretty much a TA equivilant….maybe a minor upgrade in the reliability and offensive departments.

    and baby is definitely a solid trading chip in trying to land an upgrade at PF.

  • Wendell

    Danny has 2 make some moves Marquis never really showed what he could do. n I thought they could have used him more in the finals 4 his scoring more then anything. But the C’s need a few pieces so they need 2 speak 2 teams that don’t want 2 go over the cap. Raja Bell would b a plus 4 them so would Cory Brewer or Stackhouse n a big. N they can’t let TA go 4 nothing when these guys leave they need 2 do a sign n trade n get a trade expection 2 help them out. But there were alot of rookies who did not get drafted pick some of them up. There were 4 wings who went undrafted who could help this team n big men as well

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