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A Cool Thing About Possibly Trading for Rudy Fernandez

As Tom Halzack reported over at CelticsBlog Wednesday, the C’s are in serious talks to acquire Rudy Fernandez from the Blazers. If this happens, we’ll have plenty of time analyze all the basketball issues Rudy presents—where he fits in the rotation, his strengths and weaknesses on both ends, whether he can play small forward even a little bit, etc.

Acquiring Fernandez without giving up a rotation player is a good basketball move. We can discuss that later.

There’s another comparatively minor reason I’m rooting for Boston to nab Rudy: It would be nice for the C’s to have an international player that might actually play some meaningful minutes.

At the end of the 2009 season, the blog Interbasket concluded the C’s had been the least internationally diverse team in the NBA over the five prior seasons. This doesn’t really concern me; I care about winning, and I’m certain the C’s front office would field a team of 15 non-American players if they believed that was the best roster they could build. Heck, they drafted Semih Erden in 2008, and he’ll make the team this season.

In other words: The lack of international Celtics doesn’t bother me as long as I know the team holds no silly bias against international players—and the Celtics don’t. Interbasket used the word “xenophobic” to describe the C’s, but that’s obviously going way too far, especially considering the C’s had already drafted Erden by the time Interbasket undertook its study.

Still: I think it’d be kind of cool to have an international player logging significant rotation minutes, something I don’t think Erden is ready to do. I generally enjoy when players bring a new culture, language and style of play, and Rudy Fernandez would bring all of that to a team that has lacked any international flavor since (gulp) Michael Olowokandi and Wally Szczerbiak (born in Spain!) left town.

How un-diverse have the C’s been lately?

• Only three teams in the league went through all of 2010 without giving a single minute to an international player: Boston, Indiana and the Clippers.

• Both the Pacers and Clips had international players log NBA minutes in 2009, meaning Boston is the only team in the league to go the last two seasons without a non-American guy seeing any court time.

The C’s have not had an international player on their active NBA roster since 2007.

Will Rudy help Erden break the drought?

Let me repeat this so no one can possibly misunderstand: I make no moral judgment against the C’s for not signing any international players over the last few years. The team has made the Finals in two of the last three seasons, so you can’t take issue with how the front office has decided to build the team.

I just think it would be kind of cool to have a foreign guy playing a key role.

  • Jay P

    Zach, love you writing and 99% of the stuff you put out there.

    But this article is useless. Honestly, who cares? If they win, I don’t give a damn if the entire starting roster was born on Mars, just win.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    It’s the off-season, and this is meant as light trivia, nothing more.

  • Perry


    Jiri Welsch? Hope Rudy won’t repeat his performance.

    Also, Vitaly Potapenko, and Dino Raja.

  • CG

    Jiri Welsch

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @Perry: I’m well aware of all of those people. Just talking about the last few years, as prompted by the Interbasket post, which generated a ton of reaction last year. I once named a fantasy basketball team after Vitaly Potapenko, and I’m still angry at my girlfriend for failing to approach Dino when she saw him in Croatia over the summer.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    I love int’l hoops….but i’d rather cheer for the celtics than the raptors. Talent and wins….over UN scrubs to sell tickets to an ethnically diverse fanbase.

    Get it done danny….
    Rudy + Petteri Koponen

  • Perry


    Gotcha … understood

    My biggest concern are the Knicks because of the money and their style of play. That’s another angle we might be discussing should Rudy wind up in Boston. Don’t think the Blazers half court game suited his skill set. Would love to watch him play off Nate and Rondo. By the way, I heard somewhere the Knicks already sold out their season tickets?

  • ego roots

    Wasn’t Sam Cassell born on Mars? So I beg to differ…

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    @ego roots: sam i am is definitely not of this planet. hahaha

  • olgrimey

    Sam Cassell is E.T. That’s gotta count for something.

  • Jeff

    Sam Cassell is actually the ambassador to whatever planet those Aliens in the latest Indiana Jones movie were from.

    “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Sam Cassell’s Crystal Skull”

    Coming soon to a theater near you!

  • Josh A

    @Zach, To tell you the truth, Scal looks likes he came from some where else

  • http://thinkshesmorelike.wordpress.com/ jylze

    yeah it would be nice to have an international player getting burn on the Cs. But i also think they’ve been interesting because they represent so many different types of black american experiences – perk is from a small town in texas, pierce is from inglewood, shelden from oklahoma, KG from south carolina and chicago, nate is from seattle – the team has been very diverse in that way.

    and then of course there’s scal.

  • sal

    I cannont believe i forgot about jiri welsch. I never understood why they had so much hope in him. I rememeber when we traded him for ricky d, i was more excited to get rid of welsch then to add better talent. I thought the guy was cursed. Any info on what hes doing now?

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    If you believe anything the Portland sources are saying, suggesting that something is on the verge is a bit overblown.

    Fernandez’ small contract obligation makes it hard for them at the present at least, to demand anything substantial for him in return.

    The sentiment I’m reading is that being too quick to the pull the trigger won’t yield anywhere near the value they would expect to get in return for him.

    Better to be patient, let things unfold, wait until a team suffers an injury or experiences some disappointment with their wing play off the bench and then negotiate a trade for Rudy from a position of strength rather than weakness.

    Letting a $1.2 million dollar contract hang around is no big deal. They want to make a run at the Lakers in the west and if anything, they need frontline help behing Aldridge and injury plagued Oden.

    Big Baby would be a tremendous addition for them in terms of competing with the Lakers three headed monster of Gasol, Bynum and Odom.

    Anyway despite the something for nothing sentiment on this board, I don’t get the impression that Portland feels inclined to dump Rudy for a “dog’s breakfast” collection of:

    a) summer league hanger’s on
    b) mediocre at best draft picks
    c) unproven rookies
    d) Wallace’s contract for cap relief.

    They seem to want to add a piece that will make them competitive with the Lakers NOW because with the right deal, they think they could surprise everyone and win the west this year.

  • sal

    Wait a second, was jiri involved in the deal when we got ricky davis? I remember we gave him to cleveland but maybe im wrong about getting rid of him for davis

  • http://www.truecloud.com Dave

    It may come down to a decision as to whether or not the Celtics feel they need more quality depth at wing and therefore would give up some of the quality depth they have on the front line to get that wing depth in return?

    Or no!

  • G.W. Boosh

    “It’s the off-season, and this is meant as light trivia, nothing more.”

    Mission accomplished!

  • Wootay

    Dino Raja one of my favorite Celtics of all times!!

  • Perry

    Eddie House is on his way to Miami.

  • Mr. C.

    How many remember Stojko Vrankovic?

  • ego roots

    The same number of people who remember Ramon Rivas

  • kip

    what time is it where u guys at?

  • OZCeltic

    I would love the C’s to sign an international player…especially if his name is Andrew Bogut!!!! I know this is not on the cards (probably never will be)…but it would make the Celtics HUGE Australian fan base very happy! :)

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