Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garnett To Boston For (Up To) Six

It's official, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:
Garnett has agreed to a three-year extension with the Celtics beyond the two remaining on his contract, guaranteeing that he will be a Celtic for the next five years.

A league source just confirmed that the Celtics and Timberwolves have finalized a deal that will bring Kevin Garnett to Boston in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and two first round draft picks.

Garnett is expected to arrive in Boston this afternoon for a physical.
There's no greater Rajon Rondo booster than myself, but he's going to have to improve quickly for the Celtics to fulfill even the most reasonable of their fans' wishes. I won't go so far as to categorize the likelihood that Rondo emerges as an above average point guard next season as probable, but Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will go a long way toward helping Rondo demonstrate his strengths (ball-handling, passing, defending point guards) and masking his weakness (shooting, a profound disinclination to shoot that goes beyond an understanding/admission of his shortcomings). Danny Ainge still needs to find a backup point guard. Gabe Pruitt isn't going to cut it.

I'd be a lot more optimistic about the 07-08 Celtics if I knew for sure that Tony Allen will be healthy enough to engage in his typical stout defense and enthusiastic dunking while spelling Pierce and Ray Allen because there is a chance that Garnett + Kendrick Perkins + Leon Powe + Glen Davis + TBD veteran FA big man constitutes a decent rotation. I don't, however, like Ainge's chances of finding a free agent backup in the post AND a free agent backup point guard AND a defensive-minded free agent swingman to back up both Pierce and Ray Allen. The man took a roundabout path to rebuilding this team in the first place and the extent to which he has succeeded in doing so as of today depends a fair amount on the ineptitude of various Eastern Conference franchises.

As for the Timberwolves, I have to admit that the promise of Gerald Green joining a team that already employs Ricky Davis and Rashard McCants will factor into my decision as to whether or not I purchase League Pass this fall.

Also, they should probably trade Ryan Gomes before he leaves as a free agent at the end of season after having seriously depressed Craig Smith's perceived value.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'll Miss You, Mike Taylor

Iowa State dismissed my favorite 2006-07 Big 12 player from the team after, the AP says, "a series of arrests."

Taylor's combination of frequent turnovers and even more frequent missed shots was something to behold. We are unlikely to see again soon a player left on the court for 82% of his team's minutes while either missing a shot or turning the ball over once every 3.7 possessions.

That's possessions he's on the court, not possessions he uses.


That he drew votes for the All-Big 12 team only added to the pleasure his high volume ineffiency gave me. I don't know if Iowa State will be any better next year, but they'll be more generic.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Darko Is Free

With the Magic agreeing to sign Rashard Lewis to a max contract, Darko Milicic (who wasn't contacted by the Magic on the first day of free agency) won't be getting the $10 million a year he's looking for in Orlando.

John Denton of Florida Today, reports that only three other teams (Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Atlanta) are capable of offering Darko more than the MLE:
Milicic is a restricted free agent, meaning the Magic have the right to match any offer he receives. [Milicic’s agent, Marc] Cornstein said he received calls from "half the teams in the league," but only four of them -- Milwaukee, Minnesota, Atlanta and Orlando -- can offer him more than the mid-level exception ($5.5 million).
Any of those teams would be help themselves by acquiring a 22-year-old big man with some potential for improvement but none of those teams should want to make Darko Milicic their second-highest paid player. Milicic is young enough that he could still have a major contract offer the next time he hits free agency. I don't think he should forgo contributing to a good team for the MLE in the hopes that a bad team signs him to an expensive deal because they hope he will someday be worth it.