Sunday, August 5, 2007

Where have you gone? -- A look at the rest

There is really not any news and/or rumors in Boston sports today so let's take a look at some of the free agents left on the NBA market the Celtics should be pursuing.

By the way, for all the people hoping we would sign Brevin Knight, I have some bad news for you. He signed with the LA Clippers yesterday for $4 million for the next two years.

Our focuses should be on another point guard, a small forward and a legit center. It pains me to see Brian Scalabrine and Brandon Wallace as Paul Pierce's backups at SF. It also pains me to see only two players on the roster over 6'9''. There's a few guys left out there that fill the voids in this team. Veterans would be the best but if we can get some defensive minded D-Leaguers that wouldn't be too bad.

Dikembe Mutombo
Name: Dikembe Mutombo
Position: Center
Height: 7-2
Age: 41
Experience: 16
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: 2nd all-time to Kareem Abdul Jabaar on the shot blocking list
2006/2007 stats: 3.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.01 BPG

Mutombo brings his big heart and desire to win a ring with the Celtics. He adds a lot of experience, depth to the frountcourt and defense off the bench. It would benefit the team because we really aren't that deep right now and he could probably play a good 10 minutes a night off the bench. When Perkins needs a rest Dikembe can come in and block a shot or two. That's all he has to do. I'm also much more comfortable with Garnett at the 4 giving us the best chance to win games. He played over 70 games last year and grabbed over ten rebounds a game multiple times while Yao Ming was out. The guy still has gas in the tank, believe it or not.

Matt Barnes
Name: Matt Barnes
Position: Small Forward
Height: 6-7
Age: 27
Experience: 4
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: Has played with five different teams in four seasons
2006/2007 stats: 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.0 SPG

Matt Barnes showed what he can do in the 2007 playoffs with Golden State and has gained a ton of experience from that. He brings defense and 3-point shooting off of the bench. It also makes it much more comfortable to send Brandon Wallace to the D-League and basically taking Brian Scalabrine out of the rotation. He is a coveted "power 4" that Danny Ainge seems to love. Barnes fits into this system well too because he won't be expected to do any scoring at all like he was in Golden State's 7 man rotation. He has continues to improve every year and there's no reason why he wouldn't flourish with the Celtics.

P.J. Brown
Name: PJ Brown
Position: Power Forward/Center
Height: 6-11
Age: 37
Experience: 14
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: Brown has won the citizenship award as well the sportsmanship award
2006/2007 stats: 6.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG

The chances of PJ Brown ever playing in the NBA again are pretty slim but like many other players his age that played in the Jordan Era during their best years, he's hungry for a ring. Brown has always just been a consistent, solid, durable big man for his entire career. He plays Center and can eat minutes for Kendrick Perkins. Brown at age 37 showed that even recently he can score in bunches and play heavy minutes last season. In his final playoff game against Detroit, Brown scored 20 points. Brown is a great guy too, don't count him out to continue to do it for the fans on and off the court. He's battle tested, playing 81 playoff games in his career and could definitely bring some leadership and experience to the Celts.

Ruben Patterson

Name: Ruben Patterson
Position: Small Forward
Height: 6-5
Age: 32
Experience: 9
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: After his mother died, Patterson played in a college game and dropped 37.
2006/2007 stats: 14.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 SPG

Ruben Patterson is a veteran that's been with a few different teams in his NBA career. It's interesting because he came up as a 2nd rounder but was labeled a "tweener" so he was forced to play in Europe for a year but came to the NBA and showed off his talent. He isn't one of the better known players in the league but he's able to defend every position very well and is a servicable backup to Paul Pierce. Patterson's one of those players that just plays defense, defense, defense all the time and we could probably grab him for pretty cheap too. He's consistently played well on both sides of the ball for the past four seasons and doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Charlie Bell
Name: Charlie Bell
Position: Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward
Height: 6-3
Age: 28

Experience: 3
Status: Restricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: Bell was part of the Michigan State team that won the national championship a few years back with Morris Peterson, Jason Richardson and Mateen Cleaves
2006/2007 stats: 13.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG

Charlie Bell is a unique player that can play any backcourt position as well as small forward. His defense is solid, and he was even named Michigan State defensive player of the year in every year of his tenure at his alma mater. Bell has bounced around between Europe and the NBA but seems to have found a home here. He had a breakout year last year and seems to found his nice. This guy has something to prove everytime he steps on the court and has done that since his return. Bell would be a great 6th man off the bench to fill in for any staggered substitutions. If one of Rondo, Allen or Pierce gets into any trouble whether it's a fatigue issue or foul trouble he'll be able to play heavy minutes.

Troy Hudson
Name: Troy Hudson
Position: Point Guard, Shooting Guard
Height: 6-1
Age: 31
Experience: 9
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: Hudson has played with Celtics star Kevin Garnett for the past five years
2006/2007 stats: 5.9 PPG, .813% from the line

Troy Hudson has been Kevin Garnett's teammate for five years and developed a chemistry with him. It also is a plus that Hudson adds depth and experience to the 1 spot. Supposedly there are strong rumors coming out of Cleveland that he's on his way here and that Kevin Garnett has been lobbying for him to be signed. He was recently bought out by Minnesota and is looking to bring his solid play elsewhere. For his entire career he has been a decent player to give a good 15-25 minutes and hit some shots. He's been excellent from the charity stripe and can come in at the end of a game if you need somebody to hit free throws. It is mostly the connection between Hudson and Garnett that makes him such an attractive free agent.

Brian Skinner
Name: Brian Skinner
Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
Height: 6-9
Age: 29
Experience: 9
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: In 2005 with Philadelphia Skinner grabbed 19 rebounds, a career high.

*Take this with a grain of salt because Mark "Blunt" has pulled down 20 before.
2006/2007 stats: 4.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.0 BPG

Skinner is an athletic player that can bang down in the low post and grab rebounds as well as block shots. If motivated Skinner can be a guy that gives you 10 points and 7 rebounds. Like most of the guys listed, he brings experience and is just another body to have out there. He played well for Milwaukee last year grabbing 7.1 rebounds and blocking 1.1 shots as a starter. He's been pretty consistent his entire career and has traveled to quite a few teams grabbing about 5 rebounds every year.

Marc Jackson
Name: Marc Jackson

Position: Power Forward/Center
Height: 6-10
Age: 32
Experience: 7
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Interesting facts: In his 7 years in the NBA, he has played for 5 teams (Golden State, Minnesota, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New Orleans).
2006/2007 stats: 7.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, .874 from the FT line

Jackson is a tough big man that will bang in the low post. He fights for position and brings energy night in and night out. Great rebounder with a nose for the ball. He has played in a good amount of playoff games and can fill the hole we have at Center. Marc is a good last resort if we don't get Brown or Mutombo.

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