Now that the first Shaq shoe has dropped (as predicted here first by yours truly) we have to wait for that second shoe.
Who wants nearly 6 million in expiring (retiring) money? Why – half the NBA! What could our options be? Danny will probably surprise us as usual, but here are (in my humble opinion) the top five candidates that make sense money wise and Celtics wise.
5. Andres Nocioni
High basketball IQ and a solid offensive game, but his work ethic has come into question, and his contract’s a bit much. Danny seems to like him and the veterans would certainly try to get him back into peak shape. A decent option if nothing else comes up.
4. James Posey
He already knows the system. He’s a smart all around player. His contract fits Danny’s two year contract bill (have you noticed the trend yet?). He’s old though – do we need more old guys when we could swing a deal for someone with more upside?
3. Rudy Fernandez
Fernandez has tremendous outside range, but that would be the main focus of his game. Wafer’s an outside specialist, and the other back up wing – Daniels, is also more gifted on the offensive end of the floor. Rudy would fit well into the system, and may have some room to grow still, but he does not fit the slot the Celtics are looking for to a tee. Portland’s talking to other teams about Rudy, though, which would potentially cost the Celtics a bit more then Rasheed’s contract.
2. Corey Brewer
Take Tony Allen – grow him 5 inches, remove the knee injury trauma, slightly decrease his defensive ability but up his basketball IQ, and sprinkle some remaining potential waiting to bloom in a Doc Rivers system and you’ve got Corey Brewer. Minnesota might need more incentive as they don’t have much talent at small forward, but his 3 million dollar salary makes a move easy. Brewer and filler for Sheed, and a 2nd rounder? I’m sure Kahn’s dumb enough.
1. Shane Battier
Battier makes slightly over the MLE salary being paid to Rasheed. Battier played a healthy 32 minutes a game for Houston last season, but with the addition of Kevin Martin his services aren’t as urgent in Houston. Ariza would also be nice, but the Rockets will undoubtedly prefer to part with the older Battier. The Rockets are due to pay the luxury tax for the first time in a long time, and avoiding that would seem right up their alley. Battier’s defensive ability and basketball IQ would be the Ying to Marquis Daniels’ offensively oriented Yang. Get it done Danny!
Other Option: Talk Sheed out of retirement!