Monday, July 30, 2007

Key Party, NBA GM Style

So the Garnett to Boston deal is official. Now the questions are, can a team with these three stars compliment each other enough to succeed despite the major flaws this team has, like:

1. No quality point guard. I like Rondo, but he's not ready to run this team, especially with three stars demanding the ball constantly. He's just not been in the league long enough, and doesn't even have his own game together yet. It'll take about 2.5 times of KG getting in his face for him to develop a stare longer than the Manchurian Candidate's.

2. No bench. Except for Tony Allen...who plays the exact same position as Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. This is where the Allen trade looks incredibly short-sighted, because the Celtics have traded away so many young players (and rightly so in the KG deal) that they'll have at most a 3-4 year window before they suck even worse than they have been the past couple of years. Who else is going to give them quality minutes to rest people? Scalabrine? Ben Pepper? The Allen trade is exposed even more for the desperation trade it was after this. Also, no bench, as we saw with the Wiz, means no margin for error in case of injury. One of these three guys goes down for any extended period and the C's are probably screwed.

3. Doc Rivers. The guy's mediocre at best. I give KG 6 weeks into Doc running picket fence plays for Scalabrine before he goes insane. KG's already got to be in a fragile mental state after 12 years of McHale. Now he has to deal with Rivers AND Ainge. Here's a mock-up of a possible mid-season headline.

BOSTON MASSACRE: NBA Star Garnett, Doc Rivers Neck, Snaps. 14 Dead after Ainge Signs George Mikan's Corpse to Six Year, $54 Mil. Deal

This whole crazy concoction of Danny Ainge's could actually work, but the margin for error and the short window this team will have makes it a major gamble.

What can, or should, the Wizards do to stay competitive in the East? If they're serious about trading Navarro to Memphis, and assume away on that, it'd be nice if they could get a cheap, young but ready to play big man who can run the floor and provide a defensive presence; whomever they may get need not score a lot.

However, because of their current cap situation, I don't think this can be a straight up deal; there needs to be some money moving from Washington's side to keep them under the cap (remember, they haven't signed JCN yet). This, I'm speculating, is the holdup in the Navarro to Memphis deal: Grunfeld might be trying to pawn off either Brenda or Etan on the Grizz to clear some room to make the trade and make next off-season easier. The only other option is to include a third team on the deal, but it seems as if Memphis is trying to keep their young talent (according to people actually in the know, they've declared Conley, Gay, and Lowry off-limits, and Gasol wouldn't make any sense as they want Navarro to team with Gasol). Warrick would kind of be nice, but they already have a 3-4 'tweener in 'Tawn, and Warrick isn't nearly as good defensively as he was in college. Then again, Caron wasn't supposed to be the solid defensive player that he generally is (except when he watches Gil and 'Tawn too much), so maybe Warrick can develop that part of his game just as he developed into a solid offensive threat this season (12.4 ppg...around what Navarro is supposed to bring to the table).

The other good thing about trading Navarro is that because so many teams have bad GMs who think they're close to a championship run, or who want to make a move solely to make a move (a la Jim Bowden in baseball...except last season) that chances are you'll at least get equal to better value than JCN is worth, even though Ernie's negotiating position is bad with this trade or back to Europe timetable and Navarro's desire to play elsewhere (dumbass). Given the number of teams and GMs that describes, I like Ernie's chances at getting a decent deal, if not a steal, done.

As for the soccer match Lil Bro and I attended last night, I have three words: Racial Tension, baby!


Lil Bro said...

"Racial tension"? Hmm, please explain yourself

Minor Thread said...

The Spanish sports rag La Marca is claiming the Celtics want Juan Carlos Navarro to join them to form "el cuarto fantastico." Navarro and his agent have been whining about the Wiz's inability to get a deal done -- well, that's what happens when you can't get a decent buyout for 3 years then announce you suddenly can AFTER the draft has already happened. In timing his arrival to the NBA in a way where the Wiz had little or no chance to get him, JCN figured to be able to influence where he would go. Grunfeld's calling his bluff by not biting on a subpar trade.

La Marca even mentions JCN's agent saying he would petition the NBA on JCN's behalf. The Spanish paper is playing it up as "El sistemo justo o injusto?"

Ollie said...

That would be some of the tension between Gringos and Latinos that I sensed inside the El Stadio de R.F.K. Though perhaps it was more of a tension between Mexicanos y Americanos, especially given tense immigration reform debates lately.

Lil Bro said...

I sensed the tension was between fans of Club America and United, not racial.