17 the Hard Way
Hanging up the 17th Championship banner entirely through free agency.
by Ben Collins
Before I get to analyzing the trade of the century, or telling you some sad sap story — off the top of my head, I can point you to three people that will die a little bit happier because they now receive at least a chance at a Celtic Championship and one last hat tip to the Glory Days — I will tell you what ran through my mind directly after the trade:
1) Am I really mentally prepared to do 41 sets of Game Notes or will you find me face down under a tap at the Cask ‘N’ Flagon by mid-January? Jake tried to do this with the Nets and we just finished picking up the pieces to his brain yesterday.
2) They’ve traded seven rotation players for two All-Stars in a little bit over a month and have no tradeable assets. How do you even field a team? Can we play 5-on-3? Does Bob Cousy want to play the point? Hey, Bob-O, grab your Chucks, you’ve got TJ Ford.
There isn’t a way, with just a Mid-Level and a Veteran’s Exception, that this can work. No way. Nuh-uh. Not in a million years.
So let’s try it anyway.
Before we get started, we need a point guard, a center, depth off the bench and a sparkplug. Readysetgo.
The Isiah Thomas Memorial Mid-Level Exception Panic Scholarship:
The plan: Throw every ounce of money you have at Anderson Varejao, have a ref on hand to call a charge, wait until he gets up, say he can keep the cash if he stays with the basketball team. Then tell the Cavs that he’s allergic to Cleveland.
I hear Tim Donaghy is out of work, but he’ll probably find enough takers to call a block. But finding a ref is the least of your problems.
Varejao is weighing an offer above the mid-level exception from Memphis and Cleveland will match anything reasonable, so maybe this isn’t all that feasible, but you can try to pull off some Carlos Boozer-esque trickery here if you want to.
Tell the Cavs that Anderson Varejao’s hair is highly flammable — the mere presence LeBron’s shoes will set both the rubber and Anderson’s hair aflame — and he can’t cut it because there are now people living in a house at the top of his head. Pray to the Pomade Gods this works.
Because, otherwise, I don’t have a backup plan here. There’s a chance you might get lucky – Sasha Pavlovic is a restricted free agent and he’s set to become the next Jim McIlvaine— but it’s an uphill battle. There’s a gaping hole at the 4/5 and he’s the only way to solve it through free agency,
Backup plan: Re-sign Michael Olowokandi
This is the backup plan. Really.
The Can You Believe Corliss Williamson Won the 6th Man Award One Year? Memorial Scholarship
The plan: Go to Toys ‘R’ Us, find Earl Boykins in Heelys section. Buy him Heelys, ask if he’d like to play for your basketball team.
This team would really benefit from a sparkplug that doesn’t take away the minutes for any of the big three and Boykins would be just that. He’s probably not a starting point guard and neither is Rajon Rondo just yet, but when you multiply 0.5X0.5 you get…
0.25. Oh. Sorry.
Backup plan: Sign Eddie House or Jumaine Jones because you don’t currently employ any non-superstar spot-up shooters
I’m leaning towards Jumaine Jones here, even if he is the lesser player, for three reasons:
1) He fits better into the rotation because he is eight inches taller than House.
2) He shoots better from the corners (which is where the open threes will be
3) Forty games into the season, either he’s going to punch Kevin Garnett or Kevin Garnett is going to punch him. And when that day comes, Doc, just let it happen.
The Billy Knight “Point Guard? Isn’t That Kinda Like Stain Stick?” Memorial Scholarship:
The plan: Sign Brevin Knight.
This should probably be up top, but everyone already has this move pegged. This needs to happen. Although I’ve had chicken pox as many times as this guy has been in a playoff game (nine times – I have a horrible, horrible disease), he’s still a pass-first point guard who has led the league in assists.
Fun fact: This won’t be the first time he’s played alongside an iconic power forward. He also dropped lob passes to Bob Pettit for the St. Louis Hawks in 1957.
Backup plan: Sign either Derek Anderson or Jeff McInnis. You can’t sign both because they’re the same person.
Idea: Schedule them both for interviews back-to-back, have the first interview run long and see what he tries to do. It’ll be like the climax of that Mrs. Doubtfire movie.
(I should lose my job for referencing that movie.)
The Disgruntled Veteran or Blossoming College/High School Star Dilemma Memorial Bench
The plan: Ask Chris Webber what’s up.
Danny Ainge: Hey Chris, this is Danny Ainge, we’re just calling to see what’s up.
Chris Webber: Timeout!
Danny Ainge: Timeout what?
Chris Webber: Timeout!
Danny Ainge: Oh, hah! Funny! You can poke fun at yourself for old mistakes. We like that in a Celtic. We think it shows the leadership ability necessary to bring a 17th banner back to Boston. This is something we think you can help us do. Are you interested in becoming a Celtic?
Chris Webber: Timeout!
Danny Ainge: [Hangs up.]
Backup Plan: Fill out the roster with one young player who shows promise but hasn’t had a real chance to prove himself like Dee Brown, CJ Miles, James White or Melvin Ely.
Did you ever think you’d see the day in this decade where the Celtics didn’t have enough youth? Somebody’s Delorean must have overheated.
I think Dee Brown is your best bet and he may go for the vet’s minimum, even after that solid playoff series. Plus, there’s something about this yound-promising-guard-leaving-Utah to become a star thing that I really think can repeat itself. And I’m looking at you, Mo Williams.
The Mark Pope Inactive List Memorial Gift Certificate to Men’s Wearhouse
The plan: Sign your second round picks, Glen “Big BaOH MY GOD I LOOK SO GOOD IN THAT MIRROR” Davis and Gabe Pruitt, and keep around that Brandon Wallace guy from summer league.
Because the second that guy does anything even remotely noteworthy, that John Anderson guy from SportsCenter is gonna say, “I AM BRANDON WALLACE” and we will all chuckle and wonder why he and Kenny Mayne can’t run away and start their own sports network. I hear he was one of four people to play defense in Vegas, too, so that has to mean something.
Backup plan: Re-sign Allan Ray because we were just taking a break, baby, really that’s all it was. Just come back and we’ll watch some HBO and it will be just like when we started.
Plus, seriously, I’m getting tired of taking Brian Scalabrine out for walks all by myself. He’s barking at strangers now and he’s starting to eat gum off the sidewalk. I’m really starting to worry about him, honestly.
PG: Brevin Knight/Rajon Rondo/Gabe Pruitt
SG: Ray Allen/Tony Allen/Dee Brown
SF: Paul Pierce/Jumaine Jones/Brandon Wallace
PF: Kevin Garnett/Brian Scalabrine/Leon Powe
C: Anderson Varejao/Kenrick Perkins/Glen Davis
Feel free to show us your concoctions in the Comments section.