Adios, Nails

James Posey’s departure falls somewhere between a “no biggie” and “the end of the world.” Big Game James made a big difference all year long, especially on the defensive end. He had championship experience, and was a prototypical “glue guy.”

On the other hand, Posey was asking for a four-year contract and the full MLE. Keep in mind the difference.

The Fourth Year

Locking up Posey for four years would have been handing him a contract longer than any current Celtic except Garnett. Was he worth that kind of commitment? It’s easy to say “yes” when it’s someone else’s money. Sure, we could have traded him or bought him out down the line. But Danny has already put the Celtics owners well over the salary cap, and so it was important for Danny to make some kind of good faith effort to rein in costs. The owners and Danny made what they thought was the best offer they could, and Posey opted for more money and greater financial security.

The Full MLE

Giving Posey the full MLE would have forced the Celtics to pursue only those free agents willing to play for workman’s wages (the vet minimum). While Boston remains a free agent magnet, most players will only take so much of a pay cut before looking elsewhere. Corey Maggette proved that point. Now the Celtics should have a little more room to maneuver in pursuing free agents.

I’m glad James Posey was a Celtic. He played a critical role in bringing home Banner 17, and I’ll always be thankful for his contributions. Although Posey’s contributions may have been impossible to value, his value was not limitless. Red won 11 titles in 13 years with the same core group of players, but a changing group of role players.

In theory, Danny ought to be able to build a series of contenders using the same approach over the next three years.

The question is whether the Celtics just lost a core piece to the puzzle or something more easily replaced.


FLCeltsFan said...

I can't help but feel that Danny just made a big mistake. Chemistry is huge in winning a title and this group had incredible chemistry with Posey being a huge part of it. It will depend on who Danny brings in and how that player fits with the chemistry but I think that 4th year would have been worth keeping him. I have this feeling that Danny just gave the Hornets the piece they needed to win a championship.

Lex said...

James represented a unique combination of defensive skill, nerves of steel, and clutch play in big games.

I tend to agree with you.

But at least its the hornets and not the cavs or the fakers...

The Kid said...

I'd still be very surprised to see somebody stop the C's from winning #18 in June '09.

Lex said...

Hard to say.

Injuries will have a lot to say, as will the roster additions danny makes between now and Nov.

I'm not going to worry too much about it for now. I want to keep enjoying number 17.

Michael said...

I think Danny did the wise thing. I really appreciate the nasty edge Posey brought and those killer 3s, but I think the team will be fine. In fact, I'm looking forward to Tony Allen's return. I think Posey was a little underrated as a rebounder and overrated as a defender, but either way Powe and Baby should be able to make up most of his time at the 4.

As for chemistry, Posey won't have the same cachet in the Celtics lockerroom as he will in the Hornets. Other people have pointed this out, but it's poignant and bears repeating: he's no longer the only guy with a ring. I don't know, maybe it's that championship afteglow, but I'm very optimistic going forward.

Lex said...

Hey Michael,

Yeah, I'm not too depressed either.

I like the fact that Danny isn't looking for one guy to replace him.

I like the fact that danny is looking for other bigs.

As I noted above, Red won multiple titles even as he shuffled the role players.

Danny can hopefully do the same.

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