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7.21.2008

I Smell a Trade

So the latest rumor has the Celtics signing Devean George.

Makes sense.

George is 6'8", moderately talented, plays some defense, has decent range, knows how to play a role on a championship team, and isn't afraid to share the ball.

Well, let me qualify my second sentence.

It made sense before we signed Eddie House and Tony Allen.

It's true that the House and Allen signings bring the roster to fourteen players (below) and thus leave one spot open. That spot could be George.

Right?

I wouldn't bank on it.

Danny did a hell of a job last year on a number of fronts. Picking his best move might be difficult. But keeping the regular season roster at 13 ranks right up there. It not only made room for the additions of Sam Cassell and PJ Brown, he also showed ownership that he was making a good faith effort to keep costs down.

Now look at the roster below.

I see twelve players under contract, plus JR Giddens, Bill Walker, and Sam Cassell (yes, I think he's coming back). Kick Cassell to the curb (for the moment). That gives us fourteen players. Send Walker to Europe (for the year). That gives us thirteen. Now let's say we sign George. That brings us back to 14 players, and if Pruitt can't play the point, then we're in the same position as last year, needing a true back-up point somewhere on the roster.

Cassell's not a true point guard, but he does come cheap. And since he's bucking for an assistant coaching job with the Celtics, Cassell would be a good locker-room guy, too, even if he sat on the bench the entire year. Adding Cassell, of course, would bring the roster to 15, and that brings one word to mind:

Bloated.

In theory, if Pruitt doesn't rise to the occasion as a point guard early this fall, Danny might just consider dealing him just to clear roster space. Next you have Scals. Ainge doesn't move Scals by himself, mostly because he wouldn't get much for him. But if another team fell in love with Leon Powe or Big Baby during the playoffs, maybe Ainge throws in Scal and gets a veteran impact big in return.

Regardless, any imminent free agent signing by Ainge raises a red flag. Ainge drafted the blueprint for executive success last year, and that blueprint doesn't include carrying a bloated roster.

Starters
Rajon Rondo
Kendrick Perkins
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Paul Pierce

Under Contract
Eddie House
Tony Allen
Glen Davis
Leon Powe
Brian Scalabrine
Patrick O'Bryant
Gabe Pruitt

Others
J.R. Giddens
Bill Walker

Sam Cassell

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