Now that Grant Hill has decided to follow the career path of Bernard King, who as a free agent in 1987 chose the Washington Bullets over the Boston Celtics, its time to explore some other options, one in particular. Let's start with the facts.
Paul Pierce, if healthy, is gonna play lots-0-minutes, a minimum of 32 minutes per game, and that's a conservative estimate. This leaves a maximum of 16 minutes per game we have to fill at the three. Sheed is gonna take a few of those minutes. Let's say four minutes. Now we have 12 left. What's the best way to fill these minutes?
Celtics management is fond of drafting bulky, undersized bigs who Celtics fans then compare to Charles Barkley. Brandon Hunter comes to mind, as does Glen Davis. I believe someone else fits the bill, but right now I'm drawing a blank.
Back to BBD.
He's no Charles Barkley, who played a fair amount of minutes at the 3 early in his career. Chaz was a better rebounder, a better leaper, and a better shot blocker. Chaz had better range, and was better in the open floor. He was just better. One of the best of all time. Big Baby? Not so much. But let's not sell him short either. Davis has some range, can dunk and blocks a few shots. Davis may just be a better defender than Chaz, too. He's also taller than Barkley, and no less afraid to throw his weight around than was the Round Mound of Rebound.
So what am I getting at?
The other day various Celtics blogs and message boards were talking about a sign-and-trade with New Orleans, whereby we'd sign the Bambino Grande and then trade him to the Hornets. Needless to say, we'd get the man I call "Nails" in return, good old James Posey. Virtual pandemonium spread across Celtics Nation at the mere thought of James Posey returning to Boston. I'm here to question the wisdom of that idea.
What if we re-signed Glen Davis, and instead of trading him, we kept him and played him at the three (in addition to playing him at the 4 and 5 spots)? No he's not tall and lanky like Posey, but he is a wide load and fairly quick on his feet. Posey had an off year last year, while BBD had something close to a break-out season, especially if you take into account his performance in the playoffs. So one player is getting old (33 next year) and showing decline in playing ability, while the other player is young (23) and just starting to come into his own.
Will BBD be a lock down defender against 3s during his 12 minutes? Highly unlikely. But would James Posey be as effective on defense as he was two years ago? Meanwhile, matching up Baby against an opposing 3 would be a bruising experience for the other guy, and I mean really bruising. Sure, there will be a few 3s taller than Baby, like Lamar Odom. But BBD has already shown that he can defend players much taller than him, though usually these taller players are not mobile 3s, and if the game's on the line and we need a tall 3, that's why we have Sheed and Garnett. Earlier in the game, though, let's have Baby beat up and beat down that same player for a good 8-12 minutes.
Psychologically, it's entirely possible that a BBD beat-down at the 3 might do more damage than could frenetic defense from a tall and skinny 3, and as the Celtics and other defensive-minded teams have proven, psychologically damaging defense takes its toll over 48 minutes.
Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe what we really need is a tall and skinny swingman. But bringing back BBD and playing him at the 3 gives him his best chance to be a poor man's Charles Barkley, not that this should be a goal necessarily, but it would be fun to watch how it worked.