It’s getting that time of year again. You know, the time of year where NBA rumors start kicking around like Daneil LaRusso’s opponents in The Karate Kid.
Lately, there’s one name I’ve been hearing connected to the Celtics more than any other; Kirk Hinrich. (Before you call Rajon Rondo and tell him to get ready for round two, I just want it to be known that these aren’t legitimate rumors from sources. Rather, just ideas tossed around by Bill Simmons and DimeMag.com.)
So while you might be hearing that Hinrich in Green makes perfect sense (and works if the Celtics offer Scalabrine/T. Allen/Giddens), I’m here to talk everyone off the ledge. Hinrich is clearly a more viable option than Tony Allen to spell Ray Allen or Rajon Rondo off the bench, but Danny Ainge should not even look into the possibility of adding him to the Celtics roster.
If he’s definitely an upgrade, then why not?
Here are three reasons:
1. Price – The biggest reason of all. Hinrich is set to make $9 million next year and $8 million the year after that. Is $17 mil over two years a price to pay for a decent backup? No, absolutely not. Especially when the Celtics should be trying to slim costs to add some roster flexibility as they transition into the post-Big Three era.
I will now admit a few things I like about Hinrich’s game: He plays pesky and disruptive defense, he is a tough bastard, and he can make a few plays. But is that really worth $17 million? No, no, no, no , no.
2. He’s shooting 37.8% – No, not just for the last game, or the most recent week… for the entire season. In fact, Hinrich’s been a poor shooter over his entire career. (Strange for a skinny 6’3″ white boy, I know.) His career field goal percentage is only 41.4%. He shoots a solid 38% from three-point range for his career, but it’s not like he’s deadly from long-range, either. Is it really worth it to pay $17 million for such an inefficient scorer? (Hint: The answer is no.)
3. Marquis Daniels – If the Celtics want an intelligent, versatile backup capable of playing multiple positions and solid defense, all they need to do is wait for Daniels to get off the injured list. People forget, but Daniels did a solid job as the second-string point guard before his thumb injury. Plus, uh, he’ll shoot better than 37.8% from the floor. And he costs less than a couple mil.
In the end, acquiring Hinrich would help the Celtics in the very short term. He’d be an improvement in the backcourt, and a boost defensively.
But sometimes, the money is just too steep. The C’s are better off looking for cheap backcourt help, maybe someone who will be bought out or maybe even their own Director of Basketball Development, Tyronn Lue. Lue isn’t as good as Hinrich, but he doesn’t cost nearly as much.
Some people will probably say Boston should capitalize on its small window of opportunity and do whatever it can to win now. With those people, I agree. But you still can’t be shelling out $17 million over two years to a player who isn’t a huge upgrade, won’t start, doesn’t necessarily push your team to the next level, and shoots 37.8 freaking percent. You just can’t.
Maybe Marbury’s still available?
Three things to look for in tonight’s game:
- Can the Bulls score on Boston’s defense? - Chicago’s offense is, to put it mildly, atrocious. They’re the third-worst offensive team in the NBA, according to John Hollinger’s efficiency statistics, and watching them play it’s easy to see how. They have no scorers (sorry, Derrick Rose doesnt count), few playmakers, and no big men I would trust to score even if they were wide open in a gym. Watching them play offense, it’s remarkable they’re as close as they are to .500.
- Will Bill Walker get any minutes? – Walker never fails to tantalize with his potential during his short stints in the game… Last night, he looked like he’s starting to round into shape after a preseason knee surgery left him struggling to regain last year’s athleticism… The Celtics are still shorthanded… It would seem like the perfect storm for Walker to play some minutes, but when Doc Rivers looks at Billy Boy, he doesn’t always see the same thing fans do.
- Celtics bench – When the C’s bench is playing well, they can be very good. Even without Marquis Daniels and Rasheed Wallace on the bench, Glen Davis, Tony Allen and Eddie House can all be game-changers… But they don’t always play well. If the bench plays a good game tonight, this game could become a blowout. If not, it might be a real dogfight.