Okay, now that I’m sufficiently all out of emotions, on to the latest rumor. The Celtics are still interested in Shaq and Kwame Brown.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kwame Brown.
Those two haven’t shown up in the same sentence too often over the years, but they’re linked on this occasion because they both remain on the radar of the Boston Celtics.
The East champs, even after the recent signing of Jermaine O’Neal, still want one more big man after inching to the brink of a full roster with Thursday’s signing of guard Von Wafer.
The problem? The Celtics only have minimum money left. Sources say they’re having trouble getting Brown to accept those wages, so you can imagine where Shaq stands on the idea.
Word persists that Shaq still hopes to be sign-and-traded somewhere by Cleveland that will allow him to secure a salary next season above the $5.8 million mid-level exception. Our old friend Howard Beck of the New York Times did a comprehensive piece last weekend spelling out just how unlikely landing that sort of contract would appear to be. [...]
I’ve heard that Shaq, earlier this summer, was telling friends that the Spurs were the only team he’d consider playing for on a low-dollar contract.
But San Antonio, as covered previously in this cyberspace, doesn’t have the available minutes — and really hasn’t shown the inclination — to try to wedge the former local high school star into a world that still revolves around Shaq’s old rival Tim Duncan.
Atlanta? Sensible as it sounds for the Hawks to be the one team out there aggressively pursuing the 38-year-old — given Shaq’s presumed ability to both stand up to Hawks killer Dwight Howard and sell tickets in Atlanta — they just signed Jason Collins to be their No. 3 center and signed Josh Powell before Collins.
Which brings us back to Boston. I struggle to envision Shaq signing for a mere $1.35 million for next season, but the idea can’t be completely dismissed if O’Neal is serious about only signing with a team that can contend for a championship, since the Celts are still on that short list. [...]
The safer move for the Celtics is clearly signing Kwame, but I don’t think we need to remind you that Ainge — who was willing to gamble on Stephon Marbury in the second half of the 2008-09 season when so many outsiders thought he wouldn’t dare — is not afraid to take risks.
First, I’ve got to ask myself, what exactly makes signing Kwame Brown “clearly a safer move” than signing Shaq? I mean, as long as Shaq is 7’0 tall, 360 pounds and still has a pulse he’ll be a better basketball player than Kwame Freaking Brown. Am I wrong? So please, lets not pretend Kwame is somehow the safer choice, just because he has sucked his entire career while Shaq used to be a super-duper-star.
Look, I have reservations about Shaq. He’s old, fat, can’t play any semblance of defense and somehow thinks he deserves more than the mid-level exception. But if the Celtics can somehow manage to pick him up for the minimum, Danny Ainge should be arrested for theft and tossed in jail. Because while Shaq undoubtedly has his flaws, if he’s making $1.35 million in a market that fetched four years, $5 million for Darko Milicic and five years, $32 million for Drew Gooden there is no other word for it than robbery.
As for Kwame, would I pay him the minimum? I’d rather light $1.35 million on fire and then flush the ashes down the toilet. It would make more sense. I would light Kwame on fire instead of all that money, but there’s no way he’d be able to catch on fire.