Marquis Daniels may need surgery that would require him to miss the rest of the season. (CSNNE)
“There is a chance that he will miss the season and may need surgery to resume his playing career,” Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com Wednesday night. “We’re still gathering information, but that’s where we’re at.”
Doc Rivers has previously cautioned that Daniels would be out for a while, but this is the first time the Celtics have openly admitted Daniels could miss the entire season. If he does miss the whole season (and, really, even if he can return in time for the playoffs), adding small forward help becomes more crucial than ever.
“Right now, we’re just kind of waiting, listening to what other teams have to say, fielding calls and just kind of going from there,” Ainge said.
“We don’t have a lot of assets to trade,” Ainge told CSNNE.com. “So whoever we get, it’ll be a good player who can help us, but it’s not going to be a great, superstar player or anything like that.”
Some of the more talked-about names include Cleveland’s Anthony Parker, Los Angeles Clippers forward Rasual Butler and Indiana’s Dahntay Jones. The Celtics are also hopeful that if a trade doesn’t work out, they might be able to add a player who receives a buyout. Two of the more talked-about options along those lines are Detroit’s Richard Hamilton and Troy Murphy, who was recently traded from New Jersey to Golden State. The Warriors are expected to buy Murphy out.
Which brings me to a question: What if the Celtics DON’T add anyone at the trade deadline, or in a buyout move later on? Would you be okay with that?
I think I would. I’d love to add a difference-maker, of course. The thought of Shane Battier in Green makes me feel like a nine-year old on Christmas morning. But not everyone available makes a difference. The Celtics don’t have a lot to offer, and, as Ainge said, they could add a good player, but definitely not a great, superstar player or anything like that.
Look, I’m not thrilled about the thought of Von Wafer defending Lebron James either. But let’s face it: It’s not like Anthony Parker, Rasual Butler, Sasha Pavlovic, Jason Kapono, Morris Peterson or Richard Hamilton would have any better chance (Dahntay Jones and Shane Battier, on the other hand, defend the ball quite well). You can’t just stop Lebron James with one player, especially if that one player can be traded for with limited assets or added through a buyout scenario.
Would entering the stretch run with zero natural backup small forwards be ideal? Of course not. But Wafer has proven himself adequate at pretending to be a small forward, and the Celtics’ roster — as it stands right now — is capable of winning an NBA championship. Would those chances improve with a Battier or Richard Hamilton coming off the bench? Of course. But would they improve because Anthony Parker or Rasual Butler take Wafer’s minutes? I’m not so sure they would.
There’s always something a team can improve. The Celtics could use a small forward, in theory, as long as he’s not Sasha Pavlovician. They could also use an extra big man, if Kendrick Perkins intends to be injured for any extended period of time. But they can win with the players they have now, and we shouldn’t forget that if the deadline comes and goes with no deal.
P.S. – Jermaine O’Neal, says Danny Ainge, hopes to return in March (“probably the latter part of March”). That would give O’Neal a month or so to ready himself for the playoffs. But if I’ve learned one thing from the Jermaine O’Neal era, it’s this: expect to push back that return date.
P.P.S. – This is kind of random, but why would Troy Murphy ever want to sign with Boston, rather than Miami or Orlando? In Orlando, he’d be the only big, viable option off the bench. In Miami, he’d play certain minutes. In Boston? He might earn a DNP-CD every single night. If I’m Troy Murphy, I immediately head to one of the Florida teams. He’ll love the warm weather (though I’m sure he still won’t get much of a tan), and could finally play minutes for a contender. Heading to Boston, just to play behind Boston’s glutton of big men, makes no sense.