Before signing with the Dallas Mavericks in early March, Corey Brewer was close to signing with the Boston Celtics. (Boston Globe)
Brewer, the seventh overall pick in 2007 by the Minnesota Timberwolves, received offers from the Mavericks and the Celtics after being released by the New York Knicks.
“I seriously considered the Celtics, a lot,” said Brewer, who is making his first career NBA Finals appearance with Dallas. “And eventually I thought I was going to go to Boston. But then at the last minute we struck a nice deal with Dallas and we felt like this was the best situation for us.”
Before you think, “If the Celtics signed Brewer, they never would have traded for Jeff Green,” remember Brewer got bought out after the Celtics had already traded for Green. In all likelihood, Brewer would have played a minimal (at best) role had he signed with the Celtics. This year in Dallas, he has averaged 3.8 minutes per game in the postseason, appearing in only six games. In Minnesota, where he earned significantly more playing time, he was shooting an awe-inspiring 38.4% from the field. He has earned his reputation as a defensive stopper, but the “Corey Brewer was *thisclose* to signing with the Celtics” news story is really a non-story because he wouldn’t have received much (if any) playing time anyway.
The real story is Brewer’s reason for almost choosing Boston:
“I known Doc for a while and I met when while I was in college,” said Brewer, who helped Florida to consecutive national titles. “It was kind of tough because I talked to Doc, talk to (team president) Danny (Ainge) and thought man it would be nice to go there and play for Doc with the relationship we already had and I would have had a chance to play a little bit, coming in with the second unit. It was a tough decision, but I feel like I could come in and help this team.”
When the Big Three grow old and retire to their beautiful wives, gorgeous homes and lifetimes of relaxation, Rajon Rondo and Doc Rivers are going to be the only draws left for Boston to entice free agents. Nobody’s coming to Boston for the weather. Nobody’s coming to Boston for the party scene. Nobody’s coming to Boston for the beaches. If anybody important does sign in Boston (keep in mind, the Celtics haven’t inked a top-flight free agent since Vietnam), the Celtics can thank Rondo’s unselfish play and/or Doc’s personality.
As valuable as Doc’s coaching has become (he’s the Secretariat of drawing up plays in the huddle), his ability to woo stars could paint the Celtics’ future; his recruiting skills could prove the difference between a long rebuilding process and a quick reloading process. Those skills almost helped sign Brewer, but Dallas was able to offer him more years and more money.
May Doc have better luck reeling in the bigger fish.