Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Other Point Guard

If summer league reinforced anything, it was that the Celtics most immediate need is to find a point guard to complement Jonny Rondo. How "complimentary" you want him to be is open to debate. There are fans like myself who would like to see Rondo play 35 minutes a game. There are others who would feel much more comfortable with him splitting time with a quality veteran. Whatever the case, Bassy and Pruitt inspire little to no confidence, so something needs to be done.

And along these lines there has been much talk about who the C's should acquire. Shira mentions Jasikevicius today in the Globe - a guy who perhaps never got a fair shake in the league, and maybe doesn't deserve one. Not a bad idea, though. Weiss on Celticsblog offers up the gem of bringing Payton back. Terrible idea. The Heat are in a (somewhat) similar position and The Sun Sentinel ran an article yesterday discussing options:

Failing the addition of a free-agent guard, the Heat could turn to trade options with Atlanta (Acie Law, Speedy Claxton, Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson), Seattle (Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson, Delonte West), Houston (Mike James, Rafer Alston, Aaron Brooks) and Portland (Jarrett Jack, Taurean Green, Sergio Rodriguez, Blake) all loaded at the position.

A wild card in the Heat's backcourt search is Spanish guard Juan Carlos Navarro, whose draft rights are held by the Wizards, but who long has expressed interest in the Heat.

There are some pretty attractive names on that list, but the key is not to give back much in return. Tyronn Lue has been decried for much of his career because he usually plays more minutes than he ought to, and he looks strange. Often lost in translation is that he's pretty good. Surely will not hurt your team if he's just playing 15 - 20 minutes a game, and his $3.5 million contract is up after the season. Someone like Lue is a better choice than someone like Jarrett Jack, who will require serious compensation to obtain and might not be as good as expected. Signing Earl Boykins or Brevin Knight also could require more expense than the C's want, whether it be in length of contract or annual salary.

With this in mind, I hope we go after Carlos Arroyo. He has one year left at $4 million. A package of Tony Allen and Telfair might be able to get him; or a deal with Bassy, Powe, Ray (whom Orlando could waive by August 1 to save money) and a second rounder or two. Whatever the case, Ainge should not need to give up that much for a backup point guard with an expiring contract.

Arroyo is an interesting player, the kind of guy who never seems to play as much as he should. He made a name for himself in the Olympics and in Utah, but was traded to Detroit for a pittance and was wasted there behind Billups. In Orlando he often has found himself the third wheel behind Jameer Nelson and Kenyon Dooling, although he might be better than both of them.

I have never been able to ascertain why Arroyo has not gotten more burn. He's not the best defender, but he's not that bad, and offensively he is an excellent passer and scorer. Arroyo plays the game with true moxie, meaning the flash he brings onto the court actually seems to help his team. It also makes his team entertaining as hell when he gets it going. Arroyo is much more capable offensively than most point guards in the NBA, and to use him as a backup is a small luxury.

And with the Celtics he could be a good, economical fit. Doc will almost surely fuck up Rondo's development with the addition of someone as good as Arroyo, but on paper it sounds great. Arroyo was rumored to be in the sign and trade deal for the Rashard Lewis contract a week or so back, so he clearly can be had. It's either him or Gary Payton.


Anonymous said...

How about John Stockton?

Anonymous said...

Who the heck is "Jonny" Rondo? Good column, but have some respect and call the guy by his given name, not a nickname foisted on him by the idiotic Doc Rivers.

tim said...

listen - jonny rondo is a great name. the best part is mike gorman asked rajon if he could call him that on tv at the beginning of last year and rajon flatly said "no". it's too good a name not to use.

brbos said...

Jonny might be a good name, but it's not his name. Would Mike Gorman like it if we called him Phil? Exactly.

Anyway, interesting idea about Arroyo though. I wouldn't give up Tony Allen though or Powe, but maybe Telfair, Allen Ray and money if it's doable by the numbers.

tim said...

ainge calls rondo "jonny". it's one of the best decisions of his tenure.

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