Friday, December 21, 2007

Smelling The Glove?

Marc J. Spears has a semi-scoop in the Globe this morning, writing that old friend (seriously old) Gary Payton is angling to return to the Celtics. This isn't that surprising, since Payton's always had a bit of the Rickey Henderson in him, and the Celtics are both very good and frankly in need of depth. Of course, Payton's a bit of a wild card; he's an outsized personality who could either do wonders for team chemistry or destroy it, depending on how much he's willing to defer to Garnett and Pierce. In the offseason I was advocating bringing him in to help out with Rondo, but now at 20-3 I'm not so sure I want to mess with a good thing. However, I do think that Gary Payton could potentially be the best thing that's ever happened to Rondo (aside from KG, or course), and honestly if there's any former player that Rajon should be modeling his game after, GP seems like an obvious candidate. Also, for all of Payton's baggage and his thirty-nine years, there's no question that he's got a better understanding of the notion of "NBA point guard" than anyone else on this team. I mean, as it stands right now, we still don't have a backup point guard-- no matter how you slice it, House still looks infinitely more comfortable in a catch-and-shoot role-- and Gary Payton would certainly take care of that.

I don't know, I guess I'd give this move a cautious endorsement. The $1.2m kind of seems like a lot, but it is the veteran minimum and it'd just be a one-shot thing. The C's are already clearly going all-in on this season, and I see Payton's potential rewards outweighing his risks. He's also a great interview subject and a generally entertaining dude to have around.


Tim said...

I don't know, it's hard for me to really endorse this. It seems like it could go bad as easily as it could go good. Payton has sucked the last two years, and frankly he wasn't that good when he was with us, Delonte should have been starting by the end of that get him just because of all the experience he brings, but I'd wait till something better shows up.

The Brick said...

What's not to like? He wants to play for a winner. He doesn't expect to get big minutes. He has a great relationship with Doc. And he can guard bigger point guards (aka Chauncey Ba-Ba-Ba-Billups).

I would try to sign both Payton and Webber if I was Danny. You need to go ALL IN to win the championship, replacing T.Allen & The Enlarged Infant in the rotation with Payton and Webber is obviously an upgrade.

The Fox said...

"The Oversized Infant" also known as "The Big Linus."

Payton's career has been in steep decline since he was traded to Milwaukee - both offensively and defensively.

With that said, he's the best guy out there at point guard. Earl doesn't give you anything defensively - I wonder why they didn't sign Darrell Armstrong after Indiana dumped him in the preseason?